Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Young Australian of the Year


2017 NSW Young Australian of the Year Nominee

Shyeh Tjing Cleo Loi

State: New South Wales


While an undergraduate student at the University of Sydney, Shyeh Tjing Cleo Loi made a major astrophysics discovery. Using radio telescopes as a giant pair of electronic eyes, Cleo located huge plasma tubes in the atmosphere. Scientists have long hypothesised that the interaction of the earth's magnetic field with energy from the sun would create tubes of plasma, but they had never directly observed them – until now. With incredible scientific insight and technical innovation, Cleo surprised many senior scientists, who at first thought her discovery was ‘too good to be true’. Cleo’s work has made an impact around the world, with some claiming she has invented a whole new field of research. She has authored five scientific papers on her results – a result almost unheard of for an undergraduate student. Now at Cambridge studying her PhD, Cleo combines her formidable intellect with humility and maturity, impressing both professors and peers with her work ethic and passion for scientific endeavour.


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