The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted people in different ways and we are living through unprecedented times.
One phrase that resonates is, “We are all in the same storm, but not all in the same boat” and we understand that everyone has their own individual challenges and that this is a difficult time for many.
Through the alumni network, we are keen to keep our members updated on recent developments in research and share our scientific news. We also encourage you to reach out to former colleagues and reconnect with each other.
As Larry Marshall, writes in The Australian - COVID-19 is unprecedented, but we’re not unprepared.
Keep updated through our alumni discussion forum where you can join a range of different interest groups and read about scientific advances.
Many presentations and seminars are now being held online – so you can attend from the comfort of your own home.
To help connect alumni with one another, we encourage you to list your own events on our website and discussion forum. Let us know if you are organising, presenting or attending events and we can help promote it to the alumni network – please email email@example.com
22 May 2020: CSIRO’s Quantum Technology Roadmap launch
CSIRO is working with stakeholders across Australia to support the strategic growth of Australia’s quantum technology capabilities. We invite you to join CSIRO’s Chief Science and special guests for a special webinar event.
Our understanding of quantum mechanics – the science that explains non-classical electron behaviour – has enabled some of the most significant innovations of the 20th century. The application of quantum technology underpins semiconductors that have revolutionised computing, laser technologies that enable modern communications networks, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for medical diagnostics. The ability of scientists and engineers to control quantum systems has allowed demonstration of technologies using increasingly advanced quantum properties. These advancements have the potential to enable a second wave of quantum technologies that can positively impact multiple sectors and generate significant economic and social value.
After competitive international searches CSIRO has announced two key leadership appointments.
Professor Jon Whittle will take up the role of Director Data61, CSIRO’s data science arm, from July. Professor Whittle is a world-renowned expert in software engineering and human-computer interaction, with a particular interest in IT for social good.
Dr Marcus Zipper has also been appointed as CSIRO’s Director of Manufacturing. Dr Zipper has held several senior leadership roles at CSIRO over a distinguished 15-year-period, including Director of the Challenges and Digital Transformation program, and Director of CSIRO Services. Marcus is in fact, an alumni member, having left the organisation for a few years to work at Freehills, before coming back to CSIRO!
We always like to hear what our alumni are doing now and celebrate their success. If you have an update you’d like to share with the network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Bronwyn Fox
Congratulations to Professor Bronwyn Fox who has just been appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), Swinburne University of Technology. Professor Fox will drive the university’s global research and innovation strategy, focusing on initiatives that will shape our future, drive innovation and create social and economic impact.
Bronwyn reflects on her time at CSIRO and how she found the community at CSIRO fantastic and worked in a great cohort of early career scientists who became friends for life. She has continued to work with CSIRO scientists throughout her entire career.
Marcus Wallenberg Prize won by three of our alumni
Congratulations to the three winners of the 2020 prize, Professor Joseph Landsberg, Professor Richard Waring and Professor Nicholas Coops. These alumni members either worked for CSIRO or were visiting researchers to the organisation.
The Marcus Wallenberg Prize recognises, encourages and stimulates scientific achievements which contribute significantly to broadening knowledge and to technical development within the fields of importance to forestry and forest industries.
The winners share the 2020 Marcus Wallenberg Prize ($310,000) for a model to predict forest growth in a changing climate. Satellite imagery offers the possibility to scale up the model to show how different environmental conditions affect the world's forests.
Retired alumni return to help the COVID-19 effort
A couple of recently retired colleagues have come back to ACDP (formerly known as AAHL, Geelong) to support our researchers who are tirelessly working on the COVID-19 vaccine. As Alan Edwards explains, he’d retired in January after working over 30 years with CSIRO. He was part of the operations group, working to manage the ACDP facility. To minimise the risk of infection, the engineering teams were split into two teams – working alternate weeks. More team members were needed for this arrangement and Alan agreed to return and help. Gary Hourticolon, working in the central monitoring station, has also returned from retirement to work at the ACDP. On behalf of the alumni network, we thank them for their dedication and truly appreciate the work they are doing.
A number of meeting rooms across CSIRO sites are named after former staff. Read about their scientific achievements and learn about the history behind the names.
Active in many professional scientific bodies, Wark was federal president (1958) of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and one of the first fellows (1954), and treasurer (1959-63), of the Australian Academy of Science. He received many honours and awards, including an honorary membership (1960) of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Appointed CBE (1963) and CMG (1967), he was knighted in 1969.
Founder of the CSIRO’s Double Helix Science Club, Ross also established a national network of CSIRO Science Education Centres around Australia, along with many other educational projects. In April 2002 Ross was made a Member of the Order of Australia Award for Services to Science Education.
The Archer meeting room at CSIRO Clayton is named in her honour and the room is located in the space that for many years previously housed the CSIRO division of Minerals, Clayton library.
Alan Reid was Director of the CSIRO Institute of Minerals, Energy and Construction from 1988 to 1997. He was formerly Director of CSIRO’s Institute of Energy and Earth Resources 1984-1987 and Chief of its Division of Mineral Engineering 1982-1984. He was elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (1982) and of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He was awarded in 2008 the Ian Wark Medal and Lecture.
Kelsall was the chief of the CSIRO’s division of chemical engineering in 1974, by which time he had written or co-authored some forty-two scientific papers. For a time (1979-81) he was also chief of the division of applied geomechanics.
David was the CSIRO Foundation Chief of the Division of Applied Organic Chemistry (later the Division of Chemicals & Polymers) for 17 years. His industrial achievements are best exemplified by the Australian Bicentennial $10 Banknote, where he was a principal inventor as well as the project leader from the inception through to the technology transfer stage of the project.
Dr Alan Donald began his research career with CSIRO in 1960 and was the CSIRO Director of Institute of Animal Production and Processing from 1988 until his retirement in December 1994. He was an internationally recognized parasitologist with a special interest in the control of worm parasites in domestic livestock.
He died peacefully in Sydney, age 86, on 23 April 2020, after an extremely short illness.
Read more about his great career and contribution to science.
While we are all under lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s useful to remember the critical role physics plays in managing this outbreak. The vast majority of biological macromolecule structures are obtained by X-ray crystallography, work that stemmed from physicists such as Wilhelm Röntgen, Max von Laue and William Henry and William Lawrence Bragg. Read more on how physics plays such an important role in many of the technologies used to combat this pandemic.
Your support will help the next generation of physicists
In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to support our scientists. With your help, the CSIRO Alumni Scholarship in Physics aims to connect a postgraduate physicist or mathematician to a leading research centre overseas. The next scholarship will be awarded in Feb 2021 and we have updated our criteria to reflect the current situation, so that the winner will have up to 18 months to use the scholarship for travel or use it to further their career with training, attend online conferences and develop their research.