CUDOS Students take out top science prizes at the University of Sydney


CUDOS students dominate prizes awarded at the University of Sydney this week, with the news that two of its postgraduate research students have been recognized for their outstanding work in academia and citizenship.

Tomonori Hu, won the 2014 Dean’s Award for Citizenship and Outreach for his contribution to the Faculty's non-academic activities and interests, while Thomas Büttner, won the University’s Faculty of Science Postgraduate Research Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

Tomonori and Tom

Tomonori was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the public communication of science, education & outreach, involvement in student affairs and student mentoring. A highlight was his management of the Optics in the Outback program of school visits to rural areas and indigenous communities. He helped communicate science to the public by organizing public talks and has a strong involvement in student affairs and student mentoring through executive positions on the University of Sydney OSA/SPIE Student Chapter Committee; Conference Chair of the KOALA-IONS 2013 conference; and as a Facilitator at the SPIE Leadership Workshop in San Diego.

Beyond academia, Tomonori is also involved with campus sports as President of the Sydney University Kendo (martial arts) Club and is a recipient of the Sydney University Sports and Fitness “Colours” Award for winning a gold medal for team and individual events in Kendo at the National University Games.


Tomonori Hu

Thomas was nominated for his significant contribution to the 2014 paper “Phase-locking and Pulse Generation in Multi-Frequency Brillouin Oscillator via Four Wave Mixing,” Thomas F. S. Büttner, Irina V. Kabakova, Darren D. Hudson, Ravi Pant, Christopher G. Poulton, Alexander C. Judge & Benjamin J. Eggleton that was published in Scientific Reports. The publication reported the first experimental and theoretical study of the interplay of the two nonlinear effects in a waveguide: Kerr-nonlinear four-wave mixing, based on the electronic response of the material, and stimulated Brillouin scattering, arising from the coherent generation of sound waves by the light.

The theoretical and experimental expertise gained during this work and the publication laid the foundation for several ground breaking follow up experiments resulting in two publications on “Phase-locked, chip-based, cascaded stimulated Brillouin scattering,” Optica 1, 311-314 (2014), and “Enhancing and inhibiting stimulated Brillouin scattering in photonic integrated circuits,” Nature Communications 6, 6396 (2015) on which Thomas is the first author and a senior author, respectively.


Thomas Büttner

The Dean’s Citizen and Outreach Award and Postgraduate Research Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement will be presented to Tomonori and Thomas at the end of the year graduation ceremony.