The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 47 no 18 | 9–13 May 2022


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Hope you had a pleasant weekend.

Some very exciting news. One of our start-up companies, Via Photonics, has just been acquired by growing Australian navigation and robotics company, Advanced Navigation. My congratulations to the two founders of Via Photonics, Lyle Roberts (CGA, left) and James Spollard (CGA, middle), seen above with our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt. The value in their technology is understood if you consider that their company was only founded last year, our fastest acquisition yet! I’m thrilled to see Lyle and James do so well, and so quickly. Much of their proof-in-principle was supported by the culture in CGA, and from a mix of funding from the Physics Technology Development Fund, the ANU Connect Ventures Discovery Translation Fund, OzGrav (ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery) and EQUS (ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems). Details can be found on the Advanced Navigation website and in the Australian Financial Review.

The School Executive met last week for our monthly meeting. Melinda Brady, Senior WHS Consultant Injury Prevention from the Work Environment Group (WEG) presented to the executive on psychological safety and her plans to develop new measures to monitor and support this important aspect of WHS. As her plans build there will be events in our School to draw on her experience. Until then, I remind everyone that all first aiders in RSPhys have mental health first aid training as part their skillset.

One of the other announcements at the School Executive meeting was the result from the CoS RSP distribution, a competitive process to allocate the CoS share the COVID relief funding handed to the university sector for 2021-22. The funds were distributed based on positive impact to collaborative research across Schools. I’m very pleased to announce that our School was successful receiving support for a fibre optic workbench ($178k) and an Arbitrary Wave Generator ($105k). The workstation has a hot image camera system with a diamond blade Integrated into splice head, can splice/taper optical fibres up to Ø1.25mm. This tool is an essential requirement for integrating general and quantum optical components into fibre optics systems, especially quantum information and sensing applications where the coupling between components requires extremely low optical loss. The AW generator can generate signals up to 4GHz and will join the instrument library in the Electronics Unit for general access. We also supported RSAA in their successful bid ($186k) to automate the 2.3m ANU telescope at Siding Springs Observatory for rapid follow up of gravitational wave events.

Last week the School Executive also approved the Physics academic conversion guidelines, to augment the College of Science guidelines released in March.  

Have a good week,


WHS Incident Notifications

WHS Notice

  • WHS Incident Reporting
  • Incident Reporting Timeframes
  • Incident Site Preservation
  • Training

» read more


VC’s HDR Travel Grant

The VC’s HDR Travel Grant that was suspended over the past couple of year has now been reinstated, and is now accepting new applications!

The objectives of the grants are to:

  • enrich the quality of research undertaken by HDR students by enabling them to study for a period at an overseas institution;
  • enable HDR students to develop relationships within the international research community by presenting at conferences; and
  • enable HDR students to access international research facilities and equipment to conduct research activities

» read more


HDR workshop "Writing with clarity and purpose" - 27 May 2022

Writing with clarity and purpose

So often, HDRs produce writing that fails to communicate adequately with readers. Research writing has different challenges from other kinds of writing: the concepts are very complex, the amount of information is vast, and the stakes are high. This workshop explores some of the key stumbling blocks that research writers come up against, and offers strategies for overcoming them. During the session, participants will work on their own writing to ensure they present their ideas effectively.

Register here.


Stir-Fried Science Show

Come and see the fruits of Phil Dooley's theatre-science collaboration, the Stir-Fried Science show. Funded by a National Science Week grant, the show features sketch comedy about all kinds of science and philosophy, including black holes, fusion powered vehicles and everyone's favourite villain Clive Palmier - and a sketch written by Dr Ed Simpson from NPAA (entitled The Quantum Mechanic).

The show is next Sunday 15th May 4PM - tickets are here.


Janet Elspeth Crawford Postgraduate Leadership Prize for 2021

Nominations are sought for the Janet Elspeth Crawford Postgraduate Leadership Prize for 2021.

This prize is offered by the College of Science to students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement and outstanding leadership. The prize is valued at $2000 each. 

Both HDR and coursework Master students can be nominated.

Nominations are due to our office ( by 18 May 2022 (apologies for the quick turnaround).

» read more


HDR Update

Development & Training in

9 | Thinking resiliently as a researcher
10 | Writing in company
10 | Advanced Research: Using ANU Library Databases
10 | Tragic research mistakes and how to avoid them
11 | PARSA Shut Up and Write
11 | Word for academic writing: maintaining consistency in your thesis
11 | Top tips for working with your supervisors: (CHL and CAP)
12 | PARSA Shut Up and Write
12 | How not to run out of time:Research project management
12 | What comes next? Post-PhD life and work (Part 1) - Crawford
13 | PARSA Shut Up and Write

» read more




» read more


Returning to Campus

Updated Process and Mask Protocols

» read more


2022 Wall Planners

2022 wall planners are available now at the Oliphant Reception.




Departmental seminars

Dr Alex Degeling - 10 May
Space Physics and Life at Shandong University, Weihai China
» read more


School Seminar Program - 19 May

Connecting up the quantum internet: building quantum interconnects using rare earth crystals - Dr Rose Ahlefeldt

» 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  

Patrick Romero - Stores/Purchasing Services


Know your student admin...

Liudmila (Luda) Mangos -
Higher Degree Research admin
C3.02C, Cockcroft bldg (Thurs 9:30-5pm)

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


Free Flu Vaccinations

To provide flexibility for our staff in 2022, the ANU are offering three options for receiving your free flu vaccination:

1. On campus at the ANU Medical Centre 

2. On campus at the University Pharmacy 

3. Off campus by accessing a voucher code to be used at a Terry White Chemist in Canberra

» read more


Tweet Series

The Researcher Development team are starting a new tweet series for @ANUresearcher! This tweet series is intended to be fun AND rewarding – a collaborative storytelling about the highs and lows of HDR student life – Hannah Carle, a RD casual is creating graphic mosaics based on different themes each week. 

» read more


What To Do If You Test Positive For COVID-19

If you test positive to COVID-19, please:

1. Register your positive result with ACT Health using this online form, or with the state/territory health authority where you are located.

2. Alert the University through this online form.

3. Apply for personal leave.

4. Isolate for at least seven days after the day you test positive.


From Previous Weeks...

COVID-19 Extension Scholarship

Mandatory Training Courses for School Induction and Building Access - All Persons


Physics @ ANU



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