The University of Technology Sydney (UTS)   


  • Congratulations to AusSI Systems for winning the best new startup (pre-revenue) award for 2018 a the NEWi awards held in Newcastle More. Fabulous vindication for a new approach to pioneering a new technology outside of the mainstream environment to ensure maximum value for Australia. Well done to Dr Sandra Ast and team. AusSI Systems, partnering with Auckland University, has also been awarded a Priming grant to help build an Australian and New Zealand regional area of excellence in smart agriculture. It has identified the need to maintain agricultural integrity and global reputation by partnering with centres of excellence in integrity in the agricultural space. Outside of its core activities AusSI continues to work with iPL, UTS and other partners (BAM, Dresden University, ANU etc) to develop other areas of application using AusSI technology.
  • As the students depart our KPI partner Prof Liyang Shao arrives. In-between a busy schedule meeting UTS academics and staff, organising joint student supervision and more, a novel new fibre optic pressure sensor has been conceived. We look forward to a long and prosperous relation between UTS and Sustc.
  • We farewell another excellent student Juliette Lavacquery from Universite de Tours Lyon France who demonstrated the application of novel sensing technology from AusSI Systems during her stay. Juliette is currently doing the backpacker trail in Northern Queensland, no doubt having a lot of fun and of course new ideas for research!
  • We farewell outstanding student visitors from Universite de Paris Sude, France Pauline Sastre and Audrey Mandrou, two interns supported by France's Horizons program and indeed the first student pioneers at the new UTS technology precinct TechLab at Botany (with golf courses and swimming pools), and Aymen Biji. Pauline was involved with the original breakthrough in novel 3D materials which is currently being explored as a new technology device approach. Audrey joined her in this effort and the two also teamed up to explore a bit of Australia before leaving. Aymen worked on developing novel printing materials. Another first of course was the use of the barbecue facilities in the local park for their farewells!
  • Sydney Water visits iPL. Exploring potential opportunities for various optical sensing modalities, Dr Kevin Cook highlighted recent work on developing FBG sensors for rail and utility poles that could be extended to monitor water infrastructure. The smart IoT technologies of iPL offer the potential for field based measurements of water. Regular and widespread measurement of parameters such as pH are critical to preventing or minimising security incursions in water supply and to maintain and validate safe drinking water. A study demonstrating the power of smartphone based analysis was previously demonstrated by iPL mapping pH around Sydney and independently confirming official data published on line. For more information see:Md. A. Hossain, J. Canning, S. Ast, P. Rutledge, A. Jamalipour, “Early Warning Smartphone Diagnostics for Water Security and Analysis Using Real-Time pH Mapping”, Phot. Sensors, 5 (4), 289-297, (2015). More
  • Congratulations to AusSI Systems Pty Ltd for making it to the semi-finals of the Australian Technology Competition (ATC).  The purpose of the competition, run by Impact Technology Ventures, is to mentor and profile emerging technologies in priority sectors that have global potential. More AusSI has developed a smart device diagnostic IoT platform suitable for agricultural, medical, environmental and industrial field instrumentation connected through the IoT into so-called "super instruments". A key value proposition of AusSI is recognising the importance of hardware supporting app and cloud based connectivity. AusSI has also been awarded two Priming grants (with BAM Germany developing new test strips and Auckland University NZ exploring the agri-tech sector) and a BRII grant (with UTS and State Government) in successfully applying some of its technology to pesticide detection. Most recently, it supported the opto-electronic internships at UTS for Juliette Lavacquery from University de Tours in France and Jack Campbell from UNSW (where Prof Canning is a conjoint Professor) and others, providing invaluable exposure to technology startups. More information on AusSI can be found here. Opportunities to support more student internships with AusSI can be pursued with the CEO Dr. Sandra Ast.
  • We farewell visiting nanotechnology intern Marc Garcia from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in Catalonia, Spain. He reproduced recent results on protein storage within self-assembled structures, work continuing in collaboration with Prof. Maxwell Crossley at the University of Sydney

  1. UTS Scholarship Deadlines
    Please note that the next International Student Scholarship deadline (for Autumn 2019 starts) is fast approaching, closing on the 30th June. Make sure your paperwork in order. The next domestic application deadline for Autumn 2019 starts is 30th September.

  • The National Fibre Facility at UNSW has been relocated to new state of the art facilitates within the School of Electrical Engineering at UNSW. Led by Prof Gang-Ding Peng, a member of iPL, it is currently undertaking the final stages of advanced fibre fabrication for defence applications. 
  • In 2018 Prof Canning presents the concept of water as a new photonic and optoelectronic platform material and its potential to revolutionise technology, starting by elaborating anomalously high electro-optic coefficients in laser-poled fibre devices and expanding to discuss how they can be applied to integrated optics. These concepts have been recently published in the Material Research Societies Communications journal (More).
  • The idea of utilising distributed optical fibre sensors to remotely monitor Australia and the world's utility poles from the outback into the cities is proposed at APOS 2018, recognising that hardware scalability of hardware identification taking advantage of IoT infrastructure and approaches is key to transforming the diagnostic component of the power sector generally.
  • World Cup in the media: Prof Canning is interviewed by Channel 7 News on the challenges of  the Optus coverage of the World Cup in Russia 2018: (see from 16:40).

  • In 2018 we hosted a visit by Prof. Alexander Pohl, UTFPR to begin the process of signing an MOU between UTS and UTFPR in Brazil to cement further the strong ties researchers at iPL have with Brazil and to build new ones with new partners both at the new Botany technology precinct and Central UTS. Prof Pohl himself was a distinguished visiting professor to iPL some years back and was involved with a number of key acousto-optic breakthroughs at iPL including the major development of tunable grating writing using acoustically launched modes during grating production.
  • Supported by a recent Science Without Borders Program, collaborations with Prof Cicero Martelli at UTFPR in Curitiba Brazil, a former PhD graduate from iPL, continue. Distributed sensing work has been published studying horse gait movement using FBG technology and signal processing and network monitoring of the temperature of a crank shaft in deisel engines using FBGs. Both these applications highlight the benefits of photonic hardware encoding for industrial IoT applications, reducing significant latency times involved with identifying large numbers of colourless electronic sensors. See our 2018 publication list for links to published articles. 
  • Congratulations to Prof. Liyang Shao from the Southern University of Technology in Shenzhen, a Key Partner Institute with UTS who has been awarded a KPI Visiting Fellowship to help grow the partnership. He will be based in iPL and working towards new photonic devices based on recent work developed in the group and will also look towards developing an expansive relationship between our partner institutions. Liyang is a close friend of the group and has a prestigious track record having worked with people like Prof. Jacques Albert in Canada where he did some of the pioneering work on tilted fibre Bragg gratings and their realisation as a practical sensing tool. Not one to fear fundamental science, Liyang was also previously awarded an Endeavour Visiting Fellowship at iPL and was during that period instrumental in verifying the predicted relationship between viscous flow and glass regeneration pioneered at iPL. We look forward to his visit.
  • iPL continues to host international interns. Padraic Gallagher from Trinity Colleague Dublin led the way, demonstrating a new approach to 3D printing of optical waveguides using FDM with a resolution an order of magnitude better than that ordinarily determined by the FDM printer nozzle. He was awarded funding to travel and present at our regions premier optical sensing the Asia Pacific Optical sensors Conference in Shimane Japan this year. At this conference, congratulations to Dr Kevin Cook for his invited presentation reviewing our work on 3D printing photonics.
  • Dr Kevin Cook and Prof. Canning (continuing as Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney) continue to co-supervise various PhD students at Sydney and UNSW with Luke Gordon formally enrolling in 2018 at Sydney to undertake more detailed studies of photo-biomodulation, the application of light to treat disease in a systematic fashion.
  • Following his departure our linkages with Universite de Paris Sud and its umbrella confederation Universite Saclay continue and we host three opto-electronic students: Pauline Sastre, Audrey Madrou and Aymen Biji. Already a further breakthrough in 3D printing has been achieved so stay tuned to find out more as it matures. Recently arrived is Juliette Lavacquery from Universite Tours in France who is working as a joint UTS and early stage startup AusSI Systems ( intern on a new Analyser application supervised by Dr Sandra Ast (AusSI) and Prof Canning
  • Marc Garcia pursuing a Nanotechnology degree in the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) with Prof. Laura Lechuga and studying at UTS, where his project involves leading our recent work on using self-assembled structures for chemical storage, an ongoing collaboration with Prof Maxwell Crossley at the University of Sydney.  
iPL Move to new UTS Technology Precinct "TechLab" at Botany, the start of something new in IoT

  • With an expansion of iPL activities in leading the Photonics IoT, iPL are the first pioneers to formally move across to the new UTS Precinct at Botany. This has seen a significant expansion into FBG application as well as new fundamental research in ways to enable photonic-electronic-quantum transduction methods. Discussions with civil, mechanical and acoustic engineering have already identified opportunities to expand FBG applications in addressing an increasingly Photonics IoT. On the 20th the Faculty of Engineering Industry Advisory Board visits the labs to see what its all about. Techlab Info.
  • Inquiries and opportunities for both research and industry engagement can be sought here. We welcome all queries.


NEWS: Congratulations to Shuen Wei, Australian PhD candidate at UNSW for winning the Nicolas Baudin Award to undertake leading edge regeneration work as part of a France-Australia collaboration! 

Available for short period to study in France with the potential to enroll in a joint PhD between iPL, UTS Australia, UPS and University Saclay, Paris, France. Apply through the French Embassy in Australia: MORE  UTS linked: TOPIC  Contact: Prof. John Canning

PROJECT: This overall project will develop Fiber Optic sensors based on FBGs that can operate in extreme environments, especially at high temperatures (700 - 1500 °C). Following recent developments, these sensors are being developed to measure temperature and strain in extreme environments. This new fiber Bragg grating technology adds extreme temperature resistance to the intrinsic advantages of FBG based metrology such as spectral multiplexing capabilities (multiple measurement points on a single optical fiber) and electromagnetic immunity. Ultra-high temperature performance is needed across sectors such as Aerospace (aircraft engines), Advanced Manufacturing (3D laser additive manufacturing metal parts), optics (high power laser), steel and aluminium smeltering industry, nuclear (instrumentation of future reactors) and space (launchers). Two innovating FBGs to solve this high temperature problem now exist: in particular the FBG regeneration process (identified by our Australian partner) is the only current approach that can enable photonic technologies to operate in such harsh environments at elevated temperatures. In the simplest interpretation the regeneration process is the rebirth of a grating that is first annealed out. A second approach would be to take advantage of the selectivity in spatial and time domains that near IR femtosecond lasers offer. In this project, the technology of glass taken for granted in the macro scale will be applied on a sub micron scale with a degree of unheralded finesse using laser patterning and writing of temperature stable sub-micron structures glass smithing with nanoscale resolution becomes feasible. 

SYNOPSIS: Deployment of FBG high temperature sensors arrays to real life applications requires fulfilling stringent end usedemands. Moreover, efficient solutions must be developed in order for femtosecond or UV laser regenerated FBGs to act as a reliable and mature industrial solution with regard to well established techniques such as thermocouples.