The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 43 no 75 | 25–29 June 2018


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend.

ANU Physics enjoyed plenty of press last week.  Firstly, our congratulations go to Dr Vikram Sharma, CEO of ANU spin-out company, Quintessence Labs, on being named 2018 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, joining the likes of Google, Twitter, AirBnB and Spotify.

Vikram completed his PhD with Ping Koy in 2007 and one year after they co-founded QuintessenceLabs, which is now the leading Australian cyber security company setting new standards world-wide. 

Professor Daniel Shaddock was in the headlines around the GRACE-FO mission (see EH #71) last week (and managed a little product placement for his spin-off, Liquid Instruments).  Daniel lead the team that designed the innovative precision optical path which will transform the measurement accuracy in the Follow-on mission as it maps our subterranean water resources.  

Professor Anatoli Kheifets also enjoyed the spot-light with a joint-publication in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4731) which uncovers new details of the timing and orientation of dissociative photoionization in carbon monoxide.

All three announcements are fantastic illustrations of how impactful and long-term our research can be.  I encourage students to talk to Ping Koy, Daniel and Anatoli about their careers.

And, good news comes in fours.  The architects who lead as through master planning and Stage 1 design, Hassell, have won the highest honour from the Australian Institute of Architects at the 2018 ACT Architecture Awards over the weekend.  They were awarded the Canberra Medallion, for their design of the new Australian Federal Police Forensics and Data Centre. The project also won the John Andrews Award for Commercial Architecture. The jury chair, Rob Henry remarked, “The Forensics and Data Centre extracts generosity and openness from a highly sensitive program to engender a collaborative and collegiate workplace and find a welcome ease of fit between organization and built form.”

Please support local Canberra College School student, Keira Joyce and buy a raffle ticket. Keira will be representing Australia at the London International Youth Science Forum in a month’s time.  The prizes can be seen in the tea room and tickets are available from Reception.

This week’s pic shows a photo of the founders of Applied Mathematics standing with representatives from almost five decades of occupation.  The Cottages will be greatly missed by many.

Finally, we have advertised for a Masters Program Coodinator in Physics and all interested staff are encouraged to apply. Applications close 17 July 2018.

Have a great week,



Visiting Artist Exhibition - The ANU Vice-Chancellor's College Visiting Artists Fellowship Scheme promotes collaborative research between disciplines by placing visiting artist fellows in each of the ANU Colleges for an academic year.

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The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) international research student competition is on again for 2018 and the ANU is currently preparing for the School and College heats.

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 A JOSA B article of Dr. Ankiewicz, Prof. Akhmediev and PhD student Mahyar Bokaeeyan from the Theoretical Physics Department has been selected by the Optical Society of America for a 'Spotlight in Optics' award, as one of the 2 best recent papers.

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Is physics your superpower? Help contribute question ideas for the next Asian Physics Olympiad happening in Adelaide next year. Share your ideas today and learn more.

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Early Career Transitions in STEM Employment: Processes Shaping Retention and Satisfaction
A distinguished public lecture presented with funding support from ANU Gender Institute, ANU School of Demography and ANU Research School of Social Sciences .

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Australian Nanotechnology Network sponsorship opportunity - Available to postgraduate students or early career researchers for Australian National Fabrication Facility Short Term Visits (Up to 2 weeks duration)

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Register now for the Annual NECTAR Forum - 24-25th July 2018.

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APR.Intern is innovating Australia and accelerating women in STEM through short-term PhD industry internships. We encourage both women and men to apply.

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Heads-up about quite a generous offer/exciting opportunity from one of our global clients Merck are very keen that as many Australian and New Zealand researchers as possible. Applications close 15 August 2018. 

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As a scientist who became an entrepreneur I believe that researchers have ideas and skills that can change the world beyond academia but they often don't reach this potential. 

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Presented by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA - The inaugural 'Australia and the World' Annual Lecture 'Australia in the World: Raising our Sights' on Tuesday July 10, 5:00-7:30 pm.  

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Departmental Seminars

28 June 2018
Mr David Shin
Colliding Bose-Einstein condensates produces entangled pairs of atoms
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28 June 2018
Mr Perry W.F Forsyth
Diagonalization of a Newtonian Noise Sensor
» read more



Mr Michael Blacksell will be acting School Manager 25 June - 25 July 2018. Please contact the School Manager through

Mr Simon Foxcroft is away until 2 July. For any enquiries please email

Mr Benjamin Parker-Brown is on secondment at RBS until 11 December 2018. Please contact if you have queries.

Mr Lee Phillip will continue to be acting F&S Manager during Graeme's absence.  Please contact Lee via

Patrick Kluth will be absent 26 June - 17 August 2018. During this period Jodie Bradby will be acting HOD 26/6-13/7/18 and Lan Fu is acting HOD 16-27/7/18 and  6-17/8/18

Coordinators Karen Nulty and Liudmila Mangos will be out of the office between 25/6/2018 to 5/7/2018 inclusive. During this period Siobhan Ryman and Petra Rickman will be managing the RSPE functional email account Please ensure you send official communications to this account during this time.

Siobhan Ryman will be present in the RSPE HDR Student Office on Monday and Friday on x51315
Petra Rickman will be present in the RSPE HDR Student Office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings on x51315.



New cleaning contract

In the following weeks you will be able to see the first changes – the cleaners will be around the offices across campus until 10am every work day, your under-desk bins (for general rubbish) will not be serviced anymore, and the buildings will receive centralised bins to provide better opportunities for recycling.

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The ANU recently entered into a contract with a number of suppliers to provide consolidated monthly invoices. Purchase cards should not be used for any order through these suppliers.

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Communities@work, will be running the July 2018 ANU School Holiday Program. Communities@work School Holiday Programs provide high-quality care with engaging and exciting activities for children in Kindergarten to Year 6.

» read more


RSPE Orientation

Every Monday at 10:00am all new starters are invited to meet at reception to have a short tour of the School’s central areas and receive a welcome pack.

Bookings are not required.


Keep Updated

Building plans and timelines are available via the intranet Infrastructure upgrade program.
Stroll through the foyer or the auditorium
Dont know where you will be sitting? See your HoD or DA.


Keep Informed

ANU Events

(CHM/CoS) Deans' Bulletin

JCS Strategic Priorities Plan




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