Category Archives: News

AIP Annual General Meeting, Awards, Hidden Physicists and jobs; new organisation model, and more physics in FEBRUARY

I hope you stayed safe and had some rest over a somewhat tumultuous holiday period. It has been a difficult summer for many people across Australia and our thoughts are with the all those affected by the terrible fires, smoke and storms. My hope is that this summer is an inflection point regarding actions around climate change and that the AIP, like many other scientific organisations, makes its voice heard on this issue.

The upcoming Annual General Meeting is a great opportunity for members to give feedback on the direction of the AIP. It will be held in the Hercus Lecture Theatre, University of Melbourne, on Thursday 6 February at 4.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the AGM see below for more details.

In this bulletin – the first for 2020 – we meet Hidden Physicist Toby Hendy, who is sharing her love of physics and maths with the world via her highly successful YouTube channel, Tibees. 

We had a fantastic conclusion to 2019 with our Summer Meeting, also in Melbourne, which featured a dozen excellent plenary speakers. Conference chair Dr Gail Iles reports below.

Be on the lookout for news soon on the AIP Congress 2020 which will be held in Adelaide from 7 to 11 December.

Also in this bulletin is a report by David Gozzard on 2019’s Science Meets Parliament event in Canberra.

Congratulations to Professor Anthony Thomas AC, Professor Rachel Webster AO, and Associate Professor Maria Parappilly OAM who received Australia Day honours! .

Congratulations also to Professor Lisa Kewley of ANU and ASTRO 3D, who has become the first Australian ever to win the US National Academy of Science’s James Craig Watson Medal. More below.

There’s a chance to have your say on Australia’s future in space. The National Committee for Space and Radio Science is seeking your input, via an online survey – details below.

And, in housekeeping news, the AIP has recently changed to a new membership database hosted by Wild Apricot, has a new dedicated Operations Manager (read more about Nicole and the role below), and has recreated a new LinkedIn profile.

 Kind regards,

Jodie Bradby
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading AIP Annual General Meeting, Awards, Hidden Physicists and jobs; new organisation model, and more physics in FEBRUARY

AIP Summer Meeting, Awards, Hidden Physicists and jobs; new committees, and more physics in December

In this bulletin – the last for 2019 – we meet our final Hidden Physicist for the year – Max Post, who is using his physics smarts learned at RMIT university in his role as an Area Operations Manager at Holcim Australia. We hope you have enjoyed seeing the amazing careers undertaken by physics graduates in Australia. I know I have really appreciated hearing about them and we be continuing the series in 2020 in keeping with our commitment to promoting diversity of careers.

This month’s photo is a happy selfie taken by Professor Ken Baldwin at Science Meets Parliament last week. Dr Tim Van Der Laan, who is a Special Project Officer for AIP Outreach, had the pleasure to present Ken with the AIP Award for Outstanding Service to Physics in Australia for his vision and support in establishing Science Meets Parliament. More below.

I had a wonderful visit to Sydney to take part in the NSW Postgraduate Awards and Career day and am looking forward to attending the AIP summer meeting in Melbourne this week. As part of this event, the Physics Industry and Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, 3 December, between 1:30pm and 3pm in the RMIT. More details below.

The AIP has been busy with lobbying – with two members (both early career physicists) attending Science Meets Parliament. I wrote an article on the delays in funding announcements from the ARC in The Conversation, which resulted in a discussion of this issue on the floor of parliament.

Also in this month’s bulletin you’ll find details for two of next year’s AIP state branch committees, plus some well-deserved congratulations on awards and grants. 

Finally, a reminder that with the end of the year comes AIP membership renewal time and we are changing some of the ways we handle our database. You will see some big changes in this in the new year. More below.

All in all, it’s been a great year for the AIP – and for physics around the world. And next year, with all that’s going on and all that’s planned, promises to be better still.

On behalf of the AIP, may I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season, and an optimistic New Year. 
  Kind regards,

Jodie Bradby
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading AIP Summer Meeting, Awards, Hidden Physicists and jobs; new committees, and more physics in December

2019 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded; Eleven physicists among 2019 Future Fellowships; and more physics in November

We’re heading into an exciting time for AIP. There are some great events set to run in NSW and WA this month. And in Melbourne, the second biennial AIP Summer Meeting will be held at RMIT on Friday, December 6. Hurry, though – registration closes on November 16!  

Last month we issued a statement in support of AIP member and Murdoch University physicist Dr Gerd Schröder-Turk. We stand by our statement of support and urge the university to drop their legal action. Read the full statement here.

I spent a great day with participants at a Women’s writing workshop supported in part by the AIP. (See pic)

The Vicphysics Teachers’ Network invites women in physics or engineering to be a keynote speaker at one of its Girls in Physics Breakfasts. The events give students in Years 10 to 12 the opportunity to network and meet women in the early stages of STEM careers. Nominations close Friday, 29th November. More below.  

Congratulations to the new ARC Centre of Excellence of Transformative Meta-Optical Systems and the eleven physicists awarded ARC Future Fellowships in October! Read more about them below.

We are excited to host the IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics, to be held in Melbourne July 2020. Read more below.

Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the diversity of careers highlighted in our Hidden Physicist column. This month we meet Virginia Drumm, a radiation oncology medical physicist who looks after a linear accelerator used to deliver radiotherapy at millimetre accuracies to treat cancer patients. More below.

(And don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to nominate someone for the column!)

And at the WA Branch AIP AGM on Thursday, November 14, hear from David Blair about what the OzGrav Centre of Excellence and the LIGO-Virgo teams have discovered. Enquiries and tickets here.

Also in this month’s bulletin: the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics, Dirac medal nominations open, and find an opportunity in our Jobs Corner.

Kind regards,

Jodie Bradby
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded; Eleven physicists among 2019 Future Fellowships; and more physics in November

Three Australian physicists with exciting research; Australian Space Agency partners with NASA; and more physics in October

I hope you have been enjoying the diversity of careers highlighted in our Hidden Physicist column. This month we meet Mark Turner, an Australian physicist who recently launched a start-up on laser micro-machining in Silicon Valley in the US.

The call for abstracts for the second AIP Summer Meeting is has been extended a few more days, and the early-bird registration is now open. We are excited to offer this conference, which aims to showcase upcoming talent in physics. I hope to see you at RMIT in Melbourne in December!

Nominations for the 2019 NSW Community Outreach to Physics Award will close on Friday 11th October. More below.

Congratulations to the three physics projects among the 2019 Australian Laureate Fellows announced in September, and to the Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) team at the University of Adelaide for creating the first ATTA facility in the Southern Hemisphere. Read more below.

An opportunity has arisen to help deliver the Australian Science Olympiads physics program as the Deputy Program Director of the event. Details below.

Also this month: The Australian Space agency partners with NASA, apply for the CSIRO Alumni 2020 Scholarship in Physics, and find an opportunity in our Jobs Corner.

Kind regards,

Jodie Bradby
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading Three Australian physicists with exciting research; Australian Space Agency partners with NASA; and more physics in October

AIP Summer Meeting; jobs; conferences; and more physics in September

The call for abstracts for the Summer Meeting is now open. We are excited to offer this conference as a ‘cheap and cheerful’ opportunity on our off-Congress years. All welcome and we especially hope to see lots of our students and ECR members there.

Senior Instrument Scientist and neutron-scattering expert Helen Maynard-Casely’s Women in Physics Lecture Tour has finished after a mammoth 40+ lectures! I attended her talk in Canberra and loved going on a journey through the amazing crystals of solar system. I was so impressed by her storytelling skills. More below.  

Congratulations also to Pegah Maasoumi, who has been touring around Queensland spreading the word about foldable mobile phones, Ironman’s suit and solar panel winners on the John Mainstone Youth Lecture Tour.

National Science Week was again a success last month and featured everything from coffee in space with our Australian Physics co-editor Davis Hoxley, the Einstein Lecture with Elisabetta Barberio, and a look at whether bigger telescopes are always better, with Richard de Grijs. Well done to everyone who helped to spread the word about physics during the week.

Congratulations to the Dark Matter Particle Physics team with the announcement of their Centre of Excellence. More below.

Congratulations as well to all winners at last week’s Eureka Prizes. While seven physicists were finalists this year, sadly none walked away with a trophy. Next year!

Also this month: Register your interest for the International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors 2020; Virginia Trimble receives cultural award in physics; meet Jane Turner – our September Hidden Physicist; and find an opportunity in our Jobs Corner.

Kind regards,

Jodie Bradby
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading AIP Summer Meeting; jobs; conferences; and more physics in September

Neutrons will save the world; physicists in the Eureka Awards; how to survive the end of the universe during National Science Week; and more physics in august

National Science Week is happening from August 10 to 18 and is packed with many wonderful physics events. We’ve selected some of the best physics events around the country and listed them below.

“How neutrons will save the world” is the topic of our 2019 Women in Physics lecture, given by Dr Helen Maynard-Casely from ANSTO. Helen has now begun her tour in Tasmania and after 36 talks all over Australia will finish at the Girls in Physics Breakfast in Melbourne on Wednesday 28 August. Good luck Helen! More below.

The AIP national executive team were at ANU last week for a packed two days of strategic planning, priority-setting and discussions. We are working on a strategic plan and new opportunities to promote all things physics in Australia. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

Several physicists were announced last week as finalists for the 2019 Eureka Prizes. Read all about them here. Winners will be announced at the end of this month. Good luck to all finalists!

I really enjoyed the great posts on the AIP Instagram account from the Australians attending the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in Germany last month. SBS journalist Lydia Feng also attended the meetings and wrote about the young women levelling out gender imbalance in science. Women comprised eight out of the 13 physicists chosen by the Australian Academy of Science to attend.

Also this month: Nominate for the 2019 NSW Community Outreach to Physics award, read about the speediest quantum operation yet, meet Registered Patent Attorney Matthew Lay – our August Hidden Physicist, and find an opportunity in our Jobs Corner.

Kind regards,
Jodie Bradby
President, Australian Institute of Physics

Continue reading Neutrons will save the world; physicists in the Eureka Awards; how to survive the end of the universe during National Science Week; and more physics in august

QLD Outstanding Physics Teacher Award 2019 – nominate now!

The AIP-QLD is looking to introduce the outstanding Physics teacher award. We are looking for nominations of Physics teachers that have made a positive impact to teaching Physics to students at the high school level by anyone of the following criteria.

  1. Promote student interest in physics by providing an environment that stimulates student curiosity and learning.
  2. Use, develop or write innovative instructional materials and new technologies and approaches to the teaching of physics.
  3. Be a positive role model or mentor for other teachers of physics.
  4. Participate in professional development activities in science as a facilitator and continuous development as an effective science educator, with a focus on physics.

If you have a colleague, a former teacher of your own, or have heard of an inspiring teacher in your circle of friends, please consider nominating them for this years award by filling out the nomination form and sending this nomination (or any inquiries) by email to: aip_branchsecretary_qld@aip.org.au

The award consists of a cash prize, plaque and certificate.

Nominations close Friday 23 August 2019.

AIP Summer Meeting; neutrons will save the world; foldable phones; jobs; and more physics in July

We are excited to announce that the AIP is running a Summer Meeting on 3rd – 6th December 2019 at RMIT University in Melbourne. The meeting aims to showcase the upcoming talent in physics and will offer career development opportunities for students and early career researchers, including a jobs fair and a brilliant scientific program. Details here https://aip-summer-meeting.com/

A group of Australian students are attending the 29th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany and they’re taking over our new AIP Instagram account. See what they’re doing here.

July 5th 2019 marks the International Day of LGBTQ+ People in STEM. I’m so proud to be the president of an organisation that supports diversity and inclusion in STEM. And take a look at our social media accounts that have gone rainbow for the day!

This month in our new Hidden Physicists section, we’re featuring Eliza-Jane Pearsall, who is loving her job as Assistant Director of Policy Analysis at the Department of Social Security. Get in touch if you’d like to nominate a ‘hidden’ physicist for us to profile. More below.

This month Harvard physicist Lene Hau will present ‘Nothing goes faster than light… usually!’ at UNSW on July 23rd. For August: Helen Maynard-Casely will tour the country to talk about how neutrons will save the world for the Women in Physics lectures; Pegah Maasoumi will be around Queensland, talking about Ironman’s suit and solar panel windows on the John Mainstone lecture tour; and Elisabetta Barberio will present the 2019 Einstein lecture exploring what we know so far about dark matter. Details below.

I am also very proud to say that we found two Australian physicists honoured in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours list. Congratulations to Olivia Samardzic and Michelle Simmons! Olivia is a long-time AIP executive team member and looks after the AIP awards and medals, and Michelle of course is a quantum physicist and 2018 Australian of the Year. If you know of other physicists, please let us know.

We await the results of the South Australian Science Excellence Awards with shortlisted physicists Andre Luiten and James Tickner. Good luck!

In WA, hear from medical physicist Pejman Rowshanfarzad about the latest advances in radiotherapy machines at the WA Branch AIP General Meeting on Thursday 11th July. Register by emailing WA Branch Chair Dean Leggo.

Also this month: mentoring and guidance in careers (MAGIC) workshop for women ECRs, five of Australia’s brightest students to attend the International Physics Olympiad in Israel, apply for a role at CSIRO as an optical satellite systems engineer and more jobs in our Jobs Corner.

Finally, if you know someone considering becoming a member, let them know that now is an excellent time to join. From July 1st, new members pay only 50 per cent of the membership rates for the remainder of the year.

Continue reading AIP Summer Meeting; neutrons will save the world; foldable phones; jobs; and more physics in July

Canadian reciprocal rights for AIP members; Australian Academy of Science Awardees, the unravelling Great Red Spot; and more physics in June

I’m excited to announce that Nanotechnologist Tim Van der Laan will be joining the AIP team as our new Special Projects Officer for Outreach, focusing on digital content creation. Follow the new Instagram account at @aus_physics and send through your interesting and engaging physics pictures to Tim for posting on the account. Tim is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology, and he will work on ways to connect physicists with students and the broader community. Read about his plans below.

As well as our new Jobs Corner, this month we are introducing our ‘Hidden Physicists’ section, which profiles a physicist in the workforce. Our first profile is on ANU and UWA physics graduate Stuart Midgley, who now builds supercomputers at DownUnder GeoSolutions to process seismic data for mining companies.

In other good news we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Canadian Association of Physics (CAP) in May. This is a fantastic achievement and allows AIP members to attend CAP Congresses at member rates, subscribe to CAP’s magazine and be invited to speak at CAP Congress. Congratulations to our hard-working secretary Kirrily Rule who is working to set up MOUs and reciprocity agreements with other physics societies around the world. The response has been very positive, so watch this space!

In May I had the pleasure of attending the Asian Physics Olympiad in Adelaide—the first time the event was held in Australia. Congratulations to the young physicists on the Australian team who competed in two five-hour exams – one experimental and the other theory-based. I also had the pleasure of speaking on ABC RN Breakfast Radio with Siobhan Tobin about the Olympiad, women in STEM and optics. Have a listen here and read more below

If you’re in WA, come along to the WA Branch AIP General Meeting on Thursday 11th July. Medical physicist Pejman Rowshanfarzad will be guest lecturer, speaking about the latest advances in radiotherapy machines. More below.

Also this month: Australian Academy of Science Honorific Awards, attend the last Girls in Physics Breakfast for the year, apply for a graduate position at the Bureau of Meteorology, Jupiter’s shrinking Great Red Spot, and the last chance to be a presenter at Physics in the Pub in Melbourne.

Kind regards,

Jodie Bradby
President, Australian Institute of Physics
aip_president@aip.org.au

Continue reading Canadian reciprocal rights for AIP members; Australian Academy of Science Awardees, the unravelling Great Red Spot; and more physics in June