School of Physics update
1 December 2015
School of Physics update
December 2015
Winning image in the LMA Micrograph Competition by Dr Honglin An.
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Staff News
The School of Physics welcomes the following new staff members:
  • Helen Keys, CAASTRO
  • Dr Elizabeth Mahony, SIfA
We say farewell and offer our thanks and best wishes to the following staff:
  • Dr Romesh Abeysuriya (appointed to the University of Oxford)
  • Dr Mohammad Barakat (appointed to the University of Wollongong)
  • Dr Matthew Field (appointed to the University of Wollongong)
  • Dr Lisa Fogarty (returning to the UK)
  • Emily Higginson (appointed to the Faculty of Medicine)
  • George Shan (now at ICT)
  • Michelle Sullivan (now at AINST)
  • Dr Tony Monger has left the School after more than 20 years of supporting IT systems and computers.

Congratulations to Dr David Marpaung and Dr Chunle Xiong on their promotions to Level C.

School Management Roles
Professor Geraint Lewis will be stepping down as Associate Head (Research) after nearly five years in this role. Many thanks to Geraint for his excellent service. We are very pleased to advise Professor Stephen Bartlett has agreed to take on this important role, which includes membership of the School Management Committee.

Professor Peter Tuthill will take over as Honours Coordinator. Meanwhile, Associate Professor Boris Kuhlmey will take over as Coordinator for Senior Physics from Associate Professor Mike Wheatland, who is taking sabbatical under the Special Studies Program.

Many thanks also to Professor Martijn de Sterke for his terrific work over the past three years as Associate Head (AIN Project). With the successful completion of the new building, that role has now come to an end. Martijn has kindly agreed to take over from Professor Don Melrose as the academic assisting with promotion applications.

Faculty Board
Congratulations to Kate Gunn and Elizabeth Starkey on being appointed to the Faculty Board as professional staff members.
Messel and USyd Postdoctoral Research Fellows
The School of Physics is delighted to announce the successful postdoctoral fellows joining us in 2016:
  • Dr Shelley Wickham is the Professor Harry Messel Research Fellow and University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellow (joint appointment with Chemistry). Project title: Exploring the physics and biology of cooperativity on the nanoscale.
  • Dr Shari Breen is a University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellow in SIfA. Project title: Solving the mysteries of high-mass star formation.
ARC and other Research Grant Success
Congratulations to all of our successful ARC applicants.

  • Dr Andre Kyme: Develop motion tracking methods allowing human and animal subjects to move without degrading the quality of information
  • Dr Marco Tomamichel: Engineering future quantum information processors
Discovery Projects
  • Dr Pulin Gong: Propagating neural waves
  • Dr Pulin Gong: Spiking variability and neural correlations
  • Professor Don Melrose and A/Professor Mike Wheatland: Developing a new model for solar flares and pulsars
  • Professor Ben Eggleton (led by Macquarie): Combining new concepts in the theory of nonlinear optics with advanced experiments
  • A/Professor Roger Fulton: Insights into the effects of anaesthetics on brain function and repair
  • A/Professor Roger Fulton: Understanding the neurobiological basis of learning and decision-making in the brain
  • Professor Geraint Lewis (1st CI): Distributed memory cluster – a new supercomputing facility
  • Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn (1st CI) and Dr Sergio Leon-Saval: PRAXIS - beating the infrared night sky with multicore fibre Bragg gratings
  • Professor Anne Green and Dr David Rebolledo Lara (led by UNSW): The Mopra Radio Telescope
  • Professor David Reilly (led by UNSW): Silicon low-pressure chemical vapour deposition facility
  • Professor Manfred Lenzen (led by UNSW): Enhanced modelling capacity for the Industrial Ecology Virtual Laboratory
  • Professor Cathy Stampfl (led by UNSW): High temperature atomic structure and physical property analysis facility
  • Professor Tim Bedding, Dr Daniel Huber and Dr Dennis Stello (led by UNSW): MINERVA Australia - A dedicated southern hemisphere exoplanet observatory
  • Dr Dennis Stello and Dr Daniel Huber (led by UNSW): VeloceCal - hyper-calibrating Australia's planet foundry
  • Dr Mark Pelusi and Dr David Marpaung (led by Melbourne): Ultra-fast optoelectronic characterisation for optical and wireless systems
  • Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn and A/Professor Scott Croom (led by UWA): Australian membership of the European 4MOST consortium
  • Professor Bryan Gaensler, Dr Tara Murphy and Professor Iver Cairns (led by Curtin): Expanding our view of the Universe with the Murchison Widefield Array

International Program Development Funding Scheme

Congratulations to Professor Zdenka Kunic, who was recently awarded a research grant through the IPDF joint scheme with Yonsei University. The successful research project is titled: Materials at the nanoscale for optics and quantum science.
Awards and Prizes
AOS W.H. (Beattie) Steel Medal
Congratulations to Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn on being awarded the W.H. (Beattie) Steel Medal from the Australian Optical Society. This Medal is the most prestigious award of the Australian Optical Society and is presented to a nominee at an advanced stage of their professional career with a strong and sustained record of authority, enterprise and innovation in the field of optics in Australia or New Zealand.

8th HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates
Congratulations to Dr Prabhjot Juneja on being nominated by the Australian Academy of Sciences to attend the 8th HOPE meeting with Nobel Laureates. Dr Juneja is one of six Australian early career researchers who will attend the March 2016 meeting in Japan.

LMA Micrograph Competition
Congratulations to Dr Honglin An on winning first place in the LMA Micrograph Competition. His winning image Sodium metasilicate crystals on the surface of 45S5 bioglass is featured in the masthead.

Canon Extreme Imaging Prize
Congratulations to Cleo Loi on winning first place in the open category of the Canon Extreme Imaging Prize. The prize was awarded for her work on imaging the ionoshpere with the Murchison Widefield Array.

Physics Building (A28) Level 3 Redevelopment
The School is currently finalising plans to redevelop A28 to accommodate SIfA/CAASTRO (currently located at Redfern) and School people in Victor Coppleson (building scheduled for demolition). This refurbishment will involve the majority of Level 3 and the mezzanine of 2nd year lab. The major outcomes of the project include:
  • Conversion of LT4 into office accommodation
  • Refurbishment of most of the existing Level 3 offices
  • New stairway access and offices on the mezzanine of 2nd year lab
  • Conversion of the current tea room into workspace accommodation
  • New tea/breakout area in the middle of Level 3, including double height void space, meeting room and mezzanine
  • Total of 3 new meeting rooms on Level 3
  • Video conference facilities added to Room 414
  • Improvements to the link bridge connection area from Physics (A28) to the SNH (A31)
Works are expected to be commence at the end of this year and will most likely be staged to minimise disruption. Affected people will be contacted well in advance of any works.

The School has a small working group of users that are representing their respective areas. If you would like more information on the project, please contact the relevant people below.

A28 Level 3 Redevelopment Working Group Members
Head of School, Professor Tim Bedding; Deputy Head of School, Professor Simon Fleming; Particle Physics, A/Professor Kevin Varvell; SIfA/CAASTRO, Kate Gunn and Professor Peter Tuthill; CUDOS/IPOS, Professor Martijn deSterke and Shelley Martin; Chair of Space & Infrastructure Committee, David Beech; Project Manager, Nathan Apps.
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