The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 46 no 22 | 7–11 June 2021


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

It is with huge excitement I can now announce that the German Research Foundation (DFG) has awarded an International Research Training Group (IRTG) to colleagues at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and the ANU. The training group, "Tailored metasurfaces - generating, programming and detecting light", will host a total of 43 young scientists at both institutions. The DFG funding will contribute 5 million euros (~$A7.9M) to the IRTG over 4.5 years. This partnership acknowledges over 20 years of photonics collaboration between our universities, and a recent celebration by Zoom seen above shows some of the lead figures. Jena is considered the ‘City of Photonics’ in Europe with more than 200 photonics-related companies based there. Expansion of this collaboration will open up enormous opportunities for our PhD students and will bring new knowledge and skills to the ANU. The ANU team includes researchers from Physics: D-Y. Choi, L. Fu, C. Jagadish, P. Kluth, P.K. Lam, D. Neshev (ANU Spokesman), E. Ostrovskaya, I. Shadrivov, A. Sukhorukov, and H.H. Tan; School of Engineering: F. Beck and K. Catchpole, Y. Lu; and Research School of Chemistry: Z. Yin. Congratulations to all involved.

My congratulations also to Dr. Chathura Bandutunga and Dr. Paul Sibley, from the Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics in winning a Discovery Translation Fund. Their proposal, “Digital Interferometric Optical Gyroscopes for Inertial Navigation in Autonomous Environments” has been approved in full for $74,717. The Discovery Translation Fund assists the commercialisation of new technologies and innovations from the ANU, the University of Canberra and Charles Sturt University, and managed by ANU Connect Ventures. The goal of this fund is to help bridge the critical funding gap between discovery research and the commercial development of new technologies or the establishment of new ventures.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, is seeking expressions of interest from people, including students, to help deliver IT during the 7th IUPAP International Conference on Women In Physics to be held virtually during 11th-16th July 2021. People contributing to the coordination of IT for this virtual conference would be paid an honorarium of $500, as well as receiving training. The EOI can be found here.

My thanks to the TMOS team for helping us to enjoy Donut Day last Friday. (Yum).

Just in: The VC has requested that we meet to discuss elements of ANU-2025 Strategic Plan. I plan to hold Department-based meetings next week and will circulate information later this week.



'Picture a Scientist' Film Screening

Thursday, June 10 2021
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM AEST
Leonard Huxley Lecture Theatre

Bring your lunch to the Physics Tea room for post-film discussion at 2pm.

All registered participants will also receive a link to view the film online within a three-day window.

Register via Eventbrite

» read more


Education Role: 2nd Year Lab Coordinator - Expression of Interest

We are looking for an academic to be the 2nd year lab coordinator. Currently this role is filled by Dr Giovanni Guccione who needs to hand it over to a new set of hands in Sem 1 2022. We are hoping to have someone involved in the program in Sem 2 2021 so we have a smooth transition.

» read more


STEM Guest Lecture Series

STEM guest lecture series comprised of masterclasses delivered by leading ANU academic experts and researchers.

Each guest lecture will focus on a different discipline area and you can register to attend as many guest lectures as you would like. Participants will be expected to have some level of background knowledge (and ideally, would have completed some university-level courses) in the subject area of each lecture. 

» read more


Metasurface Biosensors Help Detect Breast Cancer 

The team from Nonlinear Physics Center with collaborators from EPFL, Lausanne (Switzerland) proposed a novel concept of metasurface biosensors and demonstrated their superior capabilities with the operation without the use of spectroscopy instruments. The metasurface chips are integrated with microfluidics for real-time detection of breast cancer extracellular vesicles encompassing exosomes with nearly 70 RIU-1 figure-of-merit enabling highly efficient detection of on average 0.41 nanoparticle/μm2.

The paper has been published in Nature Communications


The Art of the ARC Rejoinder

CAP Research Services and the RSD Research Funding and Development team will host a session on how to approach your assessor reports, strategise a response and effectively craft your rejoinder. They will discuss why rejoinders matter, what you need to do and avoid doing, how to review your assessor reports and approach your rejoinder strategy and turn your arguments into an effective rejoinder.

» read more



CGA postdocs Chathura Bandutunga and Paul Sibley for being awarded the ANU Discovery Translation Fund for $74,717 for their proposal, “Digital Interferometric Optical Gyroscopes for Inertial Navigation in Autonomous Environments”.


Upcoming HDR Workshops

Journal article writing
June 18, 10am-12pm 

Targeting a journal and responding to reviewers
June 18, 1-3pm

Editing for narrative 
25 November, 10am-12pm

Editing for style
25 November, 1-3pm

» read more


Interested in Space Technology?

The Canberra innovation network is hosting a space hackathon June 17-18 for groups of undergraduate and graduate students. The event includes workshops and mentoring sessions to help you develop a concept to pitch to the judging panel to win a $10,000 prize. Registration closes June 10. More information and registration online.


Carers' Career Development Assistance Fund (CCDAF)

Applications for the second round of the CCDAF funding scheme are now invited, with a closing date of Friday 11 June 2021 at 5:00pm.

» read more


Interested in Starting or Continuing Your Research Career in Germany?

Join the “Research in Germany”- Online Talk Series and chat with experts about PhD and PostDoc opportunities in Germany

7-10 June 2021 at 2pm (CEST)

For more information and to register, 'read more'.

» read more





Oliphant Tea Room

The Oliphant tea room is open with tea bags & black coffee* only.

Please remember to bring your own cup & spoon.

*coffee grounds for garden use are available


HDR eForm Issues

As most of you would be aware, there have been some issues with a number of HDR eForms, which SBS and IDTC have been working hard to resolve.

There is a fix which will be migrated into production next week, after the Student Administration System upgrade has been completed.

» read more


Need to Schedule a Meeting with the Director?

For ANU Outlook users
Open a new invite for, and use Scheduling Assistant to propose a mutually convenient time and send.  

For all others
Please send an email request to 

Tim will reply to any meeting requests ASAP


Building and Room Security Access

Please note that the school now has a general access restriction of 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.  

If you need to complete a new after-hours risk assessment, please see the new top section here:




Departmental seminars

Mr James Spollard - 7 June
Mitigating the effects of phase and Doppler frequency offsets in coherent random modulated LiDAR
» read more

Dr Michael West - 9 June
Australia’s export controls on military & strategic technologies
» read more


School Colloquium - 10 June

ASTRO 3D and Diversity in Australian Astronomy - Professor Lisa Kewley

» read more


Know your administrator...

Sonia Padrun - Team Leader

Julie Arnold - EME & NLPC

Petra Rickman - NP/HIAF & ARC CDM

Belinda Barbour - DQS

Nikki Azzopardi - AM, CPF, LPC & TP


Know your School team...

Sue Berkeley -
Finance Team Leader

Goran Radovanovic -
Stores Services  

Hannah Phan - Purchasing/Finance Services 

Patrick Romero - Stores/Purchasing Services


RCD Testing

RSPhys South is going to begin its RCD testing in its locations deemed “Non-hostile” only, beginning Wednesday the 9th and finishing up Friday 18th of June.

The testing is primarily over and done by 8:00AM - 8:30AM (Beginning at 6:00AM) and booting up your PCs on arrival to your workstation etc. is expected to be the only inconvenience to be endured.

For any further information please contact the Infrastructure Team.


Kitchen Etiquette

Can all RSPhys staff/students please be aware of the following kitchen hygiene/etiquette that we must follow to maintain a clean and healthy working environment at RSPhys. 

» read more


The ARC Linkage Projects 2021 (LP21) Assessment Round 2 is now open

If you are planning to submit an LP21 application in this Round, please email us your Notice of Intent (NoI).

» read more


UA-DAAD Joint Research Cooperation Scheme 2022 - Unavailable

A reminder to all that ANU will not participate in this year’s UA-DAAD Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme (2021 for funding in 2022). Please do not draft applications for this scheme.


Registration and Abstract submission is now open for the 14th Edoardo Amaldi Conference on Gravitational Waves (Amaldi14).

If you have any questions please email


The University is committed to supporting our staff to maintain their health and wellbeing during the upcoming influenza season and for this reason is ensuring that FREE flu vaccinations for staff are available again this year.

» read more


Check In CBR App

All RSPhys meeting rooms and teaching spaces now have a QR Code located at their entrance. It is encouraged that everyone at RSPhys use the Check In CBR app when using these rooms, as this will enable the 1 person per 2m2 rule, and follow ACT Health guidelines for improved contact tracing.

It is mandatory for all RSPhys visitors to use the Check In CBR App to 'check in'. An additional check in point is located at RSPhys reception. If you require a QR code for your area, please contact

1.5m physical distance must still be followed in all scenarios


From Previous Weeks...

ARC College of Experts Nominations

2021-22 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Competition


Physics @ ANU



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