Trajan Named in Top 20 “Businesses of Tomorrow” List

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 3.50.55 pmTrajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan) has been named one of the top 20 leading “Businesses of Tomorrow” in Australia.

Commissioned by Westpac and conducted by Deloitte, the Businesses of Tomorrow study identified companies that are shaping Australia’s future. Judging criteria included: track record of delivery, ability to meet future challenges and contribution to the community, industry or economy.

Trajan‘s strong collaborative relationship with researchers, such as IPAS within the University of Adelaide, allowing the company to be at the forefront of innovation, was a contributing factor in gaining a place in the top 20 list.  Furthermore, Trajan’s evolution from an engineering business to market-focused company allows Trajan to “remain agile and adaptable to market needs”.

A branch of Trajan has been colocated with IPAS since September 2016, following the Photonics Catalyst Program, a joint initiative between the South Australian government and IPAS to connect industry with research.

A full report on the top 200 Australian Businesses of Tomorrow can be found here.

Welcome Tim: IPAS Project Manager

Tim Nelson will be commencing his position as the IPAS Project Manager on 24th April.

Tim’s background is in biomedical engineering and he previously worked at The Bionics Institute in Melbourne, developing and trialling novel implantable devices and strategies for the prediction and treatment of seizures in patients with chronic epilepsy. As an engineering professional, this also incorporated aspects of intellectual property identification and commercialisation strategy development. He studied post-graduate Management at Melbourne Business School prior to taking up a role with Save the Children (Vanuatu) in the development and humanitarian space. As Director of Operations, he was responsible for a large-scale humanitarian program over a 10-month period following Cyclone Pam.

Most recently, Tim worked in the Research & Business Partnerships branch of the University of Adelaide as an industry-engagement specialist, with an interest in innovation, entrepreneurship and tech-transfer.

Welcome Tim!

Prof Luiten: New Appointment to the National Committee for Physics

Prof Andre Luiten has been appointmenAASt membership of the National Committee for Physics (NCP), with tenure until 31st March 2020. The NCP is one of 22 national committees within the Australian Academy of Science(AAS), with the broad aim of fostering links between domestic and international scientists within disciplines to the academy.

 

 

IPAS Seminar: The GEM of Memory Storage

Dr Ben Sparkes kicked off the 2016 IPAS Seminar Series with his presentation titled “Gradient Echo Memory: A GEM for Quantum Information Processing”.

Gradient Echo Memory (GEM) is based on photon echoes and is a more precise and efficient form of quantum  memory and storage for light.

Ben joined the Precision Measurement Group two months ago, following a postdoc at University of Melbourne and undertaking his PhD at Australia National University.  He is an ARC DECRA Fellow and is looking forward to expanding his research within IPAS.

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Uni of Adelaide to Partner Mitsubishi for Sensing Solutions

The University of Adelaide will develop novel very high temperature sensors for global industrial giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the University announced today.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the University have signed contracts for collaborative research by the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) to develop unique optical fibre based ultra-high, multipoint temperature sensors that will enhance the efficiency of their power generation systems.

IPAS and the University’s School of Physical Sciences are renowned for the development of light-based technologies, including optical fibre sensors, for a range of biomedical, defence, environmental and industrial sensing.

“Mitsubishi came to Adelaide looking for global research partners and decided our ultra-high temperature optical fibre sensors would provide a unique opportunity to better understand and improve their world leading power generation systems,” says Professor Mike Brooks, Acting Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Adelaide.

“The University of Adelaide is honoured to be working with such a giant of industrial engineering and manufacturing as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.”

Last year IPAS worked with 68 different local and international companies to develop novel breakthrough technologies to help them improve manufacturing and business processes.

“Application of IPAS technologies to date has been largely focused on local South Australian companies – helping them grow their business and retain jobs,” says Professor Andre Luiten, Director of IPAS.

“This new collaboration represents international recognition for the quality of the research and development we are doing, and the difference these emerging disruptive technologies like photonics can make to businesses’ bottom lines.”

“This new collaboration surely brings new technology to sensing of the hot parts of the product of MHI. This will lead to improvements in our product power, and a new business opportunity,” says Dr Fukagawa, the general manager of the heat transfer research department, from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The Mitsubishi contract will build on the technology that IPAS developed with SJ Cheesman for deployment at the Nyrstar Polymetalic Smelter at Port Pirie. This provided novel temperature sensors that can withstand furnace temperatures, enabling processes within the environment of the smelter to be monitored for the first time enabling increased efficiency and significant reductions in energy use

Photonics at Science Meets Parliament 2017

Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem represented the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics and IPAS at Science Meets Parliament, held in Canberra on 21-22nd March 2017. 

Science Meets Parliament is an annual event run by Science and Technology Australia and provides ~200 scientists with the opportunity to meet with federal politicians, advisors and policy makers.

Heike had the opportunity to meet with Senator Chris Back, Chair of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislative Committee, and Senator Chris Ketter; discussing her research involving the use of optical fibres to create windows into the body, specifically in regards to pain detection.

In addition, Heike also had the opportunity to talk with the Honourable Richard Marles, Shadow Minister for Defence, during the official dinner.

A summary of Science Meets Parliament can be found here.

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Top 100 Articles of 2016

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The publication “Fast machine-learning online optimisation of ultra-cold-atom experiments” was ranked in the top 100 articles published in Scientific Reports in 2016, receiving 11820 views.

The paper was the result of a collaboration between Australian National University and Professor Andre Luiten.

Scientific Reports is part of the Nature publishing group and more than 20000 articles were published in 2016.

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Reference: Wigley et al (2016) “Fast Machine-Learning Online Optimization of Ultra-Cold-Atom Experiments” Scientific Reports, 6, 25890. doi:10.1038/srep25890

Welcome Elodie and Mel

We have just finished the process of hiring and are pleased to announce that three new staff members are joining the IPAS team. 
 
elodie-janvier1IPAS Strategic Research Development Manager – Ms Elodie Janvier
The Strategic Research Development Manager is responsible for providing leadership and contribute to the ongoing research capacity development of IPAS. Elodie will ensure IPAS researchers target key programs and will coordinate pre- and post-award administration of competitive research grant applications and awards, manage the internal grant programs, including the IPAS Pilot Projects and Travel funding programs. She will take a leading role in the development of strategies and initiatives to enhance grant application quality and help the Institute and its researchers strengthen their external profile and demonstrate impact.
 
Prior to starting her career in Research Management, Elodie worked as a Scientist and Engineer for multinational Companies, Laboratories and Governmental Organisations in France and Germany. The combination of her experience in carrying out Research & Development projects in the academic, defence and industrial sectors, together with her expertise in Quality Management makes Elodie a perfect fit for IPAS. 
 
mel-mcdowallIPAS Grant Writer / Science Communicator – Dr Mel McDowall
Reporting to Elodie, Mel will work closely with Institute researchers under Elodie’s direction to ensure submission of grant applications and fellowship applications of high quality.   She will collate  and maintain the IPAS databases,  promote key funding streams, updates and other opportunities through the IPAS newsletter and work with the Marketing and Communication Branch and researchers to enhance knowledge of IPAS research members achievements. She will also assist in the design and marketing of IPAS events for external stakeholders.
Mel has a research background, spanning basic science, agriculture and medical sciences. She is also passionate about science communication and outreach and has written articles for numerous different websites such as “The Conversation” and “I Quit Sugar” and has been involved in public outreach campaigns for “Your Fertility” and “Science Meets Parliament”.


IPAS Project Manager – Starting 24 April 2017 – To be announced soon
The IPAS Project Manager will provide specialised project management for IPAS research projects secured with industry, government, and defence customers. The role will be customer facing and provide a critical communications conduit between clients and our research teams. The IPAS Project Manager will contribute to the development of masterplans, schedules and milestones for projects so that large research teams have an effective resource and expertise planning and are thus able to deliver on projects within budget and on time.  The IPAS Project Manager will  enhance the delivery of projects by interfacing with external parties and key stakeholders within the University. 

“Cool” Front Cover Feature for the Sapphire Clock

Cryo clock

The Sapphire Clock is featured on the front cover of this month’s “Cold Facts”, the official publication of the Cryogenic Society of America

The Sapphire Clock is a cryogenic sapphire oscillator that allows time to be measured to the femtosecond scale (one quadrillionth of a second), the kind of accuracy required for ultra high precision measurements; such as radar technology, long baseline astronomy and quantum computing.

Building off technology developed by Prof Andre Luiten in 1996 and Prof John Hartnett in 2004-2012, the most recent version of the Sapphire Clock is capable of 100 time better spectral purity than other sapphire clock articlecommercially available technologies.

The Sapphire Clock team is led by A/Prof Martin O’Connor and a commercial version will be available in late 2017.

Ref: O’Connor et al (2017) Cold Facts, Vol 33 (1): 16-17.

New optical fibre sensor to aid breast cancer surgery

An IPAS research team led by Dr Erik Schartner has developed an optical fibre probe that distinguishes breast cancer tissue from normal tissue – potentially allowing surgeons to be much more precise when removing breast cancer.

The device could help prevent follow-up surgery, currently needed for 15-20% of breast cancer surgery patients where all the cancer is not removed.

Published today in the journal Cancer Research, the researchers in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, and the Schools of Physical Sciences and Medicine, describe how the optical probe works by detecting the difference in pH between the two types of tissue. The research conducted with our partners Prof. Grantley Gill at with the Breast, Endocrine and Surgical Oncology Unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Dr Deepak Dhatrak of SA Pathology and Prof David Callen, Director of the Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine at the University of Adelaide. 

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“We have designed and tested a fibre-tip pH probe that has very high sensitivity for differentiating between healthy and cancerous tissue with an extremely simple – so far experimental – setup that is fully portable,” says project leader Dr Erik Schartner, postdoctoral researcher at the CNBP at the University of Adelaide.

“Because it is cost-effective to do measurements in this manner compared to many other medical technologies, we see a clear scope for this technology in operating theaters.”

Current surgical techniques to remove cancer lack a reliable method to identify the tissue type during surgery, relying on the experience and judgement of the surgeon to decide on how much tissue to remove. Because of this, surgeons often perform ‘cavity shaving’, which can result in the removal of excessive healthy tissue. And at other times, some cancerous tissue will be left behind.

“This is quite traumatic to the patient, and has been shown to have long-term detrimental effects on the patient’s outcome,” Dr Schartner says.

The optical fibre probe uses the principle that cancer tissue has a more acidic environment than normal cells; they produce more lactic acid as a byproduct of their aggressive growth.

The pH indicator embedded in the tip of the optical probe emits a different colour of light depending on the acidity. A miniature spectrometer on the other end of the probe analyses the light and therefore the pH.

“How we see it working is the surgeon using the probe to test questionable tissue during surgery,” says Dr Schartner. “If the readout shows the tissues are cancerous, that can immediately be removed. Presently this normally falls to post-operative pathology, which could mean further surgery.

The researchers currently have a portable demonstration unit and are doing further testing. They hope to progress to clinical studies in the near future.