Plenary Speaker

Prof Allan MacDonald

The University of Texas at Austin

Allan H. MacDonald was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, where he spent his early years. He was educated in Canada, earning his B.Sc. degree from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish in 1973.  He earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Toronto in 1974 and 1978.

He spent several years as a member of the research staff of the National Research Council of Canada before becoming a faculty member at Indiana University in the U.S., where he spent over a decade.  In 2000 he joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Sid W. Richardson Chair in Physics.

Professor MacDonald’s contributions to the theory of condensed matter physics have spanned many topics, including electronic structure theory, the quantum Hall effect, magnetism, and superconductivity.   He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Herzberg Medal (1987), the Buckley Prize in Condensed Matter Physics (2007), and the Ernst Mach Honorary Medal (2012). 

In 2011 he predicted that a small rotation to a “magic” relative orientation angle would covert graphene bilayers from weakly interacting Fermi liquids to tunable strongly correlated electronic states. A rapidly expanding field (twistronics) with an impressive range of potential applications has grown from this observation.

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.