Category Archives: Bulletin

Australia’s Quantum Future, Physicists Honoured, Hidden Physicist, Physics in the News, and more physics fun in June

As COVID-19 continues to shape our lives it is heartening to see the Australian scientific community rising to the challenge.

AIP is a member of Science and Technology Australia, which is part of the Rapid Research Information Forum collaboration led by Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel. I encourage you to read through the rapid response reports provided to government. You can find them here.

And with COVID in mind we have extended the time to nominate a colleague or student for an AIP medal or award. See below.

We’ve published a list of our AIP Fellows. You can apply to become a Fellow of the AIP by completing the online application form.

Read on, too, to meet our Hidden Physicist for the month. Matthew Wiggins is a health physicist providing radiation science solutions to the Queensland Government, as well as to public and private sector clients.

I congratulate all the new Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science who were recently announced. I was delighted to see physics was well represented. Congratulations to three AIP members – Cathy Foley, Ping Koy Lam, Tim Bedding – who were elected this round. See below for details.

I also congratulate Professor Warwick Bowen on being the recipient of the 2020 Barry Inglis Medal from the National Measurement Institute, and ANU student Marika Niihori who will be heading to the UK with a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Read about them further on.

Recently Cathy Foley launched the National Quantum Roadmap, which started from a meeting at an AIP congress back in 2016. We’re holding an online forum, discussing the future of quantum technology in Australia, on June 4. In July, there is another, on the future of the gravitational wave detector. Read on for details.

From missing matter to a cosmic ring of fire, there have been some excellent stories of Australian physics in the news recently. You can find a good selection below.

And of course, you’ll find listings for exciting physics jobs.


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

Continue reading Australia’s Quantum Future, Physicists Honoured, Hidden Physicist, Physics in the News, and more physics fun in June

First in new series of ARC Centre talks, Extension of closing date for AIP Prize nominations, Solar Cell Windows, and more physics in May

I hope you’re coping well with the current challenges and not getting magnets stuck up your nose (sorry Dr Daniel Reardon – keep on innovating!).  

It’s great to see the AIP community remaining hard at work, educating, and creating physics events.

A number of our events are already moving online, including the former Physics in the Pub, which is now Physics in the Cloud. Members are also invited to attend virtual talks put on by FLEET, the first one by our own Dr Kirrily Rule. More details below.

Yet more events are being rescheduled. I am happy to announce that the next AIP Congress will now be held from December 5 to 10, 2021, in Adelaide.

This bulletin includes the AIP’s statement on physics education post-COVID which aims to emphasise the importance of face-to-face teaching and learning once we all get ‘back to normal’. And we meet our Hidden Physicist for the month: Sarah Lugay, who is a cyber security expert for EY.

The nominations for the NSW Community Outreach to Physics Award have opened. See below for details.

In physics news, we are excited that windows will soon generate electricity, following a solar cell breakthrough by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science. Read about it further on.

Plus the Australian Academy of Science and Australia’s other learned academies have launched a COVID-19 Expert Database. See below for details on how you can contribute.

Keep on washing those hands and stay connected.

Kind regards,

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

Continue reading First in new series of ARC Centre talks, Extension of closing date for AIP Prize nominations, Solar Cell Windows, and more physics in May

How the AIP is managing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, awards and prize nominations open, 58-year-old puzzle solved, and more physics in April

Firstly, I hope you are coping as best as you can with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. It’s a tough time for everyone and I’m encourage people to do what they can to look out for each other. The response to the pandemic has meant big changes for us all as we adjust to laboratory shutdowns, online teaching, and deal with cancelled travel and events.

There has been a flurry of e-meetings and emails over the past week within the AIP and I am heartened to report that we continue to work hard to support and connect the Australian Physics community. Of course, COVID-19 is going to cause our face-to-face events to be cancelled or postponed, but we hope to take what we can online. Sadly, however, we have had to postpone our Congress, which was to be held in Adelaide in December. More details below.

The eligibility criteria have been announced for the AIP NSW Best Graduating Student annual prize. See below for details.

In this bulletin we meet another Hidden Physicist. Dr Jonathan Hall who is the co-founder and director of Life Whisperer, company that uses a machine-learning medical imaging technique to improve IVF pregnancy rates.

I was saddened to hear that former AIP national president Emeritus Professor Geoff Wilson passed away in January. As AIP president he helped form what is now Science & Technology Australia to more effectively lobby government. You can read more about him below.

A 58-year-old puzzle has been cracked on the way to a quantum breakthrough by scientists at UNSW. Read more below.
And the review of the decadal plan for physics needs case studies. See below for details on how you can contribute.

Kind regards,

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

Continue reading How the AIP is managing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, awards and prize nominations open, 58-year-old puzzle solved, and more physics in April

Awards and Prize nominations open, ARC Senate Order passed, Call for stories, and more physics in March

It is my great pleasure to announce that Dr Cathy Foley has been made an Honorary Fellow of the AIP. I wholeheartedly congratulate Cathy for her contributions to physics. This month’s bulletin picture is of the AIP council members applauding after the motion was passed unanimously at our annual council meeting recently. More details below.

That event and our Annual General Meeting were held in Melbourne in early February. It was a great opportunity for representatives to come together to plan and make decisions for the year ahead. Our wonderful Honorary Secretary, Kirrily Rule, has written a great report which I encourage you to read; see below for details.

The review of the decadal plan for physics is seeking case studies for the publication. See below for details on how you can contribute.

In this bulletin we meet another Hidden Physicist with a wonderful career story. Andreas Schreiber leads the bioinformatics groups of the Centre of Cancer Biology and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Cancer Genomics Facility in Adelaide.

I was thrilled to hear the news at the end of February that the Senate has ordered a change to the way Australian Research Council grants are announced. This is a big improvement for researchers, and for transparency. Read 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 be on the look-out for news soon about the AIP Congress 2020, which will be held in Adelaide from 7 to 11 December.

Kind regards,

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

Continue reading Awards and Prize nominations open, ARC Senate Order passed, Call for stories, and more physics in March

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