0289_Aust_Sync_110823croppedforwebsite.jpgThis has been a great year for the Australian Synchrotron. Increasing outputs and impact have seen more publications from our beamlines and more recognition and awards for our researchers than ever before. The transition to new management and governance structures has been accomplished smoothly and, with ANSTO completing its first year as the responsible operator of the facility, we are on track for the best performance results to date.

I have also received the honour, and the challenge, of continuing the journey of the Australian Synchrotron as its Director. Moving from a year as the Interim Director to this new position means that our focus is able to move towards what we have to do next to ensure the continued success of the Australian Synchrotron in facilitating the best in science and innovation for our researcher community.
We recently concluded a week of important review and stakeholder meetings with our Scientific Advisory Committee, the National Science Colloquium (which in future will operate as a confederation of ‘Friends of the Synchrotron’), the Funders Committee and our User Meeting. These meetings showcased the great results from the facility during the year and endorsed a strategic and pro-active approach towards consolidating new funding for the facility.
Along with continued strong demand for access to the Australian Synchrotron, we have already had some strong indications of interest towards the next phase of development.
International possibilities for investment in the Australian Synchrotron include a number of countries which may not have capital investment funds, or easy access to synchrotron facilities in their region. Our successful collaboration with foundation investors from New Zealand, MOUs with many synchrotron facilities worldwide, and support from the Asia Oceania Forum for Synchrotron Radiation Research (AOFSRR) demonstrate our proven capabilities in global collaborations.
It was a pleasure to see the strength in our international reputation at our User Meeting – international speakers from the US, UK and Asia, in the context of describing their next generation of light sources, also gave credit to the world-class quality of our own. In particular, they recognised the outstanding calibre of Australian Synchrotron staff in supporting the researcher experience and outcomes.
This type of validation helps strengthen our resolve in seeking long term funding to: capitalise on the investment in this resource made already; continue to ensure Australian and New Zealand industries, technologies and services remain internationally competitive; and maintain our world class standing in advanced synchrotron techniques.
What is clear is that in order to make the funding argument we need to impress upon our decision makers the value of the research undertaken at the Australian Synchrotron. It is up to all of us now to ensure our new government is made aware of the value in the broad ranging contributions we provide, to almost every industrial sector and scientific discipline, with direct and demonstrable contributions to the social and economic wellbeing of all Australians.
Biography: Professor Andrew Peele
Andrew completed his undergraduate and PhD degrees at The University of Melbourne in science and law and worked as a solicitor at a leading Melbourne law firm from 1990 - 1993.
After undertaking PhD studies in physics at the University of Melbourne he completed postdoc positions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre (96-99) and the University of Melbourne (99 -02), and then held a QEII fellowship (03-07). At La Trobe University from 2004, where he founded the x-ray sciences research group, Andrew was appointed Professor of Physics in 2011.
Andrew was seconded from La Trobe University as Head of Science at the Australian Synchrotron in 2011 and in 2013 served as its Interim Director before being appointed Director at the end of 2013.
He has co-authored more than 100 referred publications mainly in the area of x-ray imaging exploring techniques in phase contrast imaging, coherence, and high resolution imaging.
Andrew and his partner have three school-aged children. He is an avid runner and basketballer and claims that his coolest job, apart from being the Director of the Australian Synchrotron, was cleaning the caramel stirrer at the Mars Bar Factory in 1981.
Andrew’s appointment as Director of the Australian Synchrotron, is for a 3-year tenure.