Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Photonics and Optical Science

Sydney, Australia
17 Jan 2018
End of advertisement period
15 Feb 2018
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Physics

Faculty of Science

  • Research position focused on pure-quartic solitons science and its applications
  • 2 years full time (with 6 month probation and potential extension to a 2.5 year maximum subject to performance and funding availability)
  • $107K - $115K p.a. including base salary, leave loading and up to 17% superannuation. Visa sponsorship and some assistance towards travelling cost may be available if required.

About the opportunity 

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (Level A) to join our research team working on pure-quartic solitons science and applications at the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS), School of Physics, at the University of Sydney. The team has an outstanding track record in novel soliton physics, ultrafast fiber lasers, and integrated nonlinear optics.

This position is linked to an ARC Discovery Project aimed to develop the first pure-quartic soliton laser. Pure-quartic solitons (PQSs) are a novel class of temporal optical soliton recently discovered experimentally at the University of Sydney (Nature Comm. 7, 10427 (2016)). Amongst their fascinating properties, which we are only starting to understand, is their excellent energy scaling at very short pulse durations. This highlights PQSs outstanding potential to produce high-energy ultra-short stable pulses in laser systems, without the need for complicated and inefficient recompressing stages.

The project will first focus on furthering our understanding of the properties, energy scaling properties and limits of existence of PQSs, via experimental measurements in nanophotonic platforms and microstructured optical fibers, and via numerical analysis.  Subsequently we will address the design and construction of the first PQS laser and finally target high-power sub-100 fs PQS laser pulses.

The experiments will be carried out in the state of the art optical laboratories of University of Sydney Nano Institute, including capabilities for ultrasensitive complex electrical field characterization of femtosecond pulses, cryogenic superconducting single-photon detection, and nanofabrication amongst many others.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance in recruiting talent aligned to these values in the pursuit of research excellence and are seeking to recruit for a Postdoctoral Research Associate role within the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science who will be responsible to:

  • Carry out experimental research and numerical analysis at the forefront of ultrafast science and nonlinear optics with the final goal of demonstrating the first pure-quartic soliton (PQS) laser.
  • Work closely with a team of experts in experimental nonlinear optics (Andrea Blanco-Redondo), soliton physics (Martijn de Sterke), and ultrafast lasers (Darren Hudson).
  • Supervise undergraduate students’ research in the area of pure-quartic solitons.
  • Pursue publication of the research results in high profile physics journals

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate with:

  • PhD (or near completion) in Physics, EE or a related discipline
  • Extensive experience with experimental ultrafast laser science and/or nonlinear optics
  • Numerical simulation skills
  • Published research in refereed journals as sole author or in collaboration in areas related to the project.
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills with attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in presenting seminars at research institutions and conferences.
  • Supervision of students at undergraduate level.

Desirable criteria include:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the theory of solitons, lasers, and nonlinear optics.
  • Experience in guided and nonlinear optics, integrated optics and photonics.

Level of appointment will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

About us

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion, and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australia's first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 6000 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.

For more information on the position and University, please view the candidate information pack available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the reference number 2582/1217 to apply.

Closing date: 11:30pm 15 February 2018 (Sydney Time)

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

If we think your skills are needed in other areas of the University, we will be sure to contact you about other opportunities.

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.