Professor Anthony Thomas AC FAA
|Position||Aust Laureate Fellow & Elder Prof of Physics|
|Telephone||+61 8 8313 3547|
In 2020 Prof. Thomas was made a Companion of the Order of Australia "for his eminent service to scientific education and research, particularly in the field of nuclear and particle physics, through academic leadership roles".
He was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2019. In 2014 he was recognized as South Australian Scientist of the Year. Prof. Thomas's work has received more than 25,000 citations in the HEP-Spires data-base, with an h-index of 84. Prof. Thomas was elected a Fellow of the (UK) Institute of Physics in 1996. In 1997 the University of Adelaide recognized his achievements through the award of the Stephen Cole the Elder Prize for Scholarship. In the same year the Academy of Science awarded him the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal. This was followed by the Harrie Massey Medal (of the UK Institute of Physics) in 2000. From 2014-2018 he held a Special Visiting Researcher Fellowship of CNPq Brazil.
In addition to these and other awards and prizes, Prof. Thomas was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003.
Prof. Thomas was Associate Director (and Director of the Adelaide node) of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Particle Physics at the Tera-scale from 2011-2018. This Centre, which was formed by a national consortium involving Adelaide, Melbourne, Monash and Sydney Universities, served to coordinate Australian research at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Following the close of that Centre he was a Chief Investigator on a successful bid for a new Centre of Excellence in Dark Matter Particle Physics, which began work in 2020.
In 2004, Prof. Thomas was invited to take up the position of Chief Scientist and Associate Director for Theoretical and Computational Physics at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, one of the US Department of Energy's two major fundamental nuclear physics laboratories. As well as having line management responsibility for over 300 scientists and engineers he held responsibility for the quality of entire scientific program of the laboratory, with its more than 1200 international scientific users.
Under his leadership the US$300M upgrade of the laboratory, to double its energy and add a new experimental hall was accorded the top priority in the 2007 Long Range Plan for US Nuclear Science.
In 2009 Prof. Thomas returned to the University of Adelaide as an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, one of only two appointed from outside Australia in that year. He is now Director of the University Research Centre for Complex Systems and the Structure of Matter, which incorporates the CSSM but aims for a more diverse research program building upon the expertise in mathematical modelling and high performance computing that has developed around CSSM.
Prof. Thomas has served on numerous national and international committees. He is currently Vice-Cair of the Asaian Nuclear Physics association and the Association of Asian Pacific Countries Division of Nuclear Physics. He was Secretary of Commission C12 (Nuclear Physics) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) from 1996 to 2002; he served as Chair of the National Committee for Physics (AAS) and the IUCF Visiting Committee and he also served on the Beirat at the Nuclear Physics Institute of FZ-Jülich. He served as the Chair of the Working Group on International Cooperation in Nuclear Physics (WG.9) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from its inauguration in 2005 until 2011 and served as past-Chair until late 2020. In that role he also served on the OECD Global Science Forum Working Group on Nuclear Physics (2006-2008), which prepared a world-wide roadmap for research facilities in fundamental nuclear science. Prof. Thomas is currently Vice-Chair of the Asian Nuclear Physics Association. He also serves as a member of the Program Advisory Committee at J-PARC in Japan.
After a PhD at Flinders University, experience as a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia and a staff member at TRIUMF in Canada and CERN in Geneva, Prof. Thomas arrived in Adelaide in February 1984. He served as Deputy Chairman of the Physics Department and for four years as the first Head of the new Department of Physics and Mathematical Physics. He also served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Science, and was elected to the University Council from 1991 to 1997.
In 1989 he was appointed Elder Professor of Physics - the sixth person to hold the chair first held in 1886 by Sir William Bragg. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1987 and the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) in 1990. In 1987 he won the Walter Boas Medal (of the Australian Institute of Physics, the AIP), and in 1991 the Inaugural Silver Jubilee Commemoration Medal of Flinders University.
From 1991 to 1993 he served as President of the Australian Institute of Physics. This was an exciting period during which the first Strategic Plan for Physics in Australia was created and his involvement in the AIP continued as chair of the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee.
From 1991 to 1996 he held an Australian Research Council Senior Research Fellowship and from 1996 to 1999 an ARC Special Investigator Award. In 1992 he was awarded a Research prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Research Foundation.
Prof. Thomas served on the Council of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) from 1992 to 1995, including a term as Vice-President from 1994 to 1995.
Following the recommendation of the Strategic Plan for Physics it was proposed to hold a competition to host the proposed National Institute for Theoretical Physics. The National Committee for Physics (of the AAS) awarded the honour to Adelaide University, in partnership with the ANU, UNSW and Flinders University in 1995, with Prof. Thomas as Director. Since that time the NITP has hosted well over 50 workshops and conferences at the partner institutions and elsewhere.
Under the framework of the NITP, a bid was prepared for a more specialized research centre working in nuclear and particle theory. This led to the award of the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM for short) in 1997.
The CSSM has been widely recognized as one of the world's major centres for research in theoretical subatomic physics and details of its staff, its workshops, visitor program, publications and other activities may be found on the Centre's web pages Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter | School of Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences | University of Adelaide
Awards & Achievements
2020 Companion of the Order of Australia (Australia's highest civilian award) for "eminent service
to scientific education and research through academic leadership roles in nuclear and particle
2019 University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research
2014 South Australian Scientist of the Year - for "his scientific achievement at the highest
level, his scientific leadership both nationally and internationally, his contributions to
building scientific capacity in South Australia and to the training of outstanding research
students and postdoctoral fellows"
2014 Special Visiting Researcher Fellowship of CNPq Brazil (2014-18)
2011 Associate Director (and Director of the Adelaide Node) of the ARC Centre of
Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale
2003 Centenary Medal for "service to Australian society and science in theoretical physics"
2000 Harrie Massey Medal (UK Institute of Physics) for contributions to physics
1997 Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal (Australian Academy of Science) for "outstanding research
in mathematics or physics mathematics or physics"
1997 Stephen Cole the Elder Prize for Scholarship (Adelaide University) for research achievement
1997 Director: ARC Special Research Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter
1996 Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK) and Chartered Physicist
1996 ARC Special Investigator Award
1995 Director: National Institute for Theoretical Physics
1993 Inoue Fellowship (Japan) - awarded for collaboration with the University of Osaka.
1992 Alexander von Humboldt Forschungspreise - 12 months support for visits to Germany
to engage in collaborative research with scientists at FZ Jülich and the Technical
1991 Inaugural Silver Jubilee Convocation Medal of The Flinders University of South
Australia - established in commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the University
to acknowledge the significant contribution made by Flinders alumni to the University,
the community or within their chosen field
1991 ARC Senior Research Fellowship
1990 Elder Professor of Physics - 6th holder of the Chair originally held by Sir William
Henry Bragg, Nobel Laureate
1987 Fellow of the American Physical Society, Division of Nuclear Physics - for outstanding research in nuclear physics
Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics
Fellow of the American Physical Society
Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics
Categories Science & Technology Expertise high energy and particle physics; nuclear physics; mathematical modelling; complex systems Notes Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science since 1990; Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics and the Australian institute of Physics; Boas Medal; Lyle Medal; Massie Medal; Inaugural Silver Jubilee Convocation Medal - Flinders University; Centenary Medal; past-Chair IUPAP Working Group WG.9; former President AIP; Chief Scientist JLab (04-09);Director CSSM; Associate Director CoEPP
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Entry last updated: Friday, 14 Apr 2023
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