Dr Ian Tyler earns prestigious Gibb Maitland Medal

Dr Tyler was presented with the Geological Society of Australia Western Australian Division’s Gibb Maitland Medal in recognition of 35 years contributing to geoscience.
Date: Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Geoscience mapping has come a long way from hand drawn maps to today’s detailed online digital images and the Department of Petroleum and Mines (DMP) Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) Assistant Director Geoscience Mapping Dr Ian Tyler has played an integral role in guiding that transformation.

Dr Ian Tyler earns prestigious Gibb Maitland Medal
Gibb Maitland Medal recipient for 2017 Assistant Director Geoscience Mapping Dr Ian Tyler.

Dr Tyler was presented with the Geological Society of Australia Western Australian Division’s Gibb Maitland Medal on 26 April in recognition of his substantial contribution to geoscience during the past 35 years.

There were four nominees for 2017 and Dr Tyler said he was honoured to earn the medal and be listed among the previous 26 recipients which included several colleagues and former GSWA Directors.

He attributed much of his success to being able to work collaboratively, not only with staff throughout DMP, but also with organisations such as Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, Curtin University, the University of WA and the Minerals Institute of WA (MRIWA) plus industry.

“I joined the department in 1981 after graduating from Aberystwyth University and getting my PhD at the University of Aston in Birmingham, and I only intended to come to Australia for three years,” Dr Tyler said.

“Geologically, everything here is so interesting that I’ve ended staying for 35 years and I have no intention of going anywhere else.

“In terms of mapping, we really are recognised as leaders because we’ve just done it for ourselves without waiting for anyone else.

“We started out with just pen and paper and photographs but now we can go under cover and map in 3D, and provide detailed information free online.”

He said better mapping and support from the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) allowed industry to undertake exploration in the right areas leading to a greater likelihood of successful projects.

Eminent geoscientist and former WA Chief Scientist Professor Bruce Hobbs, who nominated Dr Tyler for the medal, presented the citation outlining his extensive achievements at the awards event.

“Since commencing with the Geological Survey of Western Australia in 1981, Ian Tyler’s work has been directed towards developing a coherent understanding of the State’s geology through careful and systematic field mapping, successfully integrated with multi-disciplinary studies,” Professor Hobbs said.

“He is recognised nationally and internationally as one of Australia’s leading regional geologists and the quality of work produced by mapping teams led by Ian is of a standard that is arguably unsurpassed by any mapping group in Australia.”

Dr Tyler’s work in the design and implementation of DMP’s Exploration and Incentive Scheme (EIS), which began in 2009 funded through Royalties for Regions, also earned praise.

Professor Hobbs said the EIS and GSWA scientific programs had led directly and indirectly to more than 20 new discoveries in a range of commodities.

He also highlighted Dr Tyler’s impressive number of publications and roles on various committees throughout his career.

Dr Tyler said being nominated by Professor Hobbs made receiving the medal even more special given that he still treasures his first edition of the textbook ‘An Outline of Structural Geology’ co-authored by Professor Hobbs and published in 1976.