Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
IPAS Director Professor Andre Luiten
Welcome to the latest IPAS newsletter.
As the festive season approaches it is, of course, the right time to reflect on the last year at IPAS. I am immensely proud of all the work our members have done to make IPAS bigger and better: it has been another year of amazing announcements across the board.
Since our last newsletter, the brilliant research and efforts of IPAS researchers have been recognised by numerous prestigious international and national grants and awards as you will see below. Perhaps equally important has been the work of these same people in being proud STEM advocates through the creation of inspiring scientific outreach programs. This is critical for the future of IPAS, the University, and indeed the country.
I am excited to announce the establishment of a new Centre for Radiation Research, Education and Innovation (CRREI), and the appointment of A/Prof Tony Hooker as its Director. Tony will work closely with Prof Nigel Spooner, a founding member of IPAS, to deliver on the 4 key missions of the centre, including the expansion and provision of radiation-related services to the health, mining and environment monitoring sectors as well as food irradiation testing and chronological dating services. CRREI is a winner almost from the day it was born! It was already named the most inspiring research institute for a career in the space industry at the 2019 Australian Research Space Conference.
IPAS researchers won multiple 2020 ARC Discovery Project Grants across a broad range of research areas - from studying the universe on its grandest scale, through to better understanding of the the environment and medicine (see below). New international and national collaborations have flourished with 3 IPAS teams winning Global Connections Fund Bridging Grants to partner with Flawless Photonics (USA), LumoScribe (Cyprus) and KU Leuven (Belgium). In parallel, a new $1.3M Linkage grant will see an IPAS research team (led by Prof Nigel Spooner) being part of an expert team investigating one of the richest bodies of rock art in Australia and the World.
I couldn’t be any prouder to announce that IPAS has been recognised for its leading “Women in STEM”. This year saw IPAS women researchers as innovation trailblazers, with Dr Jiawen Li and Dr Katharina Richter being awarded the Winnovation Awards in Engineering and Science respectively - this is a great story as bridging the boundaries of science and engineering is exactly where IPAS should be. Dr Georgina Sylvia, who was named the next superwoman of STEM, will receive a $20,000 grant to accelerate her career. Dr Cheryl Law was awarded the 2019 University's Women's Research Excellence Award for her research in advanced engineering of new chemical and biological sensing technologies. In very recent news, Dr Jiawen Li was also awarded the Geoff Opat Early Career Researcher Prize by the Australian Optical Society for her outstanding research contribution in the field of optics.
IPAS is delighted to be the host of the newest Ramsay Fellow appointment (this is the fifth time in six years the Ramsey fellow has been associated with IPAS). Dr Fiona Whelan will focus on harnessing the natural sensing ability of bacteria in areas such as medical diagnostics, food security, bio-monitoring and bio-remediation.
The last few month were buzzing at IPAS as we proudly hosted the international Precision and Quantum Sensing workshop in Adelaide. The workshop was attended by almost 100 leading experts in the precision and quantum sensing field and also directly addressed the issues in planning for a quantum workforce for Australia. We also hosted a workshop in quantum devices and quantum materials as we build our way to an internationally leading capability in this rapidly changing field - I think this is going to grow to be a very big part of IPAS's activity. Finally, with the support of the Faculty of Science, we took part in INGENUITY 2019 at the Adelaide Convention Centre - this is an absolutely outstanding annual event created by the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS) and which allowed us to showcase our research to over 5000 attendees including high school students, industry representatives, university staff and the general public. I think you can see from the photos of the event that our efforts to inspire were having the desired effect!
Have a great holiday and please stay tuned for more exciting news in the New Year.