The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 45 no 43 | 26–30 October 2020


Founder's Day 2020

Dear Colleagues,

At this time of the year we would have normally celebrated the 39th Founder’s Day. It is my great hope that the 40th anniversary will be in our new auditorium.  Founder’s Day, as we all remember, is that annual opportunity to gather old friends and new to recognise not only our long continuous history, but also new achievements over the past year. While the social activity that this day would have provided cannot happen this year I did not want to let some of the personal highlights of our staff and students go unconnected to the tradition that is Founder’s Day.  Sadly, some of our usual prizes were unable to be awarded this year but I remain confident we will have a full complement next year.

30 Years of Service
My congratulations go to the following who are familiar and long contributing colleagues.  They will be awarded with engraved clocks to commemorate their milestone;

  • Steve Battisson
  • Vladimir Bazhanov
  • Dennis Gibson
  • Rob Elliman

Carver Prize - John Carver Prize - Best Honours Students
Awarded to the top Honours students in 2019.  The Carver Family are gratefully thanked for their enduring gift of the Best Honours Prize and the Carver Seminar Series.  Congratulations, Sam and Matt.

  • Matthew Goh
  • Sam Thompson

Carver Seminar Series
Held just over a month ago, this year’s competition was one of our best and very enjoyable.  My congratulations again to all the participants.

  • Dean’s Prize - Disha Kapasi
  • Director’s Prize - Karun Paul
  • John Carver Prize  - Matthias Wurdack
  • People’s Choice  - Anthony Leung

The Dunbar Honours Scholarship
Established as a bequest from the late Prof Noel Dunbar, who founded the Physics education program in the early 1960’s, this scholarship aims to attract top physics students from Australia and New Zealand to the ANU.  Best wishes to all Honours students this year currently preparing their theses.

  • Mr Navneet Krishnan
  • Mr Benjamin Slimming
  • Mr Thomas Bartlett
  • Mr Caspian Nicholls
  • Mr Michi Hartnett

Robert and Helen Crompton Award
Helen and Bob created this travel award to assist students with career development and pursue collaborative opportunities.  Congratulations to Kirill and Disha who will be among the first to travel when things open up again.

  • Kirill Koshelev
  • Disha Kapasi

Chennupati and Vidya Jagadish Endowment Fund
The Jagadish Family established this endowment 5 years ago to give students and researchers from developing countries the chance to travel to the Research School of Physics to pursue collaborative research for up to 12 weeks. The Award provides researchers an important opportunity to form international links with colleagues while raising the profile of their home country in the field of physics.  The awards for this year were granted before travel restrictions so we have offered awardees deferral of their grants until 2021.

  • Mr Vivek Maurya
  • Mr Rimika Jaiswal
  • Mr Vibhore Mendiratta
  • Ms Fathima Harsha T
  • Mr Ling Siang Moh
  • Ms Aishwarya V Nair
  • Dr Wai Ming Loh 

Jagadishwar Mahanty Prize for the Best Thesis
First awarded in 1999, this is a tribute to the life of one of our most outstanding Theoretical Physicists, Prof. J Mahanty. As always, the committee had a tough time to pick the Best Thesis submitted in 2019.  Our congratulations go to;

Alexander Bray
“Strong field sub-femtosecond electronic processes”

While recognised late last year, it is tradition to highlight at Founder’s Day so I again congratulate all those promoted in 2019.

Ben Buchler (Level E)
Elena Ostrovskaya  (Level E) 
Andrey Sukhorukov (Level E)
Steve Tims (Level D)
Vaness Robins (Level D)
Rob Ward (Level D)
Lindsey Bignell (Level B)





26 October
RSPhys Town Hall
Today @ midday
Check your email for zoom details

28 October
Mr Ka Po Tee
High power quasi-steady state helicon plasma generation in MAGPIE2
» read more

30 October
Faiza Naseem
Closed Shell Atoms subjected to Short and intense Laser Pulses
» read more

2 November
Virtual Workshop on Strongly Coupled Light-Matter Interactions: Models and Applications
» read more

3 November
Ms Rowena Yew
Metal Oxide and Oxynitride Semiconductors for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting
» read more

6 November
Prof Stephen Hyde, University of Sydney
The simplest 38 (or so) fold-classes of RNA (or DNA) by base-pairing. Knots and tangles from string sequences, and sequences for knots and tangles
» read more

4th November
ARC Laureate Fellows Sharon Parker, Lisa Kewley and Jolanda Jetten
Women in Research, Small Wins webinar: Staying sane whilst managing home-work challenges
» read more

5th November
Inclusive leadership in times of uncertainty 
» read more


Business as Usual

This weeks picture shows a collet and a sprocket with an internal taper created in the RSPhys Workshop. This job was a collaboration across a number of Schools - RSAA, JCSMR and RSES. (The job is just one of four for RSAA that has passed through the RSPhys workshop recently.) 

More interesting is that the sprocket was wire cut by Graham Rhall (JCSMR), and furthermore the wire cutter we used was from RSES.  The collet was made by Tony Barling (RSPhys). The workshops have been impacted by Voluntary Separations but this one job shows how we are evolving to support ANU by making best use of all resources across the ANU.   

If you have a project that the Mechanical and Electronics Workshops can provide help with please come and discuss with our workshop team.


Physics @ ANU



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