Geoff Austin was born in the UK, studied Physics in Cambridge and then worked for the Marconi Company on radio propagation. He then went to Canterbury for a PhD in upper atmosphere physics using HF radars with Graham Fraser. He taught briefly at Canterbury and then went to the Physics Department of McGill University in Canada, working on weather radars for 22 years, becoming the Director of the McGill Weather Radar Observatory. He developed a very short-range weather forecasting system for airports – which was then used by airports and NASA/USAF for Shuttle landings for many years. Since 1991 he has been back in NZ at Auckland University working on using remote sensed meteorological data to try to improve weather forecasting. He was head of the Auckland Physics Department for nine years, elected FRSNZ in 1996, served as Vice President of the RSNZ for three years and was awarded the Mills Medal and Prize of the Royal Meteorological Society (UK) for contributions to cloud physics in 2008. He has a current interest in renewable energy and has been working on the development of sustainable buildings for the NZ climate.
Prof. Hans-Albert Bachor is Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University and independent consultant in the area of physics, science communication and science education. He works from his base near Canberra, Australia and is engaged in national and international activities.
Until 2011 he was the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics (ACQAO), a national centre to study atoms and light at the quantum level and to explore options for future quantum technologies. He was an ARC Federation Fellow 2003-2008.
He received his diploma and doctorate in Physics from the University of Hannover, Germany. He was attracted to Australia in 1981 by the Australian National University (ANU) where he has been teaching Physics at all levels with great enthusiasm and success. He held the position of Professor at ANU since 1995 and emeritus Professor since 2011.
Hans Bachor established experimental quantum optics in Australia and created a widely known group for optics and laser physics and explores the possibilities of harnessing the quantum nature of light. He has pioneered techniques for sensitive measurements beyond the quantum noise limit, for the improvement of optical sensors, interferometers, optical communication and data storage. He currently investigates the spatial quantum properties of laser beams.
Gilles Bellon is the Glavish-Buckley Senior Lecturer in Theoretical Climate Physics at The University of Auckland since last July. Previously, he received his PhD from the University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris) in 2004 and went on to post-doctoral projects at the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) and Columbia University (New York), before going back to France to join the National Centre for Scientific Research in 2008.
Gilles works on the physics of the tropical atmosphere and on tropical climate variability.
Eugenia Etkina (Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education–GSE) was born and educated in Russia, where she was awarded her PhD in Physics Education from Moscow State Pedagogical University. She has over 30 years of physics teaching experience (this includes middle school, high school and university physics). Professor Etkina designed and now coordinates one of the largest programs in physics teacher preparation in the U.S., she conducts professional development for high school and university physics instructors, and participates in reforms to the undergraduate physics courses. In 1993 she developed an approach to learning physics in which students learn physics using the processes that mirror scientific practice. The approach was enriched when she began collaborating with Alan Van Heuvelen in 2000 and now is known as Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE). Since 2000 they have developed curriculum materials based on ISLE, conducted over 90 workshops for physics instructors, and published College Physics – a textbook in which ISLE is implemented. Eugenia is an active researcher who published over 50 peer-refereed articles and a dedicated teacher, who in 2010 received the highest teaching award at Rutgers University and Millikan Medal in 2014.
Dr Ken Gledhill is the Director of GeoNet, and Department Head, Geohazards Monitoring, Natural Hazards Division, GNS Science. Ken has a MSc (Physics and Math) from University of Waikato and a PhD in geophysics from Victoria University of Wellington. GeoNet is New Zealand’s integrated geological hazards monitoring system for earthquakes, volcanoes, slow earth deformation, landslides and tsunami. He currently chairs the governance group of the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (PTWS). Ken is a scientific project leader, seismologist, scientific data collection, sensor network and data communications specialist with more than 32 years’ experience. His research has concentrated on geophysical instrumentation and data analysis, the field studies of large earthquakes, and the study of the deep structure beneath New Zealand.
Ulrich Zuelicke is a Professor of Physics at Victoria University of Wellington. After obtaining his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1998, he undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany and has held permanent academic positions at Massey University from 2003 until his move to VUW in 2011. Ulrich is a theorist interested in the study of unconventional materials such as graphene. He has been awarded the Research Medal of the New Zealand Association of Scientists and is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Physics, a Principal Investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology as well as at Te Punaha Matatini – the Centre for Complex Systems and Networks, and an Associate Investigator at the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies. Ulrich was recently elected to serve on the IUPAP Commission on Semiconductors.