IPAS External Newsletter
2020 has been a most challenging year for the globe. We have been very lucky in Australia and we are all thankful for that. It is a credit to our members that, despite all of these difficulties, this has still been a very productive year for IPAS. In fact, by many measures it has been our best year ever. I couldn't be any prouder to head this amazing team of people that continues to deliver the scientific breakthroughs that aim to solve global challenges.
The list of achievements you will find listed below is mind-blowing: prestigious awards, fellowships and appointments to numerous members at all stages of their careers, numerous large research grants and contracts as well as just recognition of one of the start-up companies based on intellectual property developed by IPAS. The announcements for many grants programs are happening right now and IPAS has done spectacularly well in the early stages – we will collate all of those, and tell you a little about each of the projects, in the next newsletter. I can promise you that it sets the stage for a very bright future.
I would also like to tell you a little about our work on putting together a new strategic plank for IPAS, which will have all its foundation elements in place by early 2021. By way of background, over the next 20 years, just about everyone believes that there will be a technological revolution in which quantum technologies end up in just about everything. Australia is striving to build up its sovereign capability in this area and IPAS has committed to be a leading player in bringing about this quantum-enabled world.
IPAS has worked with schools in the Faculties of Sciences and ECMS to respond to this potential by seeding activity in a field called “quantum materials”. This is an exciting new discipline at the boundary of condensed matter physics, quantum physics, material sciences, chemical engineering, and optoelectronics. Quantum materials use the counter-intuitive effects of quantum mechanics to give rise to exotic and often incredible properties – they are almost magic! Quantum materials exhibit anomalously strong quantum properties with beautiful names such as duality, superposition and entanglement. These unique features can be exploited to deliver new capability in fields as diverse as medical diagnostics, secure and ultra-fast telecommunications, industrial sensing, electronics, batteries, and environmental control and monitoring.
In collaboration with the Faculty of ECMS (Schools of Chemical and Electronic Engineering) and Faculty of Sciences (School of Physical Sciences), we partnered with global technology powerhouse Silanna Group, Australia’s only semiconductor design and manufacturing company, and DST Group to install $25m of quantum materials manufacturing labs at the University of Adelaide. These facilities create a unique and attractive ecosystem to grow new semiconductor materials at the quantum scale, design new solid-state devices and train a future quantum workforce for Australia. More recently, the University has also made a major appointment in Quantum Materials under the Top Talent scheme, with the appointee soon to be announced. This has been paralleled by the appointment of a new Head of Electronic Engineering with similarly outstanding background in this quantum electronics field.
These investments, and the critical mass that we are creating, is going to spawn a quantum manufacturing industry for South Australia. This new industry will create a large number of well-paid jobs for which we need to educate a whole generation of smart people – there are exciting times ahead! It is heartening that we could play such a central role in bringing this about.
Have a great holiday and, of course, if IPAS can help you, or you can help us, then please do not hesitate to contact us.