$1 million fellowship supports new physics chair
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"We thank the State Government for their vision in supporting this appointment through the South Australian Research Fellowships."
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.
"Andre's passion and excitement for physics research will inspire and motivate our next generation of undergraduate scientists," said the Head of the School of Chemistry & Physics, Professor Derek Leinweber.
"His role directly reflects our unique position in the State of having a nexus between world-leading research and learning and teaching."
The State Government first supported a Chair of Experimental Physics at the University of Adelaide in 1990, with Professor Jesper Munch appointed to that position.
Professor Munch is now retiring from the chair after 22 years. In that time, the University of Adelaide has developed strong collaborative relationships with local industry, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and national and international researchers.