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Name change to broaden nano technology reach

Nanotechnology will shape this century as digital technology shaped the last. The University of Sydney Nano Institute stands ready to embrace the future.

The Australian Institute of Nanoscale Science and Technology is to become the University of Sydney Nano Institute, one of the University’s three flagship multidisciplinary centres.

The name change, simplified to Sydney Nano, reflects the success the institute has had in broadening its reach to engage a wide range of researchers across the University community, including in the faculties of Engineering and Information Technologies, Pharmacy, Science, Arts and Social Science, Business and Medicine.

The director of the University of Sydney Nano Institute, Professor Susan Pond, said that as the institute’s workload and reach increased it was only natural that the name became compact.

“We are just at the beginning of the nanoscale revolution. Its impact will be as keenly felt as the industrial revolution in the 19th century and the digital revolution of the 20th century,” Professor Pond said.

“Those impacts will be felt far beyond science and engineering. That is why the Sydney Nano Institute reaches across our academic community into business, medicine, the arts and social sciences, architecture and design.”

Sydney Nano sits alongside the University’s other flagship multidisciplinary institutes: the Charles Perkins Centre and the Brain and Mind Centre.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence, said: “Great ideas come from collaboration. The University is a champion for multidisciplinary research across traditional silos. The University of Sydney Nano Institute will play a leading role in the transformational technologies of the coming century and help society understand, adapt and thrive.”

Next month, Sydney Nano’s theme leader in Health and Medicine, Dr Wojciech Chrzaowski, will host a Nanosafety Symposium at the University of Sydney. The event is jointly hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Dr Chrzanowski’s work reflects Sydney Nano’s multidisciplinary approach to the impact of nanotechnology across society.

Since establishing the institute in March 2016, there have been rapid changes that have prompted the adoption of the Sydney Nano name, which takes effect on 27 November.

The University’s quantum physics team has expanded, which has included the establishment of the Microsoft Quantum Laboratory partnership, based at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub.

Sydney Nano has also embraced initiatives with Pharmacy on nanosafety, broadening engagement on nanotechnology with our Business School and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to look at societal impacts from nanotech.

Sydney Nano members have also been recognised for their outstanding work this year, including:

–          The director of the University’s Microsoft Quantum Laboratory, Professor David Reilly, was recognised as the Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Emerging Leader.

–          The institute’s nanorobotics project leader, Professor Saleh Sukkarieh, won the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.

–          Our theme leader for Computing, Communication and Security, Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi, won the prestigious Engineers Australia Bradfield Award.

–          Professor Michael Biercuk has led the first venture-capital-backed spin-off from the Sydney Nano quantum science group, establishing Q-Ctrl, which aims to become the trusted provider of firmware solutions for quantum computing technologies.

–          Sydney Nano member Dr Liz New has been awarded the Rennie Memorial Medal by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Dr New is an inorganic chemist working on molecular imaging and medical chemical sensors. The award recognises an early career researcher who has contributed most towards the development of a branch of chemical science.


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