The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 47 no 26 | 4–8 July 2022


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to NAIDOC Week. To celebrate the ANU will host the First Nations Film festival at Kambri this week.

My congratulations to the recipients of the inaugural CoS Research Pipeline Seed funding and the Research Translation and Engagement rounds awarded last week. The new funds are a joint initiative from the Associate Dean for Research, Professor Penny King and for Innovation, A/Prof Francis Bennet, to increase strategic research networks and seed new initiatives within the College.

Research Pipeline Seed Fund (led by)

  • Dr AJ Mitchell (NPAA) - $45k - NuCAP - Nuclear CAPability (RSPhys, CAP, CECS, CoL)
  • Prof C Simenel (FTP) - $40k - Towards an Australian Institute for Theoretical Science (RSPhys, RSC, RSAA, RSB, RSES, MSI)
  • Dr Ryan Thomas (QST) - $46.7k - Miniature absolute gravimeter (RSPhys, RSES)

Translation and Engagement Fund (led by)

  • Dr Mahdi Davoodianidalik - $25k - Development of a nozzle for Bogong thruster (NPAA)       
  • Prof Patrick Kluth - $24.2k - Development of advanced nanopore biosensors (DMP)
  • Prof Ilya Shadrivov - $25k - Storage and extraction of hydrogen using cheap inorganic materials (EME)

This week we will be opening up access to the new building for all School members, including the ability to book meeting rooms. With 50% of the building now occupied we will hold a celebratory afternoon tea this Friday (8th). Drinks and nibbles will be served from 3pm. Please join us for a look around this fabulous new space.

Quantum Brilliance will be hosting a workshop for students of the winter National Youth Science Forum in the Oliphant tea room from 2pm on Friday, 8th. To help NYSF coordinate the teams we will be closing the Oliphant tearoom for the afternoon after lunch. Please feel free to explore the new tea room on Level 2 in the new building. Over time we will be gradually moving the School tea room to the new building, but for now both will be in operation.

Our spin-off companies continue to bring us great prestige. I was very pleased to join a visit by the Minister for Industry and Science, Hon. Ed Husic, to the Quantum Brilliance labs last week. Seen above (left to right), the two founders of QB, Dr Marcus Doherty (CTO) and Dr Andrew Horsley (CEO), the Minister and myself (image: Minister’s LinkedIn page).

Have a great week,


3 Minute Thesis Competition - RSPhys round

A reminder to register your interest to participate in the 3 Minute Thesis competition.

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.

» read more


Call for Applications - Award for Space Plasma, Astronomy & Astrophysics

Closing date 31 July

We are seeking applications for the Award for Space Plasma, Astronomy & Astrophysics. The Award is intended to aid postgraduate and undergraduate students undertaking research in Space Plasma, Astronomy or Astrophysics.

The Award could be used towards travel, acquiring of equipment or collaboration activities as required.

The value of the award is up to $4000.

This award is generously funded by the Boswell Technologies Endowment Fund, established by Prof Rod Boswell.

» read more


2022 NSW Community Outreach to Physics Award

Know an excellent communicator of physics who has contributed greatly to outreach and physics education in NSW? Nominate them for the 2022 AIP NSW Community Outreach to Physics Award. Last year’s winner was Prof Andrea Morello (UNSW). Nominations close 8 Oct.


Nuclear footballs slow to turn into soccer balls

It turns out atomic nuclei – the tiny soccer balls at the heart of the atoms that make us up – sometimes turn into footballs. With a small injection of energy they can become elongated shapes, as much as twice as long as they are wide.

But new measurements of a special kind of calcium nucleus, the isotope calcium-40, show that, even though the energy jump is small, nuclei don’t easily switch from one shape to another. Which surprised the scientists - even though humans tend to stick with one code of football.

» read more


Nominations for the ARC College of Experts 2023 - Now Open

Please see below ARC network message on nominations for the ARC College of Experts in 2023, now open on RMS and will close at 5pm on Wednesday 6 July 2022.

Kindly note the ARC will host an Information Webinar for potential ARC College of Experts nominees and further details will be disseminated next week.

» read more


2022 AIP NSW Branch student awards

Acknowledge your best students by nominating them for the 2022 AIP NSW Branch student awards. Each physics institution in NSW is invited to nominate an undergraduate physics student for the AIP NSW Best Graduating Student award. Similarly, they are invited to nominate a postgraduate physics student for the AIP NSW Postgraduate medal and the Jak Kelly Scholarship prize from 1 Aug. Postgraduate students will make a short presentation on their research. Nominations for all awards closes 8 Oct.


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


2022 STEM Education and Industry Forum - 28 Sep

STEM Education and Industry Forum hosted by the AIP NSW & the Teachers’ Guild of NSW.

Registrations are open and further details are provided on the following link


2022 Annual Presidents’ Dinner - 12 Aug

Join us for the inaugural joint Presidents’ Dinner between the NSW Branches of the AIP and RACI in an evening of celebration, networking and recognition. Our members and guests will be treated to a generous 3-course meals and a line-up of exceptional presenters. 

The RACI and AIP have a growing history of joint events bringing together exceptional speakers providing our members and guests with informative talks and stimulating conversation in a relaxed and social environment. Registrations will open very soon and we do hope you can join us for this special occassion!

» read more


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

- 4 July
EME & TMOS Double Seminar: Assoc. Prof. Patrick Parkinson, University of Manchester & Prof. Hannah Joyce, University of Cambridge
» read more

Professor Stefan Maier - 8 July
Enhanced light harvesting and emission via disordered plasmonic metasurfaces – and a few other topics
» read more


School Seminar Program - 14 July

Searching for Dark Matter with third generation quarks using the ATLAS detector - Dr Peter McNamara

» 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

5 | Research data management webinar

» 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


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


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


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


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. 

» 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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