Two new Centres of Excellence to come

Michelle Simmons
Tuesday, 20 July, 2010
Bob Beale

The Faculty's national research leadership in quantum computing and climate science have been recognised with the award of two new Centres of Excellence by the Australian Research Council.

The centres were among three awarded to UNSW, with a total value of $58.6 million in combined funding over seven years - the best result of any university.

The Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, headed by the Director of the Centre for Quantum Computer Technology, Professor Michelle Simmons, received $24.5 million. The Centre will enhance and secure Australia's lead in the global race to develop strategic information technologies based on the laws of quantum physics.

"Our success will establish access to unprecedented communications security and computing capability for Australia," says Professor Simmons. "It will enable Australia to participate in the information technology industry of the twenty-first century in a way that it failed to in the twentieth century. It will afford Australia with significant global prestige, and it will transform our nation's knowledge base and our capacity for future innovation."

The Centre for Climate System Science, headed by the co-director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre, Professor Andy Pitman, was awarded $21.4 million.

"Climate change presents an unacceptable risk to the wellbeing and prosperity of Australians," says Professor Pitman.

"Using the best science to minimize threats and maximize opportunities is a national priority of international significance. We will resolve uncertainties in regional climate science via world-class research within a multi-University centre in partnership with outstanding international and national groups. Outcomes will be integrated into national frameworks, transforming the foundation for impacts and adaptation research. This will have direct economic, social and environmental benefit by improving advice to all levels of Government and the broader community on the scale, speed and timing of regional climate change"

ARC Centres of Excellence are prestigious hubs of expertise through which high-quality researchers develop Australia's international standing in research areas of national priority.

A total of 13 centres have been announced by the ARC for 2011.

This announcement builds on recent awards and grant success. Earlier this month three UNSW researchers won Australian Laureate Fellowships and the University topped the country in the latest round of ARC Linkage grants.

Media contacts:
Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 8920
Bob Beale, UNSW Faculty of Science, 0411 705 435