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Big Science in Adelaide forefront and new light science. From nanoscale biophotonics to better understanding the of universe. The hidden science of light will also be revealed in live and interactive demonstrations and audience-stage interaction using WiFi and phone-cameras to see the IR light.

When: Monday, August 14 2017. 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: Braggs Lecture Theatre University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, 5005
Topic: Energy and transport, Environment and nature, Health and medical, Space and astronomy, Innovation and technology
Cost: Free

As part of Big Science in Adelaide, we invite you to a science arena of stunning spectaculars and exciting discoveries.

All content of this event is selected from forefront and new light science to resonate with the theme. The scale of topics is far-reaching, from that in the field of nanoscale biophotonics (Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem from ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, University of Adelaide) to better understanding the of universe (Dr Madakbas, physicist (photonics), whose company builds night vision sensors for NASA and Hubble Space Telescope). Apart from the most invisible, the hidden science of light will also be revealed (Miroslav Kostecki, Technical Manager at eLabtronics, Adelaide) in live and interactive demonstrations.

The highlight will be the audience-stage interaction component: audience is invited to control the large colour light ribbons on stage via mobile phone using WiFi and use their phone-cameras to see the IR light.

The event will end with the engaging activity of “Many Hands Make Light Work” to recognize the significance of advancing science: achieving Zero Net Carbon and protecting the planet (Dr Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Winner).


Glass now has smart potential

Australian researchers at the University of Adelaide have developed a method for embedding light-emitting nanoparticles into glass without losing any of their unique properties – a major step towards ‘smart glass’ applications such as 3D display screens or remote radiation sensors.

This new “hybrid glass” successfully combines the properties of these special luminescent (or light-emitting) nanoparticles with the well-known aspects of glass, such as transparency and the ability to be processed into various shapes including very fine optical fibres.

The research, in collaboration with Macquarie University and University of Melbourne, has been published online in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.

 “These novel luminescent nanoparticles, called upconversion nanoparticles, have become promising candidates for a whole variety of ultra-high tech applications such as biological sensing, biomedical imaging and 3D volumetric displays,” says lead author Dr Tim Zhao, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Physical Sciences and Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS).

Although this method was developed with upconversion nanoparticles, the researchers believe their new ‘direct-doping’ approach can be generalised to other nanoparticles with interesting photonic, electronic and magnetic properties. There will be many applications – depending on the properties of the nanoparticle.

“If we infuse glass with a nanoparticle that is sensitive to radiation and then draw that hybrid glass into a fibre, we could have a remote sensor suitable for nuclear facilities,” says Dr Zhao.

 To date, the method used to integrate upconversion nanoparticles into glass has relied on the in-situ growth of the nanoparticles within the glass.

“We’ve seen remarkable progress in this area but the control over the nanoparticles and the glass compositions has been limited, restricting the development of many proposed applications,” says project leader Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heideprem, Deputy Director of IPAS and Senior Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.

“With our new direct doping method, which involves synthesizing the nanoparticles and glass separately and then combining them using the right conditions, we’ve been able to keep the nanoparticles intact and well dispersed throughout the glass. The nanoparticles remain functional and the glass transparency is still very close to its original quality. We are heading towards a whole new world of hybrid glass and devices for light-based technologies.”


Dr Tim Zhao

Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem

Prof Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem


Article written by Robyn Mills, The University of Adelaide

Interdisciplinary Eureka Prize Success – World’s smallest, brightest nano-flashlights finding a diseased needle in a haystack

Congratulations to Prof Tanya Monro (Founding Director of IPAS) and Prof Dayong Jin, Chief Investigators of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotoncs as well as  Prof Bradley Walsh from Minomic International and Macquarie University who were recognised for their interdisciplinary research excellence on their work with super dots – the world’s smallest flashlights.

The Super Dots team that developed the method for detecting hidden, diseased cells has been awarded the “Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research”.

The super dots may be able to light up diseased cells in our bodies. These infected or cancerous cells may be hiding among millions of healthy cells. The Super Dots team has created tiny crystals that can be implanted in the body to reveal the dangerous needle in a haystack.

The work is being advanced by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.


Prof Mark Hutchinson awarded 2015 James McWha Award of Excellence


Prof Mark Hutchinson

Professor Mark Hutchinson, Theme Leader for IPAS’s Biological Sensing and Medical Diagnostics Theme and CNBP Director, has been awarded a 2015 James McWha Award of Excellence. This award recognises outstanding alumni who have graduated from the University of Adelaide within the past 15 years and are making a significant contribution as emerging leaders within their profession or their community.

Position Available: Chair of BioPhotonics, Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics

Job no: 493717
Work type: Continuing – Full-time
Location: Adelaide
Categories: Faculty of Health Sciences

  • Prestigious international university
  • ARC Centre of Excellence
  • Wide range of employee benefits
  • Career development opportunities

The University of Adelaide is one of Australia’s leading Group of Eight, research-intensive universities and is consistently ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world. Established in 1874, it is Australia’s third oldest university with a strong reputation for preparing educated leaders and delivering research outcomes that contribute to local, national and global wellbeing.

The University of Adelaide is seeking to appoint an outstanding individual at Professorial level to the position of Chair of BioPhotonics within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.

The Centre (2014-2021) is a $38 million collaboration between the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University and RMIT University in partnership with 11 other international institutions. The mission of the Centre is to discover new approaches to the measurement of nano-scale dynamic phenomena in living systems.

CNBP researchers are driving the development of new devices to measure and sense at a nanoscale level – providing new ways of understanding cellular processes within the human body.  The Centre brings together expertise in physics, material science, chemistry, biochemistry, embryology, neuroscience and cardiovascular science – to work in a truly transdisciplinary environment.

The CNBP is seeking a Chair of BioPhotonics to join the team to lead the BioPhotonics portion of Centre activities. In addition the successful candidate will be offered a leadership role in the Biological Sensing and Medical Diagnostics theme of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

Position requirements

To be successful you should have:

  • An outstanding international research record in a field relevant to BioPhotonics, as evidenced by publications, citations, competitive grant success and recognition by the international/national science communities.
  • Experience in the translation of BioPhotonics to biological applications in a transdisciplinary environment.
  • Demonstrated proven record of building and leading effective research teams, working collaboratively across sectors and disciplines.
    Well-developed communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership in a research organisation.

The Chair of BioPhotonics is a tenurable Professorial position with a generous start up package.

Please address and upload your responses to the full list of selection criteria. If you have any queries regarding this position, please contact Prof Mark Hutchinson, Director, CNBP; telephone: +61 8 8313 0322 or email: Further information, position description and selection criteria.

New leadership for The ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP)


The Centre announced yesterday the appointment of A/Prof Mark Hutchinson as their Interim CNBP Director.  Mark is a Chief Investigator for the Centre and leads the “Origins of Sensation” Biological Concept Challenge. He is also a Theme leader of the Biological Sensing and Medical Diagnostics Theme at IPAS. Mark is stepping into this role following the recent appointment of the founding CNBP Director Professor Tanya Monro as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at the University of South Australia.

Since returning to Adelaide in 2008 from postdoctoral positions in the USA Mark has led the Neuroimmunopharmacology laboratory within the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He has served in scientific leadership roles such as on the board of Science Technology Australia, and leading the Biological Sensing and Medical Diagnostics theme within the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

“As the Founding Centre Director of the CNBP I wholeheartedly support and endorse the appointment of Mark to this important leadership role. I look forward to working closely with him over coming  weeks and months to support this transition and intend to continue as a Chief Investigator within the Centre. These are exciting times and I look forward to working closely with Mark and the rest of the CNBP team as we continue to build the momentum of Centre activities.” Tanya said in an email to members and stakeholders yesterday.

The CNBP’s Executive Management Committee and the University of Adelaide are beginning the process of conducting an international search for an outstanding Centre Director.  An appointment is anticipated in 2015.