RESTON, Virginia -- The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center significantly contributed to the University of Queensland’s recent success to host a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence. The AUD $33.7 million ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS) is focused to deliver state-of-the-art scientific breakthroughs in physics, engineering, chemistry, biology and medicine by engineering designer quantum systems.
EQuS researcher support by the AFOSR Biophysics program, in partnership with NASA Glenn, provided significant contribution toward the Centre’s success. AFOSR and NASA Glenn have a strong and longstanding relationship with Australian science, established in part by the Enabling Technologies Working Group under the auspices of the U.S.-Australia Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on S&T. The JCM serves as the major civil science dialogue between the two countries. The working group is co-chaired by Dr. Sofi Bin-Salamon, Program Officer for Biophysics at AFOSR, and Mrs. Rosie Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF). The endeavor brings together world-class researchers from the United States and Australia to advance basic science partnerships that are critical for future discoveries. The Enabling Technologies group has had successful engagements in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016.
Mr. Anthony Murfett, Minister-Counsellor (Industry, Science and Education) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC said “This partnership provides a great example of scientific collaboration between our two countries and the outcomes that can be achieved through our S&T Joint Committee Meeting with the U.S.”
Prof. Warwick Bowen, a principal investigator of the AFOSR Biophysics program that is co-managed by Dr. Bin-Salamon and Dr. William P. Roach, will serve as a member of the Science Executive of EQuS that oversees the overall research direction of the Centre. AFOSR and NASA Glenn strengthened the research program within EQuS in several ways. Prof. Bowen is supported by AFOSR to develop quantum-enhanced sensors applied toward the better fundamental understanding of biological systems for the protection and enhancement of human performance. The project was very important to the Centre’s development of research capabilities for bioscience-centric nanoscale engineered quantum systems resulting in the robust collaboration between Prof. Bowen and another AFOSR Biophysics principal investigator, Prof. Jennifer Ogilvie at the University of Michigan, as well as researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Dr. Félix A. Miranda of the NASA Glenn Research Center will provide expertise in the areas of aerospace and microwave communications, along with continued collaboration with Prof. Bowen’s group on optomechanical devices for space-based applications. Dr. Miranda and Prof. Ogilvie are included in the Centre as EQuS Associate Investigators. The Centre was further bolstered by exchanges from Australia to the United States as part of an unprecedented interagency researcher exchange.
According to Prof. Bowen, the Enabling Technologies group “provided an important pathway for EQuS researchers to develop leading research programs with strong connections to the United States which feature within the Centre’s overarching objectives for the next seven years.”
AFOSR and the NASA Glenn Research Center continue to partner with ANFF on Smart Sensing by leveraging the Australian National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. Sofi Bin-Salamon: “Basic research is essential for groundbreaking scientific discoveries. It is exciting to see the relationships we nurture blossom in wonderfully unexpected ways.”
ABOUT AFOSR: The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, located in Arlington, Virginia, continues to expand the horizon of scientific knowledge through its leadership and management of the Air Force's basic research program. As a vital component of the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFOSR's mission is to discover, shape and champion basic science that profoundly impacts the future Air Force. Through its international enterprise AFOSR supports the Air Force science and technology community by identifying foreign technological capabilities and accomplishments that can be applied to Air Force needs.
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