Prof. John O'Connor
|Work Phone||(02) 4921 5439|
|Fax||(02) 4921 6898|
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
The University of Newcastle, Australia
- Doctor of Science, Australian National University
- Bachelor of Science (Honours), Australian National University
- PhD, Australian National University
- Bachelor of Science, Australian National University
- Ion Surface Interaction
- Nuclear Fusion and Materials
- Science Communication
- Surface Science
Principal research experience is in materials analysis (editor of "Surface Analysis Methods in Materials Science") with particular emphasis on ion beam techniques ranging from 100eV to 1GeV. These tools have been applied to study the structure and composition of the first few atomic layers of materials. In the areas of low energy (0.1 - 10keV) and medium energy (50 - 200keV) I have a recognised international standing reflected in conference organisation, publication and research grant reviewing.
I have made fundamentally contributions to the development of reliable interatomic potentials (most highly cited paper with over 150 citations) which has been recognised as the most valuable contribution to reliable computer simulation. In some groups the conclusion I arrived at is termed the OConnor potential.
A second growing area of research interest is in the field of science communication and outreach. I have been involved in this activity alongside my research for my whole career but my main concern has been that there has not been sufficient attention paid to measuring and optimising the effectiveness of such activities. With a PhD student I commenced a project on this which developed into a broader involvement. In 2001, I brought together the AIP (of which I was president at the time), the RACI, Engineers Australia and the Australian Council of Mathematical Societies to highlight to the Federal Government the declining participation in senior secondary school chemistry, physics and mathematics. This has developed into the current DEST focus on these enabling sciences. At the same time we developed (at University of Newcastle) the Science and Engineering Challenge which won the Sir William Hudson award for Engineering Excellence in 2003. This program has been funded by DEST for $1.8M to take it Australia wide. In 2002 Institute of Physics (UK) awared me (with T Burns and R Nelson) the Public Awareness of Physics Award recognising not only the Science and Engineering Challenge but other activities in this area of endeavour.
Further research in science and engineering outreach is being undertaken through an ARC Linkage Project with Engineers Australia and Ampcontrol.
My publications have an average 11 citations per paper and my Hirsch index is currently 21. I have presented 5 invited presentation at national and international conferences in the past 5 years.
- Materials science with a particular emphasis on surface physics
- Science and engineering communication and education
- Medical physics
Fields of Research
|020299||Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle And Plasma Physics Not Elsewhere Classified||40|
|020499||Condensed Matter Physics Not Elsewhere Classified||30|
|020699||Quantum Physics Not Elsewhere Classified||30|
Centres and Groups
ARC Committee member
- PEG panel 2001/2002
Body relevant to professional practice.
- Vice President - 1999 to 2001 - Australian Institute of Physics
- President - 2001 to 2003 - Australian Institute of Physics
- Secretary 2003 - 2006 - Federation of Scientific and Technological Societies
Committee/Associations (relevant to research).
- Member 2000-2002 - Editorial Committee of Progress in Surface Science (published in Elsevier Science)
- Member Program Committee 2008 - IUMRS/ICEM- 2008
- Member 1993-2007 - Inaugural Editorial Board of Surface Review and Letters Journal (published by World Scientific)
- Organiser and Chair - International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces 2002
- member 1999-2001 - International Program Committee of Surface Science for the International Vacuum Congress 15, San Diego
- Member 1997-2008 - International Steering Committee of the International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces
- Member - Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering)
Fudan University, Shanghai, China (China)
Chair, H1 National Facility Board
Australian National University (Australia)
AVS Vacuum Technology Division prize for best shop notes paper
American Vacuum Society, Vacuum Technology Division (United States)
Sir William Hudson Award for Outstanding Engineering Excellence
Engineers Australia (Australia)
Public Awareness of Physics Award
Institute of Physics (UK) (United Kingdom)
Teaching Excellence Award for Postgraduate Supervision
University of Newcastle (Australia)
Bede Morris Fellowship
Australian Academy of Science (Australia)
Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany)
16th International Conference on Ion-Surface Interactions
Conference Organisation Committee, Russian Federation (Conference Presentation - non published.)
16th International Vacuum Congress, 12th International Conference on Solid Surfaces, and 18th International Conference on Nanometer-Scale Science and Technology
IUVSTA, Italy (Conference Presentation - non published.)
2nd Ion Beam Techniques for the Analysis of Composition and Structure With Atomic Layer rResolution
Conference Organisation Committee, Korea, Democratic People's Republic (Conference Presentation - non published.)
30th Annual Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting
Conference Organisation Committee, Australia (Conference Presentation - non published.)
3rd International Workshop on Surface Physics
Conference Organisation Committee, Poland (Conference Presentation - non published.)
3rd Ion Beam Techniques for the Analysis of Composition and Structure With Atomic Layer Resolution
Conference Organisation Committee, United States (Conference Presentation - non published.)
From 1991 to 1997 I was Head of the Department of Physics which, under a restructure, became the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences of which I have been head since 2002.
I have been President of the Australian Institute of Physics and Secretary of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies. As secretary of the Vacuum Society of Australia I served in two capacities on the Council of the International Union of Vacuum, Science and Technologies Association over a period of nine years.
- Energy and Fusion
- General Physics
- Solid State Physics
I have taught a broad range of courses from first year to postgraduate in physics with excellent feedback from students. At present my administrative load precludes me undertaking a heavy teaching load but I have elected to retain two of the most challenging courses which is a Sports Physics course, and an Honours Physics course.
My recognised teaching ability lead to my appointment to the foundation Teaching Committee (in 1992) at the University of Newcastle, my ongoing appointment to the Avondale College Bachelor of Science Degree Advisory Committee (1992 present) and my appointment to the program committee of the University of Newcastle Practical Tertiary Teaching Program (2003 present) for academics.
I have been a member of the NSW HSC Physics Examination panel and I was a member of the steering committee (involving the Department of Education, NSW Science Teachers Association and the AIP) for the production of a Secondary School Physics Laboratory Manual Getting it to Work - Physics Equipment for High Schools
I have also held the following posts:
1997-1999 External Examiner for M.Sc. (Materials Science) at the Hong Kong University.
2003 Member, Prime Ministers Science Engineering and Innovation Council Working Group on Science Awareness and Education.
2004 Member, Expert Advisory Panel, AUTC Project into Physics Teaching Outcomes and Curriculum Development
2004 Member of reference group to advise DEST on implementing the recommendations of the review Australias Teachers: Australias Future Advancing Innovation, Science, Technology and Mathematics.