The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 47 no 25 | 27 June–1 July 2022


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Definitely a gorgeous weekend and hopefully a well earnt break for all our educators.

Sadly, as mentioned during the week, we received news of Professor Bob Crompton’s passing. He and Helen are seen above, not long after they gifted the Compton student travel award. A reminder that this award closes in two weeks, details found below. I have received a number of beautiful dedications to Bob from our community and will be collecting these together for his family. Everyone is very welcome to send me their reflections, however short, on how Bob influenced them. I will forward details of his memorial service as soon as they come to hand, at this stage sometime likely in the week beginning 18th July.

My congratulations to the Dr Sergey Kruk, Dr Lei Wang, Distinguished Professor Yuri Kivshar and their co-authors from Germany and Singapore for their hugely impacting Nature Photonics paper last week. The international media loved their breakthrough in which they demonstrated an asymmetric, nonlinear optical effect in nanostructured dielectric metasurfaces that allows light to transmit different images depending on the direction the metasurface is illuminated. Read more on our School website.

Congratulations also to Professor Xi-Wen Guan, a long term visitor to our School for his contribution to a notable Science publication this month in which he and collaborators from the US and China experimentally demonstrate the separation of spin and charge excitations in an one-dimensional fermionic system. Also, my thanks to Xi-Wen for his assistance with remote supervision of our Masters of Theorical Physics students. 

Well done to all the applicants in the three successful Physics-led MEC grants;
led by;

  • Rose Ahlefeldt, Stable laser for europium spectroscopy, $115k
  • John Close, State of the art gravimeter for groundwater mapping, planetary exploration, and inertial navigation in civilian and defence scenarios, $110k
  • Patrick Kluth, An Advanced Nanopore Sensing Facility, $67k

A glass 3D printer was awarded to CECS, with John Debs (MakerSpace) as co-applicant.  The School success rate in MEC was just shy of 40%.

A highlight from a couple of weeks back was a visit by the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP to the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility. Professor Nanda Dasgupta (Director HIAF, NPAA) led the tour, Andrew as always showing a keen and astute interest in Physics at ANU. My thanks to all those who joined the tour, a small subset of the group seen below under the primary bending magnet, left to right, A/Prof Steve Tims (NPAA), me, Andrew and Nanda (image: Steve Fanner).

From Thursday this week we will have relocated just over a third full of the people going into the new building. I truly appreciate the efforts of the teams (Admin, Facilities, IT, WHS) helping our colleagues with this process, and I feel we are fast approaching the point where we can open the building to the entire School. On the afternoon of Friday 8th July we will have a celebration of this milestone. During that week we are expecting to open up general booking for the meeting rooms and provide anyone in the School with cardax access. I will notify everyone by email as details unfold.

Have a great week,



Visualise Your Thesis Competition

Visualise Your Thesis is open to currently-enrolled graduate researchers at ANU (M.Phil., Masters by Research, Ph.D.) at any stage of their candidature who are active and attending all stages of candidature, including those yet to complete their Thesis Proposal Review (TPR) of confirmation.

The winner of the ANU Visualise Your Thesis competition 2022 will go on to compete in the National online showcase hosted by the University of Melbourne in October 2022.

» read more


Westpac Research Fellowship (WRF)

Applications have now opened for the Westpac Research Fellowship (WRF)

Valued at a minimum of $400,000, the Fellowship offers fully flexible funding to support the specific needs of the research. The fellowship includes a powerful Leadership 360 Program and access to professional development opportunities, networks beyond academia, global experience (travel restrictions permitting), and profiling opportunities to help advance a career.

» read more


Quad Fellowships Are Now Open!

On September 24, 2021, Quad partners, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States announced the Quad Fellowship. The Quad Fellowship is a first-of-its kind scholarship program, designed to build ties among the next generation of scientists and technologists. The program will sponsor 100 Australian, Indian, Japanese, and American master’s and doctoral students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to study in the United States, with 25 selected from each country. The fellowship will develop a network of science and technology experts, committed to advancing innovation and collaboration in the private, public, and academic sectors in their own country, and among Quad countries.

» read more


3 Minute Thesis Competition - RSPhys round

RSPhys 3MT round will be held on Thursday 21 July 2022 at 11am. Students wishing to present in the RSPhys 3 MT round should email to register their interest by 11 July. Everyone is invited to attend! Venue to be confirmed closer to the date. Prizes will be on offer for the winners.


Financial Assistance Available To Students

The University is offering a Student Urgent Relief Bursary (SURF) with the intention to relieve students' financial burden and assist with extra costs caused by COVID or remote learning. There were very specific criteria for applying and a very small number of applications in 2021. The criteria for this bursary have been revised to include all students who are facing financial difficulties in 2022—not just related to COVID/remote learning. It is encouraged for students to review the conditions of this grant to see if you may be eligible for this financial support.

The Student Admin team would also like to remind students that our School offers the Ben Williams Student Support Grant to assist RSPhys students who are experiencing personal difficulties which may be affecting their ability to study.


Call For Applications For The Robert and Helen Crompton Award

Applications closing date 10 July 2022

We are seeking applications for the Robert and Helen Crompton Award, valued up to $15,000.

This generous award is funded by The Robert and Helen Crompton Endowment Fund. Emeritus Professor Robert Crompton, an ANU physicist for over 40 years, and his wife Helen established this Endowment to provide support for outstanding physics students. It is the intention of the Research School and the Crompton family that the fund is used to enhance career opportunities and experience of students.

» read more


The John Carver Seminar Series 2022

An annual student event aimed at showcasing the amazing research done by our students and celebrating the wealth of talent in our School.

The John Carver Seminar Series 2022 will be held on Monday 26 September at 10am. We are hoping to hold this event in the new Auditorium, but will confirm the venue closer to the date.

Students wishing to participate in the John Carver Seminar Series will need to present a 15-minute talk on their research to the audience of fellow students and RSPhys colleagues. The talks are not followed by questions.

» 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

Professor Nicole Bell - 30 June
Searching for Dark Matter Scattering, on Earth and in the Stars
» read more


Defence Export Controls Seminar + Q&A sessions

Date Monday 27th June, 10:00am (for a 10.10am start)
Location Building #46E RN Robertson Lecture Theatre

» read more


Know your administrators...

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

» read more


Know your School team...

Uyen Nguyen -
Finance Team Leader

Sue Berkeley -
Stores/Purchasing 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)


HDR Update

Development & Training

28| Productivity series: Probing
29| Advanced Research: using ANU Library Databases webinar

» read more


Student Representatives Wanted!

We are seeking expressions of interest from HDR students to become student representatives for our School. 

» read more


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


CGA Winter Research Program

The ANU Centre for Gravitational Astrophysics will be running a Winter Research Program from 20 June until 22 July 2022.  The program is suitable for third-year and Honours students in Physics, Astrophysics and Engineering, currently enrolled at all universities across the country.

» 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


inSTEM Conference – July 20-21 2022

inSTEM is a networking and career development conference for people from marginalised or underrepresented groups in STEM, and their allies. 

» read more


Dolby Australia Scientific Paper Competition

Dolby Australia wishes to encourage and reward novel scientific advances in the areas of signal processing, machine learning and psychoacoustics by young and emerging Australian researchers from the Australian National University.

We are supporting an award for the best published article by an emerging researcher published between 1 January 2021 and 1 May 2022. The submission deadline is 15 July 2022.

» 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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