Plenary Speaker

Prof Allan MacDonald

The University of Texas at Austin

Allan H. MacDonald is a theoretical condensed matter physicist and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair Professor of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin. He completed a B.S. in physics at St. Francis Xavier University in 1973 and his Ph.D. at The University of Toronto in 1978. He previously worked at the Ottawa laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada and Indiana University.

MacDonald’s area of interest is on how electron-electron interactions affect electronic properties in condensed matter systems. He previously worked on density functional theory and the Quantum Hall effect, and most recently has focused on the Spin Hall effect, magnetic insulators, magnetic semiconductors and spin-orbit interactions. In a 2011 paper he identified the possibility that the tunneling energy required for electrons to move between two graphene layers should shrink as the angle between the sheets approaches 1.1 degrees from each other, a prediction that was subsequently proven to be true and has inspired investigations into twistronics.

MacDonald’s work has been cited more than 53,743 times, and he has a h-index of 113.

He received the Canadian Association of Physicists’s Herzberg Medal in 1987, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and was elected to the National Academy of the Sciences in 2012.

His describes his own research as “driven, for the most part, by experiment rather than by theoretical technique”.

Keynote Speakers

Prof Virginia Kilborn

Swinburne University of Technology

Virginia Kilborn is Professor in Astrophysics, and Dean of Science at Swinburne University of Technology. Her field of scientific expertise is in radio astronomy, and she works on galaxy evolution by tracing the gas content of galaxies. Virginia obtained her PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Melbourne, and worked at Jodrell Bank observatory in the UK before heading back to Australia to take up a position at Swinburne University in 2003. 
Virginia is immediate past president of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

Prof Sven Rogge

University of New South Wales

Sven Rogge researches quantum electronics, at the School of Physics. Sven works on quantum computation in silicon at the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. In a team of enthusiastic researches we work on gaining atomistic insights into the interactions of quantum objects, like atoms and qubits, with their environment. This allows us to manipulate quantum information and minimise decoherence. Before joining UNSW in 2011 Sven worked at the Kavli Institute for Quantum Nano Science at Delft University and Stanford University. Sven is the Vice-President of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Prof Christine Charles

Australian National University

Christine Charles is Professor and Head of the Space Plasma, Power and Propulsion laboratory at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. She works on experimental expanding plasmas applied to space science (solar wind and aurorae) and space propulsion (i.e., Helicon plasma thruster for space debris mitigation & Pocket Rocket electrothermal thruster for nano-satellites such as ‘CubeSats’). She was recently awarded the 2015 Women in Industry Excellence in Engineering. She has published over 200 articles in various international peer-reviewed journals and her scientific output has been recognised by her Fellowship of the American Physical Society in 2013 and her Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science in 2015. She actively popularises her science on ABC Catalyst, Discovery Channel, radio and public lectures and she was a TEDx Canberra speaker in 2014.

Prof Deb Kane

Macquarie University.

Professor Deb Kane holds a Personal Chair in Physics at Macquarie University, Sydney. She received a BSc (Hons) degree in physics from University of Otago, NZ, and her PhD degree from St Andrews University, Scotland. Her current research interests include photonics dynamical systems, quantifying complexity, the optics and optical properties of certain spider webs and silks, quantitative microscopy and nanoscopy, and laser materials processing. She is a Fellow of the Optical Society. She was the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer and medallist in 2006. She chaired the IUPAP Commission on Laser Physics and Photonics (2015-2017). Deb is a member of the National Committee of Physics and the Management Committee of the Australian Nanotechnology Network, and is the Accreditation Manager of the AIP.