Blog Archives

Radiation Sensing and Optical Clocks Wins Support from DSTG

Dr Ruth Shaw (Institute for Minerals and Energy Resources) and Dr Chris Perrella (Precision Measurement Group) recently received funding from the Defence Science and Technology Group’s (DSTG) competitive evaluation research agreement (CERA) scheme.

Announced by the Minister for Defence Industry, the Honorable Christopher Pyne MP, CERA funding “allows us to draw on the expertise in Australian universities to initiate research into emerging technologies of interest to Defence,” Minister Pyne said.

The two successful projects from IPAS members were:

Chris Perella.Dr Chris Perrella (CI), Dr Fred Baynes, Dr Phil Light, Dr Ben Sparkes, Prof Andre Luiten & Belinda Pickett (DSTG)

High-Performance Optical Clock for Local Time References and UAV Applications

This project will develop an atomic, optical clock that will provide local timing signals used for navigation in the absence of global positioning systems (GPS) signals. The optical clock offers significant benefits over clocks currently used in GPS in terms of size, weight, power consumption, and their intrinsic performance. This kind of precision and high-stability timing signals are required for GPS and inertial navigation systems, and the optical clock will further minimise the risks of intentional jamming/spoofing or  other limitations in GPS access.

Ruth_Shaw2.jpgDr Ruth Shaw (CI), Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem, Prof Nigel Spooner, Dr Chris Kalnins, A/Prof David Ottaway and Carly Whittaker

Radiation-sensitive optical fibres for real-time distributed radiation sensing”

The project aims to characterise and use rare earth doped silica to develop sensitive fibre optic devices for the real-time monitoring of entryways associated with the transportation of radioactive material.

The media release from Christopher Pyne MP can be found here.


University’s partnership proves Agenda’s strengths


IPAS Director Prof Andre Luiten explains a fibre draw to Hon Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science at IPAS, University of Adelaide

A strategic partnership for manufacturing and R&D between the University of Adelaide and Trajan Scientific and Medical shows how research institutions and manufacturers can work together to power the National Innovation and Science Agenda’s ideas boom.

Scientists from the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and the School of Physical Sciences will work with Trajan to commercialise their research into products that ultimately benefit human health and wellbeing.

At the partnership launch at the University, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, said the national agenda would create a climate in which similar relationships would thrive.

Hon Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science visit to The Braggs at the University of Adelaide, Senator Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training and The Hon Karen Andrews, Assistant Minister for Science

Hon Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training and The Hon Karen Andrews, Assistant Minister for Science visit IPAS at the University of Adelaide

“Collaborations like this produce links that will enable researchers to work with industry, in this case an advanced manufacture can produce tangible outcomes from their work through products with wide-ranging medical and scientific applications,” Mr Pyne said.

“It’s an exciting alliance that demonstrates what the Agenda will achieve by placing science and innovation at the heart of transforming Australia’s economy with world-leading science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) products and services.”

“This sort of manufacturing, of specialty glass products for the global science and medical equipment market, shows the importance of equipping Australians with appropriate job skills for the workforce of the 21st century.”

Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government would help build the workforce of the future by encouraging more young Australians to study science, technology and maths subjects at school.

“While a good education starts with a solid foundation in literacy and numeracy, STEM subjects are essential to the development of critical and creative thinking, and analysis and problem solving skills,” Senator Birmingham said.

“Developing an early interest in subjects like science, maths and IT will help school students prepare for life and work beyond school. We need to do more and we need to do it differently to encourage more young students to engage with science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.

“This will help them develop the skills they will increasingly need by the time they complete their schooling and are looking to take the next step into higher education or the workforce.”

Assistant Minister for Science, Karen Andrews, said the collaboration demonstrated just how critical equipping students with STEM skills and literacy was to the success of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“An estimated 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest growing industries require STEM capabilities, so upskilling our workforce is critical to economic and social wellbeing in an increasingly STEM-based economy,” Mrs Andrews said.

“We can ensure we have a pipeline of STEM engaged people by inspiring children to appreciate the importance and relevance of science from an early age and build science literacy among all Australians.

“This will help to ensure they are able to participate in science-based activities and careers and find solutions to problems needing a level of scientific knowledge and understanding.”

The Ministers said the need to embrace STEM from an early age was why the National Innovation and Science Agenda will invest around $51 million in new funding to help Australian school students embrace the digital age to prepare for the jobs of the future.

The Inspiring all Australians in Digital Literacy and STEM package included $48 million to improve STEM literacy, and $13 million to expand opportunities for women.

Information on the National Innovation and Science Agenda is available from

Hon Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

Hon Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science visit to The Braggs Labs at IPAS, University of Adelaide