UNSW School of Physics Secures ARC Funding for Centres of Excellence in 2017
The Australian Research Council (ARC) announced nine new Centres of Excellence late last week. The nine centres have been chosen based on priority areas determined by the Federal Government and where they deem funding is needed in order to expand knowledge. Amazingly, Researchers at UNSW’s School of Physics are leaders in four of these Centres.
UNSW Physics leads the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, which was renewed for a further 7 years, and will host nodes of two new Centres of Excellence: the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (along with colleagues in Chemistry) and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (with colleagues in Materials Science and Engineering).
Quantum Computing’s Continued Support
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, led by Physics Professor Michelle Simmons, will develop new technology, expected to provide a strategic advantage in a world where information and security are increasingly important. “In Australia, for whatever reason, we are disproportionately strong in quantum computing,” said Professor Michelle Simmons “This is another step in keeping Australia ahead of the global pack. It will bring together eight Australian universities and more than 35 international partners in quantum computing – technology that will prove to be totally disruptive over the next decade and beyond." The Head of the School of Physics, Professor Sven Rogge, is also a Chief Investigator of the Centre.
New Centres of Excellence
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science, led by the University of Melbourne, will develop next-generation energy and security technologies by manipulating light in unique ways. The Centre’s research will focus on ‘full-spectrum’ photovoltaics through to printable electronics, energy-efficient lighting and displays, security labelling and optical sensor platforms for defence. The UNSW node will be led by Dr Dane McCamey from the School of Physics and Professor Timothy Schmidt in the School of Chemistry.
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies will use the new science of atomically thin materials such as graphene to enable revolutionary new computing devices with ultra-low power consumption. It will addresses the challenge of reducing the energy used in information and communications technology, up to 10% of electrical energy use in industrialised countries, and growing rapidly. The Centre’s Deputy Director, Professor Alex Hamilton, along with Chief Investigators Professor Oleg Sushkov, Dr Dimi Culcer and Dr Oleh Klochan are from UNSW Physics, with Professor Nagy Valanoor and Associate Professor Jan Seidel for the School of Materials Science and Engineering.
UNSW Faculty of Science’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CCRC) has also secured funding in this round of grants. The CCRC aims to transform understanding of past and present climate extremes and revolutionise Australia’s capacity to predict them in the future. “We see average temperatures rising but why do they translate into heatwaves? This, for instance, will be a focus of our research." said centre manager Andy Pitman. The CCRC and UNSW School of Physics have a joint arrangement to work collaboratively in this field, with Professor Jeremy Bailey from the School of Physics playing an integral role in this research.
This is an amazing outcome for the UNSW School of Physics. We would like to congratulate all the staff involved, who worked tirelessly in securing the ARC Centres of Excellence funding. Their contributions will not only help to redefine research in their associated areas, but also cement UNSW’s status as leader in world-class research.
About the Scheme
The ARC Centres of Excellence program is one of the most prestigious government funding schemes, providing resources for up to seven years and bringing together world-class, internationally competitive teams to investigate and find solutions to problems of national priority. $283.5 million will be used to fund specialised research in these areas.
For a full list of the approved ARC Centres of Excellence, please go to: ARC Website