MARCH 2014


Staff arrivals & departures

The School of Physics welcomes the following new staff members who have joined us this year:
  • Dr David Appleby, Quantum Science
  • Associate Professor Joerg Lehmann, Medical Physics
  • Dr Anthony Conn, SIfA
  • Dr Tara Murphy, who was previously on a 50-50 shared appointment with the School of IT, is now 100% in the School of Physics. 
We say farewell and offer our thanks and best wishes to the following staff:
  • Jane Conway (now at UNSW)
  • Assoc. Prof. Stuart Jackson (now at Macquarie University)
  • Prof. David Moss (now at RMIT)
  • Assoc. Prof. Yves  De Deene (moving to Macquarie University)
Congratulations to Ross McPhedran on his retirement after a long and distinguished career, which was recognised by the University Senate with the conferment of the title of Professor Emeritus.  We look forward to Ross' continued involvement with the School over the coming years.

Staff roles

We are pleased to advise the following changes to staff roles:
  • Eve Teran is Acting School Administration Manager
  • John O'Byrne has been appointed to the newly-created Faculty position of Associate Dean (Standards)
  • Ralf Wilson has replaced Stuart Jackson as the School's laser safety officer
  • Julia Bryant has replaced Yves De Deene on the School Safety Committee
  • Zdenka Kuncic has joined the University's Steering Group for Research Computing
  • Andrew Doherty has joined a Faculty working group on the new Research Data Management Policy
  • Geraint Lewis is the University ERA Steward for citation-based disciplines

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  • Paul Stewart (SIfA PhD student) was runner-up in the 2014 CISRA/CANON extreme imaging awards, announced 27 March at a gala event at the Powerhouse Museum. Paul's award was based on his innovative use of data from the Cassini spacecraft to image distant stars, which won him a prize of $3K worth of CANON camera gear. At the same awards, Alessandro Tuniz (CUDOS PhD student) was highly commended. Note that this award was won last year by Barnaby Norris (SIfA PhD student). 
  • Chris Boshuizen, a BSc and PhD graduate of the School of Physics and co-founder of Planet Labs Planet Labs Inc., won an Advance Global Australian Award in the category of Advanced Manufacturing for his work in bringing the benefits of space exploration to humanity. Chris received the award at a ceremony at the Opera House on 13 March, and was also announced as the overall winner of the 2014 Advance Global Australian Awards.
  • On 12 March there was a reception at Government House to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Physics Foundation, hosted by Her Excellency Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW, and Sir Nicholas Shehadie. 
For full details on these and other stories, please see the Latest News page.
If you have a newsworthy announcement, please contact Tom Gordon.

Australia Day Honours

  • Aina Musaeva, PhD student in SIfA, received an Australia Day Award from the National Council of Women (NSW). Aina was one of eleven young women from across NSW (in fields as diverse as history, graphic design, science and law) chosen to receive a cash award to assist with their PhD studies.
  • Trevor Danos, member and past president of the Physics Foundation Council, was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for significant service to the community through contributions to a range of scientific, education, government, legal and charitable associations.
  • David Mills, member of the Physics Foundation and a former member of our staff, was also awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division, for significant service to science in the field of applied physics, particularly solar energy research and development.
  • Bruce McKellar, who graduated with a BSc and PhD from the School and later became a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer here, was made Companion of the Order of Australia. Bruce left here in the early 1970s to take up the Chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Melbourne and later served as Dean of Science there for several years.

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Relocations and building works

As of the start of this year Physics staff and students have vacated the Ross Street building. Manju Sharma and the SUPER group, as well as our Honorary staff have moved to the Victor Coppleson building adjacent to A28.

The computing lab for Medical Physics students has been moved to the Madsen Building, Room 430.

Work has been completed on expansion of the Quantum Laboratory on level 3, A28.

Dr Stefano Palomba has moved into a new lab in Room 346, A28. Lab specifications include a +/- 1.5C temperature stability and humidity control to less than 40% RH. A fully compliant laser interlock system has been installed, which we hope will become a standard feature of all future laser laboratory fit-outs.

The AIN-Physics Building

The first walls and columns for the new building have now been completed, along with parts of the formwork for the primary suspended level. This will allow sections of the first level slab to be poured over the next few days. The other parts of the slab will be completed progressively, including the green roof section. The green roof presents one of the biggest challenges for the construction team because it sits over the cleanroom and must be completely waterproof. To help achieve this, the entire green roof slab is being poured in one go, so that there will be no construction joints and limited ingress paths for water should the membrane fail.

Design meetings are proceeding in parallel with construction and approximately 30% of the sign-offs have been completed.

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Booking Systems

A reminder that the School Booking system is now in place to self-book the following rooms and resources:
  • School Vehicles
  • Conference Phone
  • Data Projector
  • Carslaw Computational Lab 177
  • Foundation Room 208
  • Tutorial Room 414A
  • Tea Room
  • Rosehill Street Boardroom
  • Parking Permit
The Web Helpdesk should be used for HR, Finance, building and cleaning issues, Cab Charge and Parking Vouchers, Key Requests and Security Access requests.

For IT support and information, please refer to the Physics IT support website.

Information for New Staff and Students

Local information for new staff and students on the School website has recently been revised and updated.

Your comments and feedback are welcome, please send these to Eve Teran, Acting School Administration Manager,

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