Reinventing the laser

Caring for Country in Arnhem Land
Macquarie University Eureka Prize winners

Macquarie University congratulates its winners in the 2017 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes and the winner of the Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.

High-power diamond lasers invented at Macquarie University

High-power lasers have many potential applications: from medical imaging to manufacturing, shooting down drones or space junk, or powering deep space probes. But current laser technologies overheat at high power.

Rich Mildren and his team have developed a technique to make diamond lasers that, in theory, have extraordinary power range. Five years ago, their lasers were just a few watts in power. Now they’ve reached 400 watts, close to the limit for comparable conventional lasers.

Rich Mildren won the Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia.

“Rich builds on a forty-year history of laser research at Macquarie University, started by Jim Piper,” says Barbara Messerle, the Executive Dean of Science and Engineering at Macquarie University.  “We’ve developed the science from fundamental research through to device research and commercialisation to the point that it is an attractive and versatile commercial technology.”

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Indigenous and Western science caring for Country in Arnhem Land

A unique collaboration between scientists and Aboriginal people in remote south-eastern Arnhem Land is building knowledge about Country and how local people can better manage it.

In the last nine years the Ngukurr Wi Stadi bla Kantri (We Study the Country) Research Team has discovered species new to science, found new populations of threatened species, preserved culturally-significant wetlands, and documented the community’s plants and animals in eight local languages.

Led by ecologist Dr Emilie Ens from Macquarie University and Ngandi Elder Cherry Wulumirr Daniels, this citizen science research is also working with the Yugul Mangi Rangers to better manage the new threats facing their Country—like feral animals, weeds, climate change and altered fire regimes.

The Ngukurr Wi Stadi bla Kantri (We Study the Country) Research Team won the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science.

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Making wearable electronics

Congratulations to the winner and finalists of the Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.

Winner: Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran from RMIT University, is working towards a future where wearable electronic devices are unbreakable. By combining inherently brittle multi-functional oxides with rubber-like membranes, her work moves us closer to affordable and biocompatible electronic devices being an integral part of life and healthcare.

Finalists: Associate Professor Igor Aharonovich from the University of Technology Sydney and The University of Sydney’s Dr Pengyi Yang.