ANU to play leading role in eight new ARC Centres

9 September 2016

The fact that we are partners in eight of the nine awarded centres is testament to the breadth and quality of the work being done at ANU.

The Australian National University (ANU) will play a leading role in scientific discoveries and research over the coming decade after being included in eight new Australian Research Council (ARC) Centres of Excellence.

The ARC has announced $283.5 million for nine new Centres of Excellence. ANU will lead the new Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions, and will have lead investigators in seven other Centres of Excellence.

The results mean that ANU researchers will play a key role in understanding Australia's biodiversity and heritage, the extreme physics of black holes and gravitational waves, climate extremes, and the policies needed to help Australia's ageing population.

ANU will also be involved in developing the technology for low-energy electronics, quantum computing and analysis.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC said the ARC results demonstrated the depth of research across ANU.

"The fact that we are partners in eight of the nine awarded centres is testament to the breadth and quality of the work being done at ANU, and underlines the University's role as a resource for the nation," Professor Schmidt said.

"I congratulate all of the ANU staff involved in the new Centres of Excellence."

The new ARC Centres of Excellence, commencing in 2017, to include ANU are:

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems will harness the quantum world for the future health, economy, environment and security of Australian society.

"The next decade will see quantum technologies touch many areas of modern society. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems will pioneer designer quantum materials, quantum engines, and quantum imaging systems.

"A particular focus of my team at the ANU will be to take these discoveries out of the lab and into the real world. I'm hopeful and excited about what EQuS's world-class group of researchers can achieve when we work together," said Professor Daniel Shaddock of the Research School of Physics and Engineering who will be be the leading ANU researcher for the Centre.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions at ANU will answer fundamental questions in astrophysics, including the origin of matter and the periodic table of elements, and the origin of ionisation in the Universe. Led by Professor Lisa Kewley, it will capitalise on innovative Australian technology and instrumentation to propel Australia to the forefront of astronomical research.

The ARC Centre of Excellence of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage will establish a world-class, interdisciplinary research program to understand Australia's unique biodiversity and heritage.

"ANU has been a leader in archaeological science and long-term Australian history over many years and this is great recognition for that expertise," said Professor Simon Haberle, Director of the ANU School of Culture, History and Language.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery will explore the extreme physics of black holes and warped space-time.

"The detection of gravitational waves from a black hole binary merger earlier this year marked the beginning of a new field of astronomy," said Professor David McClelland, Director of The ANU Centre for Gravitational Physics in the Research School of Physics and Engineering (RSPE) and Deputy Director of OzGRav.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes will transform Australia's capacity to predict future climate extremes through data modelling, research collaboration and researcher training programs.

"Climate change will continue to be a global priority and an issue that affects everyone. ANU is known for producing world-leading climate research and that will now contribute to the work of the new centre," said Professor Michael Roderick, who will be the ANU Chief Investigator for the Centre.

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low Energy Electronics Technologies will develop the scientific foundation and intellectual property for new electronics technologies with ultra-low energy consumption.

"Decreasing energy use is a major challenge faced by our society. This Centre will meet this challenge by developing new systems in which electricity can flow with minimal resistance and dissipation of heat," said Dr Elena Ostrovskaya of the Research School of Physics and Engineering, who will be the ANU Chief Investigator for the Centre.

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research will undertake multidisciplinary research that will inform social and economic responses to population ageing.

"The Centre has a vision for ageing in Australia that will tackle the big questions in population ageing. ANU will lead streams of collaborative work on cognition and decision-making and macro-economic dynamics and population ageing policy," said Professor Kaarin Anstey of the ANU Centre for Research on Ageing Health and Wellbeing who will be the leading ANU researcher for the Centre.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology will develop new technology, expected to provide a strategic advantage in a world where information and security are increasingly important.

"The funding we received through this CoE round will allow us to train a new generation of scientists and engineers that will contribute towards revolutionising Australia's ICT industry," said Professor Ping Koy Lam of the ANU Research School of Physics & Engineering who will be the leading ANU researcher for the Centre.