School Seminar Program

Designing the degree program I would have liked to do: A new ANU Master’s degree in scientific instrumentation

Dr Robert Ward

Measurement is at the heart of scientific discovery, and the frontiers of knowledge are expanded through the development of new and more precise instrumentation. ANU has a rich history and culture of scientific instrument development, incorporating a broad range of skills.   This interdisciplinary expertise impacts diverse areas of fundamental scientific research as well as industrial applications.   There is now an effort underway across three ANU research schools (Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics and Engineering, and Earth Sciences) to develop a Master of Science degree in scientific instrumentation.  The program will capitalise on the expertise at the ANU to provide a unique learning experience for students interested in the research and development of advanced instruments for precision measurements.  The philosophy of the program is to take an integrated approach with case studies drawn from landmark instruments developed at the ANU, thereby stimulating the learning of all main facets of science and technology required to develop a frontier measurement capability. 

This MSc will support our central ambition to be at the forefront of scientific discovery, while at the same time foster the growth of technical expertise across various sectors, domestically and abroad.  The program aims to produce graduates with deep insight and creative know-how to pursue related careers in science, industry and government, with a focus on innovation and start-up culture. The MSc will be a mix of course work and projects, both individual research as well as group-based. 

Dr. Robert Ward has been developing instrumentation for gravitational wave detection since 2004, starting during his PhD studies at Caltech.  He came to the ANU as a Research Fellow in 2011, and his work includes technology development for gravitational wave detection, precision measurement in space/satellite technology, and teaching into the Physics program. 

Date & time

Thu 19 Apr 2018, 3–4pm



Oliphant Seminar Room (414)


Members of RSPE welcome