The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 46 no 40 | 11–15 October 2021


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you had a pleasant weekend.

Many academic staff will be familiar with the highly successful NECTAR program, the ANU network for early career researchers. NECTAR celebrates a decade of great work and tomorrow (12th Oct) will host an open forum spanning topics such as making the most of the ANU environment, identifying your transferrable skills and engaging with industry. Dr Ian Carter (NPAA) is one of the four co-Chairs of NECTAR and helped to put together an interesting list of speakers for the program, including former Nuclear Physics staff member Dr Kaitlin Cook, now at Missouri State University. I encourage you to look at the program here. There is something there for everyone, irrespective of the stage of your career.

At the School Executive meeting last Thursday the concern was raised for students being unable to travel home for such a long time, compounded by the uncertainties around returning to Australia. If you have concerns please speak with your supervisor and the HDR Team directly. 

Professor Joe Hope and I had the pleasure of talking to the parents of commencing first year students at the Weihai campus of Shandong University on Saturday night. Each of the four ANU Science Schools involved in this program spoke with their respective disciplines (Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics). The entire first year cohort in Weihai, around 300 students is soon to commence our “Freestyle Physics” course, a cornerstone course in the Joint Science College. It was great to see our colleagues in Weihai again, as well as a new group of enthusiastic students.  

…great news, I have just had notice that ANU Council have noted the VC’s endorsement of our new Departments names. We can now officially use the new names. I will be publishing some guidelines on usage in the next EH edition.

Have a good week,


The John Carver Seminar Series

The John Carver Seminar Series were held on 6 October and highlighted the breadth of talent among our PhD students. The talks presented this year were simply excellent and the judges had a very tough job deciding on the winners.

The 2021 John Carver Seminar Series winners are:

The John Carver Prize - Zain Mehdi (QST) for his talk “Thermal Dissipation in Two-Dimensional Quantum Turbulence”

The Director’s Prize -
Kirill Koshelev (FTP) for his talk “Perfect Trapping of Light in Subwavelength Dielectric Resonators for Nonlinear Nanophotonics”

The Dean’s Prize -
Sungyeon Hong (MP) for her talk “Designing 2D Topological Defects in Glassy Systems”

The People’s Choice Award - Shridhar Manjunath (EME) for his talk “Metagrating Biosensors - a Pathway to Miniaturised Optical Biosensors”

Congratulations to all the winners!

A very big thank you to all the participants who put a lot of effort into preparing and presenting their talks.

Special thanks to the esteemed judging panel – Prof Tim Senden, Dr Vanessa Robins and Mr Matthias Wurdack, and to Lachlan Oberg - the Chairperson extraordinaire!


ANSTO FutureNow Scholarships

The ANSTO FutureNow Scholarships fund projects that support ECRs and HDR students working on industry-focused projects. Successful candidates work under the guidance of some of Australia’s leading scientists and may obtain access to ANSTO’s state-of-the-art facilities. Applications require an industry partner and must lie in one of the listed focus areas. Applications are open academics at any career stage – the scholarship recipient can be recruited post-award, or may already be identified.

» read more


Physics Project Market Day - 11am, 18th October

Following recent feedback from our undergraduate students to have the opportunity to engage more with research conducted within the school, Physics Project Market Day will take place online on Monday 18th October from 11am to 1pm. The event will take place on Gather Town ( and it will be an opportunity to interact directly with undergraduate students by sharing/discussing your research and potential projects with them. 

What you need to do:

  • By Monday 11th October, if you would like to participate in this event, can you please sign up in the participant list here and include your email address
  • By Thursday October 14th, upload a pdf A0 poster in your department folder here (these will then be uploaded to the Gather Town platform for you)
  • Join Physics Project Market Day on Gather Town at 11am on Monday 18th October (finishes at 1pm)


PhD Top-up Scholarships for Ocean and Sea Ice Modelling

Are you interested in understanding ocean physics, and do you have skills in computational/mathematical modelling?

The Consortium for Ocean-Sea Ice Modelling in Australia (COSIMA) is providing opportunities for PhD students to work at the intersection of high-performance computing and ocean-climate dynamics. Projects are available focusing on a wide range of topics, including:

  1. The role of sea ice in the climate system;
  2. Modelling biogeochemical cycles in the global ocean;
  3. Coupling between surface waves and large-scale currents;
  4. Antarctic ice shelves and their interaction with the Southern Ocean; and
  5. The sensitivity of ocean dynamics to vertical coordinate systems in ocean models.

The scholarship closing date is 30 November

» read more


Invitation to Participate in Career Development Framework Survey – by 15 October 2021

The Science, Health & Medicine Career Development Framework has been available for HDR candidates in the ANU College of Science, and the ANU College of Health and Medicine for over two years now and we would like to seek HDR students’ feedback regarding future development and participation of the framework into 2022.

» read more


Professional Development Workshop – Online Influence

Come along and join Arabella Macpherson, keynote speaker and communication skills coach of 15 years. She will give you the skills and structures you need so you’re not left guessing whether your message has landed or not. Know what to do, when to do it and how to do it to have the most impact.

Date: 14 October
Time: 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Register via the link:

» read more


Understanding Pensions - A Webcast by UniSuper Management

Thursday, 28 October 2021 at 5:30PM

When you’re thinking about retirement, it can be tough to understand the options available to you.

If you’re interested in finding out about in the next chapter, our Understanding Pensions webcast will discuss the different types products available, and the considerations when selecting a product that’s right for you. 

» read more




» read more


ANU Templates

Do you need ANU letterhead, PowerPoint slides, or an ANU minutes template?

Sign in to ANU SharePoint for current ANU templates.


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

Mr Mohammad Rashidi Shahgoli - 13 October
Design, fabrication and characterisation of III-V nanowire random lasers
» read more

Mr Matthew Parry - 15 October
Photon-pair generation via bound states in the continuum in nonlinear metasurfaces
» read more


School Seminar Program - 14 October

Testing atomic QED and quantum entanglement with metastable helium Bose-Einstein condensates - Dr Sean Hodgman

» 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.



The ARC is organising (on behalf of ONI and Defence-NSSTC) a NISDRG Round 2 Information webinar, which will provide information to university Research Offices and potential eligible applicants about NISDRG.

NISDRG Round 2 - Webinar information
Friday 15 October 2021 from 11:00am-12:00pm (AEDT)

» 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


Physics @ ANU



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.