School of Physics update
30 November 2016
School of Physics update
December 2016
'FluroSat' team - Winners of the Inventing the Future postgraduate start-up and innovation course
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Staff News
We say farewell and offer our thanks and best wishes to Jacqui Charlesworth who is now working at NSW Health.

Microsoft announcement
Professor David Reilly's group will be part of Microsoft's major new commitment to the development of quantum computing. David and his colleagues have been working with Microsoft for several years on this research. 

In this next stage, David will take up a position with Microsoft as a Principal Researcher. He will remain based here in the School of Physics and will continue as Director of the School's newly-formed Centre for Quantum Machines.

SOAR Fellowship

Congratulations to A/Professor Tara Murphy, who was awarded one of the inaugural Sydney University Accelerator (SOAR) fellowships for her project Using gravitational waves to understand our universe.

Messel Research Fellowship
Congratulations to Dr Andrea Blanco-Redondo on her appointment as the Professor Harry Messel Research Fellow in the School. Andrea’s research will focus on pure-quartic solitons and their potential for use in breakthrough applications in science and technology. As a current staff member of CUDOS, she will continue and further develop existing research collaborations with her colleagues in the School and those further afield.

University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Congratulations to Drs Ben Brown and Alessandro Tuniz on their appointments as University of Sydney Postdoctoral Fellows. Ben's research will focus on theory of quantum computing, while Alessandro will undertake research in nonlinear optics. Both fellows are set to join the School in June 2017.
Research News
University Equipment Grants
Congratulations to Professor Ben Eggleton, A/Professor Rongkun Zheng, Dr Stefano Palomba and Professors David Reilly, Andrew Doherty and A/Professor Mike Biercuk, who were awarded University of Sydney Equipment Grants.

ARC Grants Success
Congratulations to the researchers in the School who were successful in the most recent round of ARC funding announcements:

As we celebrate our successes this year, its timely to remind everyone who is eligible to apply for the next funding round that the University's research portfolio can assist with getting started early. More information on the School's review process for the next round ARC grants will be circulated in the near future.

Discovery Early Career Research Awards (DECRA):
  • Dr Amol Choudhary, CUDOS, On-chip generation and processing of high-power multi-GHz frequency combs
  • Dr Christopher Ferrie, Quantum, Using quantum artificial intelligence to bootstrap a quantum computer
 Discovery Projects (DP) - 7 led by our staff:
  • Professors Stephen Bartlett and Andrew Doherty, Symmetry and topology for quantum information
  • Professor Tim Bedding and Dr Daniel Huber, The Gaia/Kepler revolution for asteroseismology and exoplanets
  • Professor Simon Fleming, A/Professor Maryanne Large and Professor Raman Kashyap, Metal dielectric microstructures: Tuneable metamaterials to medical devices
  • Professors David McKenzie and Dougal McCulloch, and Dr James Partridge, Diamond glass: An all-carbon technology for neural networks and biosensing
  • Professor Peter Robinson, Dr Mark Schira and Professor Michael Breakspear, Functional magnetic resonance imaging: Decoding the palimpsest
  • Professors Kevin Varvell and Leo Piilonen, Rare decays of B mesons: Probing new physics with Belle II
  • Drs Bruce Yabsley and Alexandr Kuzmin, Antimatter and exotic mesons at the intensity frontier
  • A/Professor Stuart Jackson, Drs Alexander Fuerbach and Darren Hudson (Honorary), (Macquarie University), Producing optimally short pulses at long wavelengths
  • Professors Dougal McCulloch and David McKenzie, Drs Bianca Haberl and Reinhard Boehler (RMIT), Using extreme conditions to synthesise new materials
Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) - 2 led by our staff:
  • Professor Jonathan Bland-Hawthorn (1st CI), Professor Scott Croom and Dr Julia Bryant, Hector-1: Unravelling how galaxies evolve
  • Dr Stefano Palomba (1st CI), A multiple ion beam facility for microscopy and nanofabrication
  • Professor Anne Green (led by University of Adelaide), The Cherenkov Telescope Array - Production phase
  • Professor Geraint Lewis (led by UNSW), Access to the National Computing Infrastructure peak supercomputing facility
  • Associate Professor Rongkun Zheng (led by UNSW), Plasma-focused ion beam for nanoscale characterisation of materials
Awards and Prizes
Australian Academy of Science Annual Awards
Congratulations to Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn on being awarded the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal from the Australian Academy of Science. Joss is the first University of Sydney academic to win the prestigious biennial 2017 Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal medal in 30 years, and is the first astronomer to do so in over 40 years. He was recognised for his seminal contributions to astrophysics and instrumentation.

Since 1935, there have only been five previous Sydney recipients: D.B. Melrose (1987), R. Hanbury Brown (1970), S.T. Butler (1966), H.O. Lancaster (1961), and K.E. Bullen (1949).

Australian Optical Society Prize
Congratulations to Dr Andrea Blanco-Redondo on being awarded the Geoff Opat Early Career Researchers Prize by the Australian Optical Society. This prize recognises an outstanding early career researcher for their contributions to the field of optics.

Innovation Pilot Program Winner

Congratulations to Xanthe Croot, PhD student, and her fellow team members on winning first prize of $5000 in the inaugural Inventing the Future program. Xanthe and the rest of her 'FluroSat' team took part in a cross-disciplinary program involving postgraduate and research students from the Faculties of Science, Architecture, Design and Planning, Engineering and IT and the Sydney Business School.

Over 11 weeks, the students took part in the complete process of innovation, from ideation to prototyping to a funding pitch to industry, enabled by interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-faculty teaching. 'FluroSat' team's winning project utilises remotely sensed data captured by nanosatellites to provide farmers with early notification of crop stress and enabling them to respond quickly to protect crop yields.

Xanthe is currently engaging further with industry experts, as she was also awarded a Startup Catalyst scholarship to take on her on a 10-day immersive mission to Silicon Valley. This scholarship aims to expose future and current entrepreneurs to fast paced, startup rich environments with the goal of transforming the startup and innovation landscape in Australia.

Sydney Vital Cancer Research Pitch Award
Congratulations to Yaser Gholami who has won the best Sydney Vital Cancer Research Pitch award for developing a theronastic nanoplatform for simultaneous multimodal molecular imaging (PET/MR/SPECT/CT) and targeted radionuclide therapy. This innovation has the potential to significantly improve both diagnostic and therapeutic outcome for patients with lymphatic cancer metastasis (stage four cancer).
Yaser has further developed the current radiolabelling technique to radiolabel theronastic and therapeutic isotopes with super-paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with high radiochemical yield and purity without using chelator. This could also have a great impact on the radiopharmacy field in developing new radiopharmaceutical drugs with high radiochemical efficiency and stability in a cost effective manner.
Vale Associate Professor John Lehane
Dr John Lehane, a graduate and long-term academic staff member of the School of Physic passed away on Monday 24th October. He was 82 years old.

John graduated BSc with First Class Honours in Physics and the University Medal in 1955. He was awarded a PhD in 1961 for his research with the Falkiner High Energy Department, after which he changed field to work for two years at with The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in the emerging field of thermonuclear energy research.

In 1964 John returned to the University of Sydney as a Lecturer in the newly established Wills Plasma Physics Department where he was one of a group of three plasma researcher who designed and lead the construction of the TORTUS tokamak, which was the focus of the Plasma Physics group’s research through the 1980s and beyond. He was an active and well respected teacher, his major achievement being the major upgrade of the First and Second Year laboratory courses from 1967 to 1971. John advanced steadily through the academic ranks, retiring as an Associate Professor in 1994.   

A funeral service was held at Point Clare Cemetery on Wednesday 2nd November.
2016-2017 University Closedown
Each year the University closes for two weeks over the Christmas period. We do this to provide staff with an opportunity to take a complete break from work and spend time with their family and friends.

This break also enables us to shut down a significant proportion of the buildings on campus, which has environmental and financial benefits for the University.

The University will close from 19 December 2016 to 2 January 2017 inclusive.
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