Research School of Physics and Engineering

Identity area

Type of entity

University unit

Authorized form of name

Research School of Physics and Engineering

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Research School of Physical Sciences
  • Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1948 -

History

The Research School of Physical Sciences was the first of the research schools of the Australian National University to be established. Sir Marcus Oliphant who was a member of the Academic Advisory Committee was instrumental in its establishment. His appointment as the Director was announced in 1948 though he did not join the University until 1950, and a number of other staff appointed in 1948 and 1949 worked with him in Birmingham. Oliphant proposed that the school engage in research in fundamental nuclear physics and in the related branch of chemistry – the chemistry of radioactive substances. The foundation stone for the school was laid on 24 October 1949 by Prime Minister Ben Chifley. The six original departments were: Astronomy established in 1950, headed by Richard Woolley; Geophysics established in 1952, headed by John Jaeger; Radio Chemistry established in 1952, headed by Frank Scarf; Particle Physics established in 1950, headed by Marcus Oliphant; Nuclear Physics established in 1950, headed by Ernest Titterton; and Theoretical Physics established in 1951, headed by Ken Le Couteur. Four new research schools have been created from the original school: the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Research School of Earth Sciences, the Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering, and the School of Mathematical Sciences. The establishment of a Department of Electronic Materials Engineering in 1988 led eventually, in 1991, to the school being renamed the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering. In 2008 the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering and the Department of Physics, part of the Faculty of Science, merged to create the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

research; teaching

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

Directors
• Sir Mark Oliphant: 1950 – 1963
• Professor John Jaeger: 1964 – 1965
• Sir Ernest Titterton: 1966 – 1973
• Professor Robert Street: 1974 – 1978
• Professor John Carver: 1978 – 1992
• Professor Erich Weigold: 1992 – 2002
• Professor Jim Williams: 2002 – 2012
• Professor Stephen Buckman: 2012 –

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

ANU Department of Mathematics, Research School of Physical Sciences (1959 -)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1959 -

Description of relationship

Related entity

ANU Department of Astronomy (1957 - 1998)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

ANU Electron and Ion Diffusion Unit (1964 - 1987)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

Oliphant, Marcus Laurence Elwin (1901 - 2000)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1950 - 1963

Description of relationship

Director

Related entity

Carver, John (1926 - 2004)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Director

Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Maggie Shapley 14 February 2013

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

ANU Heritage website: http://heritage.anu.edu.au
Ophel, T. and Jenkin, J., Fire in the Belly: The First Fifty Years of the Pioneer School at the ANU, Canberra, 1996

Maintenance notes