Professor John Howard

Howard, John profile
Department Materials Physics
Research group Experimental plasma science group
Office phone (02) 612 53751
Office Off Campus AM


John Howard obtained his BSc (Hons I + medal) and PhD degree in 1983 in the field of plasma physics at the University of Sydney. He subsequently worked in the Dept of Electrical Engineering at UCLA until his return to the Australian National University in 1989. Prof Howard has worked on many aspects relating to the diagnosis and physics of plasmas in the H-1 heliac. He also has interests in the broad area of remote sensing and inverse methods with strong links into industry. He has been head of the Plasma Research Laboratory since 2009.

Professor Howard is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and served as a member of the editorial board of Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion for many years. He also serves from time to time on various international review and/or conference committees and has organised the very successful biannual Japan-Australia Plasma diagnostics workshop series since 2002. Since 2008, he has won more than $2.5M in research grants and has delivered 8 invited talks at international conferences. Prof Howard has published approximately 100 papers in peer reviewed journals.

Professor Howard invented coherence imaging optical systems that are now installed on many of the world's largest fusion devices.  Based on this work he was a finalist in the 2012 Australian Innovation Challenge.

Professor Howard has supervised or advised more than 20 PhD or MPhil students and 10 honours students.

Research interests

Advanced Imaging and Inverse Methods (AIIM)

Plasma diagnostic and remote sensing systems
Inverse methods (tomography)
Toroidal plasma confinement
Coherence imaging systems