The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 44 no 12 | 25–29 March 2019


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

It was a great pleasure to be at the launch of three new awards as part of the Heavy Ion Accelerator Endowment Fund last Thursday.  The event was made possible with a wonderful gift from the estate of the late John and Silva Newton. The awards are;

  • The George Dracoulis International Student Award was announced by Professor Andrew Stuchbery
  • John and Silva Newton awards for graduate students announced by Professor David Hinde.
  • The Trevor Ophel Innovation Award announced by Emeritus Professor Keith Fifield.
  • David Weisser Award for Accelerator Staff Development announced by Professor Nanda Dasgupta.

The Newtons’ generous gift joins with a number of gifts from staff and alumni at Nuclear Physics. The left-hand image shows members of the Ophel family there to celebrate. Professor Trevor Ophel was one of the founding members of the Nuclear Physics and co-author of “Fire in the belly”, with John Jenkins.  The image on the right collects several generations of alumni together, rather poignant as the Department approaches it’s 70th anniversary.  It was a fantastic event and highlights the enormous value that these gifts bring.

Congratulations to Professor Andrei Rode and A/Professor Steve Madden on receiving the second largest ARC Linkage grant ever awarded at ANU.  They will combine talents across NSW Roads and Maritime Services, ANSTO, Sydney University and University of Canberra investigating laser cleaning processes on “The Coathanger” (Sydney Harbour Bridge).  A riveting (pun) and high (pun) profile project.

Congratulations also go to the successful applications with the Major Equipment Committee (MEC) this year. 

  • Dr AJ Mitchell (NP), New Directions for Nuclear Spectroscopy with Nucleon-Transfer Reactions 
  • A/Professor James Sullivan (PRL), Upgrade for the Australian Positron Beamline Facility 
  • Professor Andrew Truscott (LPC), 3He gas for Studies of Bose-Fermi Many Body Correlations 
  • A/Professor Jenny Wong-Leung(EME), In-situ Transmission Electron Microscopy of Materials (with RSC, RSEEME)

Our success rate in RSPE was 60%, the four above being awarded a total of $422k from MEC and supported with $100k cash support from School sources.

You may have already noticed new vignettes of PhD student research appearing on the video screens around the School.  These beautiful snap-shots are the creations of Martin Conway, acting manager in the School Computer Unit.  These will also be appearing on our website.  If you are a student and would like to have your work showcased please speak with your Head of Department or supervisor about having a vignette created.

Have a good week,




Reminder - register for focus groups asap

During the week of 25th – 29th March, representatives from WEG will be on site to demonstrate a range of procedures and process to improve safety across campus. There will be focus groups during the week on Hazardous Chemicals, Radiation and Plant / Equipment / Mechanical: 

» read more


PhB student & mentor lunch - Thurs 28th @ 1pm

A lunch for all the Physics PhB students and mentors will be hosted on Thursday 28th March from 1pm in the Oliphant bldg tea-room. For staff who mentor a PhB student this is a great chance to catch up with your student. We will also be organizing a short tour of the school after the lunch. We need ~5 volunteers to show the students around labs or talk to them about their work. Please contact if you can help.


Winter Research School for Indigenous Students

The Vice Chancellor has tasked the National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS) with creating a programme to encourage Indigenous students from around the country to consider study/research at the ANU....supervisors needed.

» read more


Equity and Diversity

Women have come a long way in enriching the scientific community - yet there's still more to be achieved. From now through August, Springer Nature is putting together a collection of personal stories and exciting content to recognize women researchers who have contributed towards the development in STEM research.

» read more


26 March - Science in the Pub this Tuesday with Larissa Huston

Come and see our very own Larissa Huston in Science in the Pub - Tuesday 26 March @ 6.30 Smith's Alternative in Civic.

» read more


29 March applications close - Writing Workshops

Female EMCRs are invited to a workshop to support the development of grant and paper writing skills. Places are limited.

» read more


8 April - Women in STEM Professional Development Lunch

A professional development event focused on transitioning into leadership and management roles with ease and confidence. Featuring a keynote address by Jenny Wilkinson, Head of the Parliamentary Budget Office. Monday 8 April 2019; 11:00-1:00; T2 Kambri Cultural Centre.

» read more


USA Fundamental Physics Initiatives Prizes

The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation invites nominations for its special breakthrough prize in fundamental physics. The prize is worth USD 3 million. Maximum award: USD 3,000,000 Nominations Close: 1 April 2019, midnight Pacific Daylight Time (US). Contact for further details.


ARC Special Research Initiative in Excellence

Under the (ARC) Special Research Initiatives scheme, the Australian Government will support the Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science (SRIEAS) for funding commencing in 2020.

» read more


ARC LP19 Scheme

Reminder: Please contact the College Research Office ( if you are interested in the ARC LP19 scheme and planning to submit an application in the following months.

» read more




Distinguished Lecture

Professor Donald Fortescue
Thur, 28th March @ 12:30, Finkel Theatre, JCSMR
Fieldwork in Art and Astrophysics - Discerning Signal from Noise at the South Pole

This event is jointly hosted by RSPE and the School of Art and Design.

» read more


Departmental Seminars

27 March
Prof Andrew H Hone
Discrete integrable systems from cluster algebras
» read more

28 March
Mr Jackson Dowie
Exploring nuclear shape coexistence between doubly magic 40Ca and 56Ni through high precision pair spectroscopy of E0 transitions
» read more

29 March
Prof Tomonari Dotera
Bronze-mean hexagonal quasicrystal
» read more

29 March
Mr Tobias Vogl
Next Generation single photon sources using hexagonal boron nitride for satellite based quantum communication.
» read more

29 March
Mr Hong An Le
Constraining models of nuclear interactions using effective field theory
» read more

29 March
Mr Shimul Nath
Resistive Switching in Niobium Oxide-based cross-point devices
» read more


Further details about School Seminars or Events can be found on the RSPE Intranet and School News and Events Page.


Building Update

Infrastructure Upgrade Program

Two weeks ahead

Two day program


Thank You

Thank you to all the helpers who assisted last Friday with the Autumn BBQ. Thank you to everyone who came along and bought lunch, a waffle or made a donation. We managed to raise $318 to donate to Epilepsy ACT.


David Anderson is on leave 25 Mar -26 Apr, during this period the acting EU Manager will be Wasantha Ramasudara (25-31 Mar) and Luke Materne (1-26 Apr).


» 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 Informed

ANU Events

(CHM/CoS) Deans' Bulletin

HR Team - Jaeger

Jaeger Hub Contacts

JCS Strategic Priorities Plan


This above pic is of the last day for Michael Blacksell in France and is of the ITER design team including companies contracted from all over Europe, IO team members and Design Review Panel members. 



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