Professor Ben Eggleton wins Walter Boas Medal


Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), in the School of Physics, has won the 2011 Walter Boas Medal from the Australian Institute of Physics. Professor Eggleton will receive his medal at an awards ceremony in March 2012 in Melbourne.

The Medal was established in 1984 to promote excellence in physics research and is awarded annually to a physicist working in Australia whose original research has made an important contribution to physics. The award is for physics research carried out in the five years prior to the date of the award, as demonstrated by both published papers and unpublished papers prepared for publication.

"Winning the Walter Boas Medal is certainly a tribute to the excellent research being done in my group in the School of Physics and the CUDOS ARC Centre of Excellence program," said Professor Ben Eggleton.

"The award recognises our recent research achievements in nonlinear optics, the physics of slow light and optical signal processing - work done in my group by outstanding postdocs and students in collaboration with other top groups in Australia and overseas," explained Professor Eggleton.

"It is wonderful that our research at the interface of physics and engineering is recognised with this medal."

Professor Eggleton won the medal for his world-leading fundamental research in the physics of nonlinear optics and the application of this work to the development of practical devices and disruptive technologies in optical communication, data storage and information processing.

The judging panel organised by the Australian Institute of Physics was particularly impressed with Professor Eggleton's development of chalcogenide devices for nonlinear optics applications and the ability to precisely control the flow of light via innovative photonic-crystal structures.

Dr Marc Duldig, President of the Australian Institute of Physics, said, "It is testament to the calibre of his original research and his scientific output that the selection committee was able to come to a unanimous decision, despite an extraordinarily strong field of nominations, to award the 2011 Australian Institute of Physics Walter Boas Medal to Professor Ben Eggleton."

"Ben's establishment and leadership of the ARC Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) and the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science at the University of Sydney augurs well for the future of this exciting work," said Dr Duldig.

At the awards ceremony in March, Professor Eggleton will deliver a seminar on his research, detailing his groundbreaking work on nonlinear optical signal processing in photonic chips, which is now opening up new areas of opportunity for energy efficient optical signal processing and quantum processors. The photonic chip technology is the basis of the current CUDOS program and Professor Eggleton's team publishes in top journals such as Nature Photonics, with their papers highly cited by other scientists around the world.

The Walter Boas Medal is named in memory of Walter Boas (1904-1982) - an eminent scientist who worked on the physics of metals and was a pioneering Australian materials scientist and metallurgist. Born in Germany, Walter came to Australia in 1938 and spent a decade working at the University of Melbourne and then 23 years working at the CSIRO - for 20 of those 23 years as Chief of the Division of Tribophysics.

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