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Awards Announcement

The AIP are delighted to announce the outcomes for the following awards:


Professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop

The University of Queensland

For her pioneering work in laser micromanipulation, atom and quantum optics, ultracold atomic gases, nano-optics and biophotonics. Her seminal research in the mechanical action of light in biological and micron scale systems has paved the way for optically driven micromachines and led to applications in a diverse range of fields.  Her distinguished achievements in laser cooling and trapping of atoms includes milestones such as the experimental demonstration of dynamical tunnelling and the observation of novel coherent structures in condensed gases.


Professor Ann Roberts

The University of Melbourne

Professor Roberts has provided an outstanding contribution to the fields of Plasmonics, Nanophotonics, and Optics more broadly. Her deep understanding of fundamental optics has enabled new advances in art conservation and attribution, particularly in collaboration with the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, and to the development of new generation banknote security features in collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Australia.


Associate Professor Elizabeth Angstmann

The University of New South Wales

For her outstanding contribution to physics education in Australia by developing innovative approaches to first year and service teaching, increasing the number of students voluntarily electing to study physics, and establishing programs to improve the experience of secondary school physics students in New South Wales.


Dr Magdalena Zych

The University of Queensland

For her development of an innovative new framework that incorporates relativistic time dilation into the theory of quantum mechanics, and discovery that time dilation leads to a novel form of quantum entanglement and decoherence; and the subsequent proposal of the new paradigm of ‘quantum clock interferometry’.

We congratulate these award winners on their achievements!

Due to a confluence of events including COVID-19 we are still finalizing the award winners for 2019.  The decision was made to go ahead with the announcement of these 2020 awards so as not to further compound these delays. Further information about the delays can be found on our webpage.

Prof Susanna Guatelli – Women in Physics Lecture Tour – QLD 10-12 May

Radiation protection of astronauts in human missions to Mars: simulation and reality

**Please note: Venue details for the Public Colloquium at UQ have changed.

If you wish to attend in person, to comply with COVID-Safe plans we require you to register via Eventbrite ( Seating capacity is capped at 170 seats and we have already over 80 of those seats allocated to schools.

Live stream options are now available for the colloquium and the School seminar at Ipswich SHS. See the flyer below for details.**

This year A/Prof Susanna Guatelli will be presenting school seminars at 4 schools across Cairns, Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba, in addition to a public colloquium at the University of Queensland, St Lucia.

All events are free, although school events are open to school students and teaching staff only. Full details regarding times, venues and RSVP contacts are available in this flyer, or by contacting the QLD AIP branch at:

A/Prof Guatelli trained as a nuclear physicist at the University of Genova, Italy, worked with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and is now the academic director of the Medical Radiation Physics bachelor degree at the University of Wollongong.

In 2003, she undertook a PhD at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), investigating possible radiation protection solutions for human missions to Mars (a project led by the European Space Agency). Since there are no particle accelerator facilities capable of reproducing the complex cosmic radiation fields encountered in space, she has developed simulations to predict radiation interactions for astronauts and space mission habitats.

In these seminars, she will discuss the nature of these radiation hazards and the simulation tools used to address this challenge to space exploration.

ASSA lecture by Prof. Lisa Kewley

The Astronomical Society of South Australia has invited AIP members to a special General Meeting:

The Astronomical Society of South Australia is hosting a special General Meeting starting at 8pm Wednesday 3rd of March 2021 featuring an in-person presentation by Prof. Lisa Kewley discussing galaxy formation research as well as equity & diversity initiatives. The ASSA will also be launching a new initiative to engage more women into the science of Astronomy through our Society.

Eventbrite registration for free tickets:

Facebook Page:

Additional info:


The AIP-QLD is looking for nominations of Physics teachers that have made a positive impact to teaching Physics to students at the high school level by anyone of the following criteria.

  1. Promote student interest in physics by providing an environment that stimulates student curiosity and learning.
  2. Use, develop or write innovative instructional materials and new technologies and approaches to the teaching of physics.
  3. Be a positive role model or mentor for other teachers of physics.
  4. Participate in professional development activities in science as a facilitator and continuous development as an effective science educator, with a focus on physics.

If you have a colleague, a former teacher of your own, or have heard of an inspiring teacher in your circle of friends, please consider nominating them for this years award by filling out the nomination form and sending this nomination (or any inquiries) by email to:

The award consists of a cash prize, plaque and certificate.

Nominations close Friday 4 June 2021.

Bronze Bragg Presentation and Free Public Lecture

6:30 pm, Tuesday February 16th 2021
The Braggs lecture theatre, Braggs building,
University of Adelaide (North Terrace campus)

“Penrose, Singularities and Black Holes: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2020”

Professor Susan Scott
Australian National University

Professor Susan Scott


In this talk we explore the 20th century story of black holes. Originally black holes were thought to be an undesirable artefact of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, but Penrose’s powerful singularity theorem of the 1960s turned that way of thinking on its head. As a result, we now believe our Universe to be full of black holes. As one of the greatest achievements in theoretical physics, Penrose’s breakthrough led to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2020. We will see how this Nobel Prize intimately connects with the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for the first direct detection of gravitational waves

The Bronze Bragg medals and merit certificates will be presented at the lecture.

The medals are awarded for highest achievement in Physics in 2020 in the SACE Stage 2 assessments and IB Higher Level Physics, with certificates being for students who achieved a merit or a grade of 7.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, seats are limited and bookings are essential through the Eventbrite link:

Welcome to the AIP WA


The AIP WA Branch held its AGM on the 26th November 2020 and elected a new Committee as follows:

Chair: Stuart Midgley
Vice-Chair: Pourandokht Naseri
Treasurer: Almantas Pivrikas
Secretary: Stephanie Black
Committee Members: Andrea Biondo, John Chapman, John Ferreirinho, Rick Hughes, Gerd Schroeder-Turk, Geoff Swan, Diana Tomazos, Kathryn Hunter, Justin Freeman, Benjamin McAllister, Benjamin Arrow, Bruce Gardiner

We’d like to use this opportunity to thank the outgoing Office Bearers, especially Justin Freeman (Past Chair), Drew Parsons (Past Treasurer) and Benjamin Arrow (Past Secretary).

The 2021 AIP WA Branch Committee held its first meeting on Friday 22th January and have already begun to plan some events for 2021, including 3 Sundowners, the Women in Physics Lecture, the Student Conference and a social event.

We highly value our WA physics community and are most keen to hear of any ideas you may have. We would welcome any contribution that promote and/or strengthen physics in WA.

Wishing you a happy 2021 and hope to see you at one or more of the events during the year.
Kind regards,

The AIP WA Branch Committee
Stuart Midgley(Chair)
Stephanie Black (Secretary)

AIP WA social get together farewelling our past Treasurer Drew Parsons, who is leaving WA for Italy.

excellence in teaching physics Prize QLD 2020

The AIP QLD branch would like to congratulate Shane MacDonald, from St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School who was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Prize for 2020 . Shane was awarded the 2020 prize, due to the range and depth of work he has displayed across all the criteria the award is assessed upon. This criteria includes:

  • promoting student interest in physics by providing an environment that stimulates student curiosity and learning,
  • using, developing or writing innovative instructional materials and new technologies and approaches to the teaching of Physics,
  • be a positive role model or mentor for other teachers of physics
  • participate in professional development activities in science as a facilitator and continued development as an effective science educator, with a focus on physics.
Shane MacDonald receives the Queensland Excellence in Teaching Prize for 2020

Congratulations Shane!

Do you know a deserving Physics teacher in Queensland you would like to nominate for this award in 2021?

In other news, the 2019 winner Richard Walding was acknowledged for receipt of his Excellence in Physics Teaching Award in a ceremony earlier in 2020. Moreton Bay College has kindly shared this ceremony and the presentation of the award. The ceremony can be viewed at the AIP YouTube channel or below.

Edit: We apologise for incorrectly spelling Shane’s surname. We have subsequently edited the post.


To be held on Wednesday 2nd December in the Public Schools Club, 207 East Terrace,  Adelaide

  • 6:00 pm Pre-meeting drinks
  • 6:30 pm Annual General Meeting
  • 7:30 pm Annual Dinner

Menu: 3 courses, alternate drop of one of each. (See menu below).

We need to give seven days’ notice for vegans, vegetarians and or any other dietary  considerations (lactose free, peanut allergy, gluten-free).

Bookings are essential and should be made with Dr Laurence Stamatescu by Wednesday  25th November, by email to

The cost of the 3-course dinner (to be paid on the night) is:

  • AIP members and guests: $59 per person
  • AIP student members: $30 per person

The mid-dinner speaker will be Dr Bruce Ward (retired, DSTgroup).




  • Pan Fried Halloumi 
  • Grilled Portobello Mushrooms  


  • Salmon Fillet – Crispy Vegetables – Citrus & Dill Sauce 
  • Sirloin Char Grilled – Mash Potato – Greens – Red Wine Jus 


  • Vanilla Panna Cotta – Mixed Berry Compote 
  • Braggs Mess


Members of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics are invited to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting.

The AGM will be held on the 25 November, 5pm – 5.30pm, via Zoom: (please contact Krzysztof Bolejko if you wish to attend in person)

Order of Proceedings:

  • 5.00pm: Opening and declaration of a quorum
  • Minutes of 2019 AGM
  • Annual Report – Chair
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of the 2020 Committee. Please send your nominations to the Secretary ( Current nominations are:
    • Chair: Krzysztof Bolejko
    • Vice-Chair: Nicola Ramm
    • Treasurer: Elizabeth Chelkowska
    • Committee: Andrew Cole, Jason Dicker, Stanislav Shabala
  • Science Teachers Workshop
  • Other business

Public Talk:

  • 6.00pm: Free Public Lecture by Professor Neil Holbrook ​”Heatwaves in the ocean – really?”

AGM Dinner:

AIP Certificate of Excellence in Physics for QLD Year 12 students

The Queensland Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics calls for nominations from Queensland schools for 2020 AIP Certificates for Excellence in Physics.

This certificate is awarded to students with a confirmed raw result for internal assessment of 27/30 (90%) (or IB level 7) as of the beginning of Term 4.  The committee’s aim is to make these certificates of achievement available to schools for presentation at the school’s final year 12 assembly or speech night late in term four.

To nominate students, please use the “AIP [School Name] Certificate Mail Merge Spreadsheet 2020”. Please complete this spreadsheet, replacing the words ‘[School Name]’ with the name of your school in the file name.

Send your completed spreadsheet, as an email attachment, to no later than 3 p.m. on Friday 16 October 2020 in order to have certificates to you in time for your school’s presentation. Please submit your nominations any time from now. Submissions after the date may not be able to be provided prior to any award ceremony.

Correct use of the spread sheet makes this process quick and simple. Remember, the committee loves to hear your good news stories about the impact these certificates have on your students!