The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 21 | 25–29 May 2020




Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

It is truly a great pleasure to congratulate Laureate Professor Ping Koy Lam on being announced today among the 2020 Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.  He is easily recognisable from his 1999 graduation photo, seen holding the prestigious JG Crawford Prize for best thesis and clearly an indication of the great things to come.   His induction into the academy is recognition of his international standing and significant impact in the field of quantum physics.  Fabulous news, well done Ping Koy!  Congratulations to all the new Fellows, many are well known to us including CSIRO Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley.

Ping Koy’s news rounds off a big few days for Quantum Science in Australia.  The CSIRO Quantum Roadmap webinar on Friday, launched by Cathy, announced some growing opportunities for the expanding sector.  A new look School website concentrates our impact in Quantum across education, research and commercialisation.  I’d like to thank all those involved over the past two weeks who contributed material to the website, and in particular Martin Conway and Phil Dooley for anchoring the content in beautiful prose and images. Take a look.  This approach highlights the strengths that exist across Departments and might trigger a similar approach for materials, theory, instrument design, energy…

In response to the deluge of information from the COVID-19 crisis Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, and the Academy have established the Rapid Research Information Forum (RRIF) to collate expert information quickly and with fidelity. One of their goals was to provide our politicians with concise and high quality answers to their questions around COVID including the social issues manifest as we manage the disease.  Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Hon. Karen Andrews, recently asked the RRIF "What impact is the COVID-19 pandemic having on women in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workforce?"  The report is insightful and I encourage you to look further in the E&D section below.

Many will be aware of the activities of the NTEU across the tertiary sector, and particularly over the past few weeks.  This union works to represent all tertiary sector workers and relies on members to self-elect, join in and to promote dialogue with university management around employment conditions.  Balanced discussion and diverse representation is always a good thing.   A good colleague, A/Prof Inger Mewburn (Director of Researcher Development), has offered to mentor staff interested in joining the union.  In particular, she would like to encourage EMCR academics to consider actively contributing to the NTEU.  Many may know Inger for her landmark work as the Thesis Whisperer.

The Technical University of Munich has developed a mobility program to support travel for ANU staff.  If you would like visit for teaching or training purposes please see the Research Section for details, applications close 3rd July.

My thanks to Mick Blacksell (EU/EME) for sending in the workshop photos below.  It is a great welcome back to hear the machines going again.

Have a good week and have an enjoyable Reconciliation Day next Monday.



Staff from the central workshop have been hard at work over the past weeks. Alex Shanahan is pictured standing in front of the wire cutter and is finishing up another set of components for the COVID-19 response face shields.  Alex has calculated that he has made enough components to make at least 12000 face shields! Luke Roberts is pictured in front of the Mazak mill and is busy manufacturing copper parts for an Industry project for Associate Professor Cormac Corr.  Parts were designed by Steve Holgate of the mechanical workshop while in isolation.


School Seminar Series - 3 June 2020 @ 11:00am via zoom

Mr Dipankar Chungh (EME) presents: Single photon emission from hexagonal boron nitride Read more 


School Seminar Series - 17 June 2020 @ 3:00pm via zoom

Mr Kirill Koshelev (NLPC)  presents:  Light trapping with unusual waves: bound states in the continuum Read more


Congratulations Kirill and Khosro

Congratulations to Mr Kirill Koshelev and Mr Khosro Zangeneh Kamali, PhD students with the Nonlinear Physics Centre, on both winning a prestigious SPIE 2020 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship.


» read more


Read the Weekly Digest for Education, HDR and Infrastructure


A message from the E&D committee: This week - The Australian Academy of Science has released a rapid research information brief on “The impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce”. 
They find that there is a small but measurable difference in how this crisis affects women compared to men. As research shows, small differences are amplified with time, so it is particularly important for STEM employers to closely monitor and mitigate the gender impact of their decisions.

» read more


Review Working Parties - Members and TORs

» read more


COVID-19 return to work

RSPhys COVID-19 return to work protocols (PDF, 2MB)

RSPhys COVID-19 safe work procedure (DOCX, 169kB)

RSPhys COVID-19 risk assessment (DOCX, 105kB)

RSPhys Room / Lab / Workshop Risk Assessment (DOCX, 146kB)

RSPhys admin support during the University remote work and study period

Contact details for Admin staff



The Australian National University, Canberra | CRICOS Provider : 00120C | ABN : 52 234 063 906

If you do not wish to receive future emails from us, please unsubscribe.