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May / June 2012 Issue
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$1 million fellowship supports new physics chair


The University of Adelaide's international reputation for research in optical physics will be given a further boost thanks to a $1 million fellowship from the State Government.

Professor Andre Luiten will relocate from Western Australia to take up the Chair of Experimental Physics at the University of Adelaide in February 2013, with support from a $1 million South Australian Research Fellowship.

Professor Luiten will bring with him a high-calibre team of researchers to establish a suite of world-leading facilities for precision measurement.

Based in the University's School of Chemistry & Physics, Professor Luiten will conduct research within the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS).

Professor Luiten's appointment "will strengthen Adelaide's reputation as a world leader in optics and photonics research", said Science and Information Economy Minister the Hon. Tom Kenyon, who announced the appointment last month.

"His work aims to develop new types of state-of-the-art laser instruments capable of determining measurements that were not previously possible, making them critical to scientific discovery across a wide range of fields," Mr Kenyon said.

Professor Luiten was the joint inaugural winner of the WA Premier's Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science and was awarded the Bragg Gold Medal for Physics in 1996. He has also conducted research for NASA.

"Andre's arrival will establish a firm foundation for exciting new research directions that are complementary to and build on our existing strengths," said the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks.

Director of IPAS Professor Tanya Monro said she was thrilled about the appointment. "Andre's focus on driving forward the limits of measurement aligns strongly with IPAS's vision to create sensing technologies that will transform our capacity to answer pressing problems both in research and industry," Professor Monro said.

"It is particularly pleasing to have such a strong successor to Professor Jesper Munch, the outgoing Chair of Experimental Physics, who has played a critical leadership role in establishing optics at the University of Adelaide over the past 22 years."

Professor Luiten's appointment also includes teaching at the University.

Story by David Ellis

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