Quantum photonics pioneer tours Australia as Frew Fellow

February 06, 2024
2023 Frew Fellow Professor Jelena Vuckovic (centre) visited Canberra as part of her fellowship. With her from the Academy are (from left) Professor Hans Bachor, Professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Academy President Professor Chennupati Jagadish and Professor Jim Williams.

The Academy’s 2023 Frew Fellow, Professor Jelena Vuckovic, toured and lectured in Australia recently as a recipient of the Academy’s Geoffrey Frew Fellowship. The Fellowship brings distinguished overseas scientists to Australia to participate in Australian spectroscopy conferences and to visit scientific centres, and was initiated in 1970 through a personal donation from Mr G S V Frew.

Since 2015, the Australian Optical Society has generously matched the Academy’s funding support for the Geoffrey Frew Fellowship. This collaboration underscores a commitment to enhancing global scientific exchange and facilitating interactions between international scholars and their Australian counterparts.

Professor Vuckovic is a pioneer in experimental and theoretical research in nanophotonics and quantum photonics, which have found widespread use in chemistry, physics, medical imaging and manufacturing. She leads the Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics Lab at Stanford University and was the inaugural director of the interdisciplinary Q-FARM initiative. This brings university researchers from different fields together to study quantum science and engineering and to train the next generation of scientists.

Embarking on the Frew Fellowship tour, Professor Vuckovic visited key academic hubs in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.

Insights into scalable quantum photonic systems

The tour started in Sydney, where Professor Vuckovic engaged with the academic community at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the University of Sydney. The ARC Centre for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems (TMOS) colloquium at UTS focused on scalable quantum photonic systems. At the University of Sydney, the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS) seminar explored the theme of unlocking the power of photonics through inverse design and heterogeneous integration. Engaging with researchers and exploring state-of-the-art optics labs and nanofabrication facilities added depth to the tour.

Quantum photonics lecture

Professor Vuckovic then visited the University of Queensland, delivering a lecture on quantum photonics and inverse design. This visit offered an opportunity for discussions with colleagues and a chance to explore advanced research labs, fostering connections and collaboration.

ANZCOP-AIP plenary talk and Academy interaction

The tour concluded in Canberra, where Professor Vuckovic delivered a plenary talk at the Australian and New Zealand Conference on Optics and Photonics and the Australian Institute for Physics summer meeting hosted at the Australian National University. Addressing an audience of more than 500 physicists and optics scientists, the lecture provided insights into the forefront of quantum photonics. Discussions with Australian Academy of Science leaders were then held at the Shine Dome.

Reflecting on the journey, Professor Vuckovic was grateful for the warm reception and the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues. The visit, reminiscent of her past research in Australia, fostered scientific discussions and paved the way for future collaborations. The Frew Fellowship proved to be a remarkable chapter in advancing quantum photonics and strengthening Australian scientific ties.

© 2024 Australian Academy of Science