The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 46 no 35 | 6–10 September 2021


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

It was a huge pleasure to see the Australian Institute of Physics awards come out last week and my congratulations to all recipients across Australia. Due to unavoidable delays over the past year, the AIP released outcomes for a few award rounds at once, which made for a grander splash and we are very well represented by our students. It is such a delight to congratulate our colleagues on the recognition of their excellent research;

2020 Bragg Gold Medal
Dr Alexander Bray, for his thesis, “Strong field sub-femtosecond electronic processes”

2018 TH Laby Medal
Dr Felicity Lee, for her thesis, “Pulsed Hydrogen Plasmas: Modelling and Experiment”.

2020 TH Laby Medal
Dr Matthew Goh, for his thesis, “Feedback Control of Fermi Gases”

My thanks to our School Manager, James Irwin and his hard working team for simplifying the complexities of standing up the new departments. On Friday he emailed the School outlining the next administrative steps, which commence today. I have copied his email here for convenience. If you have questions please speak to your Head or administrator. 

The School Executive met in its new form last Wednesday with the initial configuration including Heads, Associate Directors, School Manager and Director. We immediately resolved the standing agenda, schedule of meetings and expanded membership. The School Executive will meet for two hours each month if conducted in-person, or for remote meetings two separate hour-long meetings. Standing items include reports from an HDR student representative, an Early and Mid-Career Researcher representatives, the WHS Manager, an Equity & Diversity co-Chair, the Facilities Manager, the Associate Directors, School Manager and Director. As we enjoy a joint-Centre with RSAA, the Director of Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics will have a permanent invitation to attend. As we have done in the past, I propose that the HDR and EMCR representatives attending are drawn from self-organised groups that may share attendance, if they so choose, or elect a single representative. To help these groups coordinate I have created a zoom meeting on Wednesday at 10am. If you’re interested in either representative group please come to the meeting, I will give a brief overview and then leave you to coordinate between you. Over the years we have had many excellent contributions from these representatives groups, who in combination represent over 60% of our School population.

This week’s pic comes from the mechanical workshop in Physics South and shows Graham Rhall in front of some critical work he and Brent Butler have been ploughing through over the lock-down. Graham is holding a pair of endcaps of the 170 units that are soon to be shipped to National Electrostatics Corp. in Wisconsin and integrated into the high voltage ceramic support posts and acceleration tubes. Each encap requires 5 separate tool setups and so represents an enormous amount work. These components will be shipped back to Australia as part of a multi-million dollar renewal of the 14UD, proudly supported by strategic funds from the School, the DVC(RI) and the ARC through NCRIS support of the Heavy Ion Accelerator program. Together with the major electrical upgrade (EH #31), new Space testing beamline and new ARC LIEF funded ion sources this already remarkable national facility will establish new international capabilities.

And finally, in case you missed the news on Friday the ACT government has partially reopened operations on large construction sites. WIN News was at the Physics building site interviewing the WHS Commissioner, Jacqueline Agius, and the Hindmarsh Project manager, Brett Price, about the requirements going forward. (see the WIN News interview)  It’s fantastic to see a staged return to activities.

Have a good week,


The John Carver Seminar Series 2021

The annual student event aimed at showcasing the amazing research done by our students and celebrating the wealth of talent in our School will be held on Wednesday 6 October at 10 am. At this stage we are planning to hold this event via Zoom only.

You will need to present a 15-minute talk on your research to an audience of your fellow students and RSPhys colleagues. The talks are not followed by questions.

Please email by 28 September 2021 to register your interest in participating in this wonderful event!

» read more


Vote for Your Favourite ‘As You See It!’ Photographs

The submissions are in and the photos have been shortlisted – it’s now time for you to help us pick the winning images!

We have received some amazing photos and we need your help to find each category winner to be featured in the 2022 ANU College of Science, and ANU College of Health and Medicine calendar.

All ANU staff, students and alumni are eligible to vote (once per image), so jump on and let us know which images are your favourites!

Voting closes on Sunday 12 September and the winners will be announced on Monday 13 September.

Vote now


The Art and Practices of Self-Compassion and Reflection - Free Online Interactive Course

The course focusses on the differences between self-care and self-compassion, and how to cope with challenges such as lockdown, stress etc. 

» read more


Butterfly Wings Inspire Novel Metasurfaces

The team from Nonlinear Physics Center with collaborators from the Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne) suggested and designed novel anisotropic hybrid metasurfaces inspired by the structure of butterfly wings, focusing light into high-Q cavities with extremely strong near-field enhancement governed by the physics of bound states in the continuum. They demonstrated experimentally multiple high-Q resonances with absorption amplitude exceeding 80% at mid-IR using NA = 0.4 reflective objective. The results have been published in Nano Letters (Impact Factor=11.189).

» read more


ANU Alumni Self-Care Social Media Challenge – Provide your self-care tips to win!

These are truly difficult and exhausting times. But this is also an opportunity for us to come together, support each other, and maybe have a little fun in the process!

Starting on 28 August, we’re launching a six-week self-care challenge that will inspire you to move, grow, cook, connect and relax.

» read more


RSB Director’s Seminar Series - Wednesday 15 September 12:30pm – 1.30pm

Understanding Amino Acid Transport and Homeostasis in Mammalian Cells through Quantitative Modelling
Professor Stefan Broer
Division of Biomedical Science and Biochemistry

» read more


Joint Hebrew University-Australian Research Projects in Science

Zelman Cowen Academic Initiatives (ZCAI), Australia and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ) are pleased to announce a Call for Research Projects, with the goal of supporting high quality research in all disciplines of science, with a preference for projects with partners in Australian universities.

» read more


Managing Teams Remotely

12-1.30pm, Thursday 9 September, via Zoom
Managing teams remotely has now become a crucial skill for every leader.

You no longer have a cohort, but many individuals with different needs. How do you set them up as independent, competent and capable team members who not only look after themselves, their colleagues, but also the business?

» read more


CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) invites exceptional early-career researchers to join one of their interdisciplinary research programs The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program accelerates the development of the next generation of research leaders and positions them to heighten their impact in academia and beyond.

» read more




» read more


R U OK? Day

Thursday 9 September

» 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


RSPhys Store

Stores will be physically staffed, though operating at reduced capacity with no face to face interactions. 

» read more


ANU Libraries

The JB Chifley Library will remain open 24/7 through the lockdown. Students and staff will need to swipe in. They will be able to use collection material, print, use the computers, record lectures in the One button studio, study rooms on level 4 equipped with ECHO recording software and use the Flex labs to give or record lectures.

» read more




Departmental seminars

Professor Sougato Bose - 9 September
Quantum nature of gravity in the lab: Assumptions, implementation and applications on the way
» read more


School Seminar Program - 9 September

Forming diamonds at room temperature - Professor Jodie Bradby

» read more


Know your administrators...

L-R: Belinda Barbour, Sonia Padrun, Petra Rickman, Nikki Azzopardi, & Julie Arnold

» read more


Know your School team...

Sue Berkeley -
Finance Team Leader

Goran Radovanovic -
Stores Services  

Hannah Phan - Purchasing/Finance Services 

Patrick Romero - Stores/Purchasing Services


Know your student admin...

Liudmila (Luda) Mangos -
Higher Degree Research admin
C3.02C, Cockcroft bldg (Mon-Fri 9.30-5pm)

Siobhan Ryman -
Physics Education Centre admin and HDR
1.05, Bldg 38A (Mon-Tues 8.30-4pm) ; C3.02C, Cockcroft bldg (Wed-Fri 8.30-4pm)


Matthias Wurdack (he/him)

Disha Kapasi (she/her)

Shridhar Manjunath (he/him)

Elizaveta Melik-Gaykazyan (she/her)

Ben Swinton-Bland (he/him)

Mahdi Davoodianidalik (he/him)


HDR Progress Milestones

Students and supervisors can access information on HDR progress milestone requirements on the School Intranet.


HDR Opportunities

Resilient Researcher webinars with Dr Shari Walsh

2022 Visiting Fellowship program "Mobilities" - Applications close on 30 September 2021


2022-2025 MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics Competition
The Executive Committee of the MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics invites faculty and senior researchers within physics, astronomy or related fields to submit nominations for the 2022-2025 MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics competition.

» read more


ANZCOP21 - November 18-19, 2021

ANZCOP 2021 is a special event of the Australian and New Zealand Conference on Optics and Photonics presented on behalf of ANZOS - the Australian and New Zealand Optical Society. 

» read more


CQC2T Women in Quantum Top Up Scholarships

CQC2T is looking for female PhD and Honours students to join our multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers developing quantum computing and communication technologies of the future.

If you are ready to further your career in this exciting field, apply now!

» read more


Applications Open for 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2022

Applications are now open for the Science and Industry Endowment Fund - Australian Academy of Science Fellowships to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. 

» read more


Physics @ ANU



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