School of Physics update
31 October 2016
School of Physics update
October 2016
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Staff News
The School of Physics welcomes the following new staff members:
  • Dr Scott Cornish, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, SUPER
  • Professor Annette Haworth, Professor of Medical Physics
  • Dr Shelley Wickham, USyd Postdoctoral Research Fellow, AINST
We say farewell and offer our thanks and best wishes to the following staff:
  • Mr Michael Craggs (returned to AusDiagnostics Pty. Ltd.)
  • Mrs Shiva Ford (now at STEM Academy)
  • Dr André Kyme (now at Faculty of Engineering)
  • Mr Wayne Peacock
  • Dr David Rebolledo Lara (now at the University of Chile)
  • Dr Dennis Stello (now at UNSW)
  • Dr Xiaoli Tang
Scholarly Teaching Fellow appointments
Congratulations to Drs Helen Johnston and Arne Geschke on their appointments as continuing Scholarly Teaching Fellows in the School. Helen will continue teaching and coordination activities as First Year Physics Director. Arne will continue teaching and coordination into the Masters of Sustainability program.

Congratulations to Dr Chris Ferrie (Quantum Physics) on his recent promotion to Level B.

Passing of Associate Professor John Lehane
Associate Professor John Lehane has passed away aged 82 and the funeral will be at 12.30 pm on Wednesday 2 November at Point Clare Cemetery. John was a staff member in the School from 1961 to 1994 working in plasma physics. There will be an obituary in the next School update.

Research News
Industry and Community Engagement Grant Seed Fund
Congratulations to Professors Ben Eggleton and David McKenzie on their success in receiving funding from the University's Industry and Community Engagement Grant Seed Fund scheme.

The scheme facilitates partnerships between University researchers and industry or commercial enterprises to deliver creative real-world solutions.

Professor Benjamin Eggleton: Laser technology for self-driving cars
Professor Eggleton will partner with technology company Baraja, which makes high-resolution 3D machine vision systems for autonomous vehicles, robotics, site surveying and mining applications. In this $37,000 project, Professor Eggleton will help develop Baraja’s laser technology.

Professor David McKenzie - Improving medical diagnostics and drug delivery
New therapies for cancer use a targeting agent (antibody) combined with a chemotherapy drug. Professor McKenzie will partner with Chris O'Brien LifeHouse on this $90,000 project to improve and generalise this approach by adding a ‘smart’ nanoparticle that acts as a carrier for binding both the targeting agent and the drug.

ARC Centres of Excellence
Congratulations to the researchers in the School who were successful in the most recent round of ARC Centres of Excellence:

Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions, to answer fundamental questions in astrophysics including the origin of matter, ($30.3m) headquartered at the Australian National University.

Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems, to build sophisticated quantum machines to harness the quantum world, ($31.9m) headquartered at the University of Queensland.

Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, to use quantum processors to potentially transform all industries dependent on computers, ($33.7m) headquartered at UNSW.

Sydney Informatics Hub
Congratulations to Professor Geraint Lewis on his appointment as Associate Academic Director (Modelling, Simulation & Bioinformatics) within the Sydney Informatics Hub. His role will drive the provision of infrastructure, software and support for modeling, simulations, (bio)informatics and high level visualisation, as well as growing the community of researchers and research areas that rely on high performance computing and big data.

Awards and Prizes
NSW Premier's Prize for Science and Engineering
Congratulations to Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn on being awarded the NSW Premier's Prize for Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry and Physics. For more than two decades, Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn has played a key role in keeping Australia at the forefront of optical astronomy, in particular, through his development of galactic archaeology and near-field cosmology. His outstanding research at the interface between astrophysics and new technologies has led to innovative astronomical instruments and devices used in other applied fields.

Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence
Congratulations to Kate Gunn, Chief Operating Officer of CAASTRO, on being recognised in the inaugural Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. Kate will receive one of four University awards for Outstanding Contribution to Research Excellence.

100 Women of Influence
Congratulations to Adjunct Associate Professor Natalka Suchowerska who has been named in the The Australian Financial Review Westpac Women of Influence list of 2016 for her research in medical physics and leader in innovation.

16th Australian Space Research Conference
Congratulations to PhD student Ron Maj on being awarded second prize for Best Student Oral Presentation at the recent Australian Space Research Conference held in Melbourne for his talk titled "Quasi-Thermal Noise Spectroscopy on a Cubesat in Earth's Ionosphere".

Young Australian of the Year Finalist
Congratulations to Cleo Loi, former Honours student, who has been announced as a state finalist for 2017 Young Australian of the Year awards. Cleo authored five scientific papers as an undergraduate student and is now undertaking her PhD at Cambridge.
Vale Dr Peter Jones
Dr Peter Jones, a graduate and long-time friend of the School of Physics, passed away on 26 August 2016. Peter served as President of the Physics Foundation from 1993 to 1996 and was awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of the University in 2000.

Peter graduated from this University with a Science and then Aeronautical Engineering degrees, followed by a PhD. He was one of the earliest users of advanced computing facilities in this University, indeed in the world: during his PhD, he made extensive use of the University's SILLIAC computer, then at the forefront of advanced computing.

He held academic appointments in computing at the University of NSW and at the ANU. Dr Jones was closely involved in the development of 'super computing' and was the founder of several successful companies that pioneered high-speed data communication and local networking of computing systems.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr Jones participated actively in the development of computer science and technology and in the promotion of the use of computers in our society.
One number, one University Service Desk
Getting service support just got simpler, with one new number to contact service desks for Campus Infrastructure and Services, Finance, HR and ICT.

The new University service desk number: 9351 2000

To make operational support easier to obtain, we have introduced a single number you can dial to reach these service desks. This improvement is one of many collaborative opportunities, which will lead to more streamlined and effective services from Operations.

When you dial 02 9351 2000, you will get access to six service desks:
  • Campus Security
  • ICT
  • Human Resources
  • Campus Infrastructure and Services
  • Finance
  • University switchboard
Simply follow the voice prompts to reach the service desk you need.

What will happen to existing numbers?
During this transition, existing service desk numbers will remain functional.
There is no need to update historic content or documents with the new number, and we will be tracking and monitoring use of the old phone numbers before any decisions are made.
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