The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 43 no 61 | 19–23 March 2018


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Our congratulations go to Professor David McClelland, on receiving his Boas medal recently from the president of the Australian Institute of Physics, Professor Andrew Peele (shown above).  David received the honour, "for key contributions to one of the greatest achievements in the history of physics – the observation of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)."

Performance and Development and Review (PDR). The Departmental 3-6-9 process is a chance to derive some of the elements used in your PDR. Groups discussions such as the one around 3-6-9’s can be an easy way to develop your goals.  Heads have some notes on strategies for making this a facile and helpful conversation.   Those notes also include key parts of the ANU Strategic Plan that you should address as you formulate your goals. Please think creatively about your PDR, it shouldn’t seem like hard work.  All PDRs are due to be initiated by 16th May and are a prerequisite for promotion applications and accelerated increments.

New Masters programs. The Australian tertiary sector is under review and now, more than ever, is the time to consider how our Masters programs will develop.  At the last School Forum, Dr Robert Ward, said a few words about how an exciting new MSc in scientific instrumentation will be coordinated between RSES, RSAA and RSPE.  There is also a discussion arising around how we might prepare future graduates as quantum technologists (comms, sensors and computing).  On Monday, 26th at 1230 in the School Seminar Room (Physics South) we will introduce some early thoughts around this topic.  From this I will call for interest in forming a small, diverse panel who will lead the scoping of a potential new master program, MSc(Quantum Technology). The meeting has been called to hear your views and gauge your enthusiasm to develop this course outline in parallel to the process bring run by Robert.  If this seem feasible then I’ll ask some quantum-focussed group leaders to assist in putting the team together from interested people (students and staff).  If you can’t make the Monday meeting, please send Sue an email registering your interest.

Have a good week,



All School Morning Tea

Please join us on Tuesday 20th March @ 10:00 am in the RSPE link tea room to farewell the School Manager, Stewart Hilton.


Robert and Helen Crompton Award 2018

Nominations are being sought for this generous Award which provides funding of up to $15,000 to assist postgraduate research students enrolled in RSPE.

» read more


PhB mentors  and projects required

There are 12 new PhB first year students in Physics requiring an academic mentor this year and PhB students are always on the lookout for projects. Please contact Jodie Bradby if you are willing to be a mentor or project instructor for one of our students. 

» read more


Funding opportunities and prizes

Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science
PHC FASIC 2018 Program: applications are now open

» read more


Award for Space Plasma, Astronomy and Astrophysics

The scholarship is intended to aid postgraduate and research students undertaking a project in Space Plasma, Astronomy or Astrophysics and in exceptional circumstances to an undergraduate.

» read more


The award rejection that shook astronomy

Margaret Burbidge’s 1971 decision to decline the Annie Jump Cannon Award forced the astronomy community to reconsider the prize and examine discrimination against women in the field.

» read more


WHS Courses

Information about promoting and ensuring health and safety in the university workplace can be found at the ANU Health and Safety site.

Register via HORUS for Work, Health and Safety Courses available in April.

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RSPE Emergency Procedures

All staff and students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the school emergency procedures. Please see the intranet for complete details.

RSPE Guide to safety


Building Services

For any general building issues: lights not working, plumbing problems, doors not locking and so on, please use the school’s work request system to log a job

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School Seminars

20 Mar - Dr Frank Setzpfandt
Quantum sensing and imaging with correlated photon pairs
» read more

21 Mar - Dr Guillaume Scamps
Effect of superfluidity on fusion reactions, from TDHFB calculation to empirical evidence
» read more


Staff Movements

Benjamin Parker-Brown from Purchasing/Store will be on annual leave from 19 March- 6 April. All work requests should be sent to to be processed.

Andrea Butler will be away on annual leave Wednesday 21 - Friday 23 March. Kathy Hicks will be Acting Team Leader during this absence. Please send urgent requests to

Facilities and Service
Graeme Cornish will be on annual leave from 13 March - 9 April 2018. Tim Sawkins will be acting during this period. Please contact Tim on

While we undertake the recruitment process to replace Laura’s position in the Student Administration area, Karen Nulty will be assisting PEC with student related matters. Karen will be located in Laura’s office in building 38a on Monday, Wednesday (full days 9.30am to 5pm) and Friday afternoon (2pm – 5 pm). Karen can be contact via email

Research Office
Welcome to Katherine Hammersley, Assistant Manager (Research Management). Dr Mary Gray will be taking up a new role in the College of Health and Medicine (Grant Specialist) from 15 March.


Building Security

Our cleaning staff have bought to our attention that a number of offices and external windows are being left unlocked overnight.  Can everyone please ensure that our laboratories, offices, external doors and windows are secure when leaving in the evenings.


Deliveries to RSPE Store

Please address all packages and deliveries to RSPE STORE c/- Bld 58 West End of Garran Road, 2601 ACTON. Canberra. Deliveries will be signed for and kept safe for your collection. Please do not use Bld 60 or 59, these numbers cause confusion for the couriers.


Stationary Available at Oliphant’s Reception

To assist with making things easily accessible across the School, basic stationary is now available at the Oliphant Building’s Reception. Please see Nikki for assistance.


Keep Informed

ANU Events

(CHM/CoS) Deans' Bulletin


Registration is now open for the ANU Network for Early Career Researchers' (NECTAR) Mentoring Program.

» read more



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