SCHOOL OF PHYSICS UPDATE

AUGUST 2014

STAFF NEWS

Staff arrivals & departures

The School of Physics welcomes the following new (and returning) staff members:
  • Dr Louise Bendall, Medical Physics
  • Dr Sam Blake, Medical Physics
  • Lorraine Di-Masi, Quantum Physics Admin
  • Shiva Ford, Outreach Project Officer
  • A/Professor Maryanne Large, CUDOS
  • Dr Antonio Limosani, Particle Physics
  • Dr Vanessa Moss, SIfA
  • Dr Michael Schmidt, Particle Physics
  • Dr Oded Shrier, Applied Physics
  • Dr Thorsten Tepper Garcia, SIfA
  • Dr Marco Tomamichel, Quantum Physics
  • Wicky West, Quantum Physics Finance
We say farewell and offer our thanks and best wishes to the following staff:
  • Dr Jochen Schroeder (now at RMIT)
  • Dr Christian Hansen (now at Odense University Hospital, Denmark)
  • Leanne Price (now at Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)
  • Dr Jonathan Sykes (now at St. James University Hospital, UK)
  • Dr Neil Nosworthy
  • Professor Bryan Gaensler (SIfA and Director of CAASTRO) will take up a position as the Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto from January 2015. Professor Gaensler will retain close connections with research projects and collaborators in Australia.
  • A/Professor Brian James has given his last lecture after a long teaching career that began in 1968 and continued well after his retirement in 2006. He will continue to teach in the Senior lab.

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RESEARCH SUCCESS

ARC Laureate Fellowships

Both Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn and Professor Peter Robinson have been recognised with these highly prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) fellowships.

Read the full story here.

ARC Future Fellowships

Three of thirteen ARC Future Fellowships for the University came to the School Physics; an excellent result. We congratulate the following recipients:
  • Krzysztof Bolejko, a current USyd Postdoctoral Fellow in SIfA. Project title: General relativistic light propagation effects: new insight into dark matter, dark energy, and Einstein's theory of gravity.
  • Jan Hamann, a current Postdoctoral Fellow at CERN, Switzerland. Project title: Fundamental physics with the large scale structure of the Universe.
  • Dennis Stello, a current Discovery Early Career Researcher Award holder in SIfA. Project title: Using the sounds of stars to reveal the Milky Way's evolution.

Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program

The Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program is aimed at improving student engagement in maths and science courses at university and schools, through innovative partnerships between universities, schools and organisations.

$16.4 million from the Department of Education was awarded to a number of projects, including two at the School of Physics. Congratulations to:
  • A/Professor Manju Sharma and her team. Project title: Advancing Science and Engineering through Laboratory Learning: ASELL for Schools.
  • CAASTRO group. Project title: CAASTRO in the Classroom.

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GENEROUS GIFT TO THE QUANTUM CONTROL LABORATORY

Donation from Anne and Hugh Harley

The half million dollar gift expresses the Harley's support for transformative possibilities of quantum science and is a chance to give back to an institution that four generations of their family have attended.

The Quantum Control Laboratory is led by Director, A/Professor Michael Biercuk, who is also a chief investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.

Read the full story here.

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AWARDS AND PRIZES

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr William Tango, a longstanding member of the academic staff (recently retired) was awarded the 2014 Fizeau Prize from the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The award, announced during the Montreal
SPIE 2014 conference, was for "lifetime achievement" in forwarding the theory, technology and practice of optical interferometry.

Dr Tango has been involved in the construction & operation of several major ground based instruments, including most recently the Sydney University Stellar Interfereometer (SUSI). The students he has mentored have themselves gone on to positions of leadership in this field, extending even further his wide-ranging influence on optical interferometry.

Student Prize

Congratulations to Emma Lindley who was awarded the best student poster prize in her category at the Montreal SPIE 2014 conference.

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OUTREACH

Kickstart on the Road

The Faculty of Science outreach team recently visited Armidale, Broken Hill and Dubbo. High school students were given the opportunity to interact with hands-on activities in Kickstart on the Road workshops.

Kickstart is the flagship outreach program for the University of Sydney Faculty of Science. Kickstart workshops are interactive with educational sessions specifically designed around the HSC Science syllabus. The Kickstart program runs regularly in Sydney, with over 5,000 high school students participating in the workshops each year. In fact, for Kickstart Physics alone, almost one quarter of the entire physics cohort for the HSC visited the flagship outreach program in 2013.

The Kickstart on the Road workshops introduce students to specialist experiments and concepts and is a wonderful opportunity to take our program out of the University labs and into high schools in regional areas.

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WORK, HEALTH AND SAFETY

Safety Campaigns

The School's Safety Committee will be running a number of Safety Campaigns over the coming year.

Ergonomics is the focus of the inaugural Safety Campaign - see Setting up your Workstation on the WHS website or the WHS noticeboards in the A28 Tea Room, Rosehill Street, Madsen and Carslaw 1st year teaching labs.

Please contact any member of the Safety Committee if you have any questions regarding Work, Health and Safety in the School.

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AIN UPDATE

The building's concrete structure is almost complete. At the same time, the installation of services on all three levels has begun. This includes for example, the air conditioning ducts for the sensitive "A" labs in which temperature is controlled to +/-0.1 degree. In the nearby cleanroom, 700m^2 of column free space is taking shape. Working further to the east, the ceiling for the 300 seat lecture theatre is scheduled to be completed next week. Around the corner in the workspace area, the frames for some of the internal spaces are going up.
 
In the following weeks, the curtain wall and facade will appear. The facade is completely glass and includes an interesting "frit" pattern, which provides a consistent but modern aesthetic to compliment A28. Once this is done, some people might think the building is almost complete but there is still a lot more detailed work to do.
 
We are very pleased to advise that Dr Don Parkin has been appointed by the University as Chief Operating Officer for the AIN.

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ADMIN INFORMATION

PhD & MSc Thesis Submission and Examination

A detailed timeline and process for thesis submission and examination is available for students and supervisors.

School Vehicles

An updated policy on the use of motor vehicles and relevant authorisation form is now available on the Policies and Documents website.

Sydney Student

Release 3 of the Sydney Student Program (SSP) is live and being used successfully by staff and students. As of 17 July, almost 42,000 students had logged in to the Sydney Student portal and started their self-service administration. More than 2,000 students completed their online enrolment, with more than 50% enrolling outside of business hours.

Release 4A for exams administration was implemented on 28 July. Exams will now be managed centrally using Sydney Student. Release 4B will focus on research degree management with implementation expected towards the end of year.

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
  • Room 226B - max. 4 people
  • 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.

IT Support

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

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