David Ottaway

Professor David Ottaway

Professor

School of Physical Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Prof David Ottaway is a Theme Leader for the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS). David’s research is focussed on the development of optical systems ranging from cryogenic solid state lasers to mid-infrared fibre lasers. He has an ongoing involvement in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and continues to work on advanced gravitational wave detectors. David has published over 256 refereed journal papers and his research has attracted significant funding totalling over $10 M.

David obtained his PhD in Physics from the University of Adelaide in 1999. Following this he took up a role as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology based at the LIGO Hanford Observatory. From 2001 to 2007, he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the LIGO Laboratory. In 2007 David returned to the University of Adelaide.

Research Activity:

My research pushes optics and photonics technologies to their limits to enable exciting new science and technology advances. I have made significant contributions across a wide range of fields with recent highlights including the demonstration of new fibre lasers, new insight in the dynamics of solid state lasers and new techniques for gravitational wave detection. I have extensive experience in developing and deploying high precision, low noise optical instrumentation including:

  • Frequency and intensity stabilisation of lasers for the LIGO gravitational wave detectors
  • High precision control of optical surfaces within the LIGO gravitational wave detectors
  • Eyesafe coherent laser radar for remote wind-field and methane detection
  • High power Rayleigh lidar for atmospheric characterisation
  • Er:YAG and Nd:YAG solid state lasers for precision optical systems
  • Mid-infrared fibre lasers with wavelengths beyond 3µm
  • Advanced control systems for controlling high precision optical systems.

Current projects include:

  1. Er:YAG lasers for remote sensing of methane gas and range finding. Recently we set a record for the peak power that can be achieved from an Er:YAG laser (2 MW). This combined with extensive studies into the performance characteristics of Er:YAG make us well placed to develop new applications with this unique eyesafe laser platform.
  2. New mid-infrared fibre lasers. In 2014 we demonstrated that dual-wavelength pumping can make rare-earth transitions between transitions high above the ground state viable and efficient. Focusing on the 4F9/2 to 4I9/2 transition in erbium we have demonstrated watt level average power and wavelength tunability between 3.3 to 3.8 µm. We have also completed and extensive numerical modelling project that has enabled us to gain a near complete understanding of this transition. Our near to medium term goals are to power scale this to the 10 W level which will allow this laser source to be a replacement for the CO2 laser that are currently used in the Thermal Compensation System of Advanced LIGO plus enable new forms of polymer processing. We also plan to Q-switch this source and mode-lock it to enable new forms of mid-infrared sensing. We also aim to extend this technique to transitions beyond 4 µm using indium fluoride based glasses.
  3. New wavefront sensors for Advanced LIGO and Beyond. We are developing new wavefront sensors for Advanced LIGO. Using so-called phase-camera techniques we are designing and testing a new high resolution wavefront sensor that uses no mechanical scanning. This wavefront sensor will also be suitable for use in third generation gravitational wave detectors when the transition will be made from using 1064 nm lasers to longer near-infrared sources that could be as long as 2 µm.
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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 Professor University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2017 Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2014 Deputy Head of School School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide
    2012 - 2015 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2009 - 2011 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2009 Senior Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2003 - 2007 Research Scientist, Head of LIGO Advanced System Test-bed Interferometer (LASTI) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    2001 - 2003 Post Doctoral Associate Center for Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    2000 - 2001 Post Doctoral Scientist California Institute of Technology
    1999 - 2000 Post Doctoral Fellow University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2017 Award Princess of Asturias Awards for Technical and Scientific Research awarded to whole LIGO Team Princess of Asturias Foundation Spain
    2017 Award Bruno Rossi Prize, awarded to Gonzalez and the whole LIGO Discovery Team American Astronomical Society United States
    2016 Award Gruber Cosmology Prize awarded to Drever, Thorne, and Weiss and the whole LIGO Discovery Team Gruber Foundation United States
    2016 Award Breakthrough Prize (Special) in Fundamental Physics awarded to the whole LIGO Discovery Team Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation United States
    2016 Research Award Short Travel Award Japanese Society for Promotion of Science(JSPS) Japan
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1994 - 1999 University of Adelaide Australia Ph.D. in Physics
    1993 - 1993 University of Adelaide Australia B.Sc. (Hons.) in Physics, First Class
    1990 - 1992 University of Adelaide Australia B.Sc. (Mathematical and Computer Science)
Research Funding:
Date Project/ No. Investigators Funding Body Amount
2019 Advanced laser radar (Lidar) precision power output forecaster demonstration J Sutton, D Ottaway and P Veitch Australian Renewable Energy Agency Arena $367,000 to University of Adelaide
2019 Quantum Radar for Stealth Detection D Ottaway, B Sparkes, S Drake, L Swierkowski, B Smith and G Nash Defence Industry and Innovation , Next Generation Technology Fund - Quantum Technologies  $243,253
2018-2020

Upconversion Fluorescence for Real-time Stand-off Detection and Identification of Explosive

N Spooner, D Ottaway, G Tsiminis, J Moffatt Defence Industry and Innovation - Next Generation Technology Fund - Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge $788,881
2017-2020 Australian Partnership in Advanced LIGO+

D McClelland, P Veitch, D Ottaway, B Slagmolen, R Ward, D Reitze, A Lazzarini, D Shaddock

Australian Research Council (ARC), Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF),
LE170100217
$1,030,000
2017-2023 ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery - OzGrav M Bailes, D McLelland, Y Levin, D Blair, S Scott, D Ottaway, A Melatos, P Veitch, L Wen, D Shaddock, B Slagmolen, C Zhao, R Evans, L Ju , D Galloway, E Thrane, J Hurley, D Coward, J Cooke, W Couch, G Hobbs, D Reitze, S Rowan, R Cai, K Danzmann, N Mavalvala, R Adhikari, S Kulkarni, M Kramer, M Branchesi, N Gehrels, A Weinstein, D Steeghs, D Bock Australian Research Council

$4,253,866 to UoA Node

($31,300,000 total)

2016-2019 Upconversion Fluoresence for Real-time Mineral Identification N Spooner, D Ottaway, G Tsiminis, J Moffatt

CRC for Optimising Resource Extraction

$1,300,000
2015-2017 The Ultimate Mid-Infrared Laser Source D Ottaway Department of State Development, Premier's Research and Industry Fund (PRIF), International Research Grant (IRG) $300,000
2015-2017 Ultra-sensitive third-generation gravitational wave detectors P Veitch, D Ottaway, B Slagmolen, A Brooks, S Ballmer, R Adhikari Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery Project, DP150103359 $470,800
2015 The Cherenkov Telescope Array G Rowell, M Burton, A Green, B Dawson, C Balazs, M Filipovic, R Crocker, NTothill, P Veitch, D Galloway, M White, G Bicknell, C Braiding, D Ottaway, J Hinton, D Berge Australian Research Council (ARC), Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF), LE150100070 $270,000
2014-2017 Laser airborne methane sensor D Ottaway, P Veitch, D Lancaster, M Penley, B Goldstein Australian Research Council (ARC), Linkage Project, LP140100589 $550,000
2014-2015 Leaky channel mode germanate glass fibre lasers for high power operation in the short to mid-infrared D Lancaster, TM Monro, H Ebendorff-Heidepriem, D Ottaway Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD) $110,000
2013-2018 The Australian Copper-Uranium Transformation Research Hub S Grano, D Ottaway, Y Ngothai, P Ashman, H Ebendorff-Heidepriem, A Hooker, J Brugger, S Wilson, A Pring, P Hayes, Y Peng, J Vaughan, E Jak, K Ehrig, N Spooner, S Simons Australian Research Council (ARC), Industrial Transformation Research Hub, IH130200033 $2,526,617
2013 Australian partnership in advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) – continuation J Munch,P Veitch, D Ottaway Australian Research Council (ARC), Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF), LE130100032 $990,000
2013 3.5μm Fiber Lasers for Remote Sensing of Important Trace Sensing and Medical Diagnostics D Ottaway Adelaide Research & Innovation (ARI), Commercial Accelerator Scheme (CAS), Round 10 $100,000
2011-2014 Advanced eyesafe Er:YAG short pulsed lasers for remote sensing applications DJ Ottaway, PJ Veitch Australian Research Council (ARC), Linkage Project, LP110200734 $154,000
2010-2011 Silica and Germanate Glass High Power Fiber Laser Sources TM Monro, J Munch, H Ebendorff-Heidepriem, D Lancaster, D Ottaway Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD) $125,000
2010 Capability for the Fabrication and Characterization of Mid-Infrared Photonic Materials TM Monro, H Ebendorff-Heidepriem, HH Tan, JM Dell, S Madden, CJ Sumby, DJ Ottaway, HH Harris Australian Research Council (ARC), Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF),  LE100100104 $400,000
2004 Development of Technologies for Sub-Quantum-Noise-Limited Gravitational-Wave Interferometers N Mavalvala, D Ottaway, S Whitcomb NSF Grant PHY-045726 $1,000,000

 

Teaching:

I am passionate about undergraduate teaching and providing the students the best possible educational experience and outcome.

Recent teaching:

  • 1st Year Physics for Life and Earth Sciences (PLES1A) (2010-2016)
  • 1st Year Physical Aspects of Nature (PAN) (2008-2013)
  • 1st Year Physics 1B (2009, 2012)
  • 1st Year Fundamentals of Biomedical Science (2011-2016)
  • 2nd Year Physics IIA – Lab Component (2010)
  • 2nd Year Electromagnetism II (2009-2016)
  • 3rd Year Optics and Photonics III (2009, 2011, 2012)
  • 3rd Year Computational Physics III (2010 – 2016)
  • 3rd Year Experimental Physics III (2009 – 2016)
  • Program Coordinator MSc (Applied Physics) (2010-2015)
  • Program Coordinator BSc (Laser Physics and Technology) (2010- 2015)
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor Mineral Identification Using Upconversion Fluorescence Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Thomas Bede Payten
    2019 Principal Supervisor Airborne Detection of Methane Using Lidar Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sarah Martha Watzdorf
    2019 Principal Supervisor Advanced Phase Camera Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Ethan Joel Puckridge
    2019 Principal Supervisor Low noise 2-micron lasers Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Zachary James Holmes
    2018 Principal Supervisor Improving high frequency CW searches for gravitational waves Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Deeksha Beniwal
    2018 Principal Supervisor Radiation sensing fibres Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Jarrah Lionel Herbert Mik
    2017 Principal Supervisor Longer Wavelength Fibre Laser Development Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nathaniel Bawden
    2017 Principal Supervisor Gravitational Waves Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Alexei Ciobanu
    2016 Principal Supervisor Laser Development for Methane Detection Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Joshua Steven Pease
    2016 Co-Supervisor Wavefront control for advanced gravitational wave detectors Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Huy Tuong Cao
    2016 Principal Supervisor Laser Physics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Andrew Malouf
    2015 Co-Supervisor Developing New Technology for Novel Laser Systems and New Fluorescence Techniques for Mineral Fingerprinting Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Jillian Elizabeth Moffatt
    2015 Co-Supervisor Spatially - Resolved Luminescence Measurement of The Location of Radionuclides in Cu-U ORE Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Michael John Patrick Clarke
    2015 Principal Supervisor The Development of Novel Dosimetry Techniques in Advanced Radiotherapy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Matthew William Jennings
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Mid-Infrared Fibre Lasers for use in Wavefront Correction in Advanced Gravitational Wave Detectors Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Deeksha Beniwal
    2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Radiation Sensitive Optical Fibres for Radiation Detection and Dosimetry Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Carly Anne Whittaker
    2013 - 2015 Co-Supervisor A Lidar for Cirrus and Mixed Phase Cloud Studies Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Simon Curtis
    2013 - 2018 Co-Supervisor An Er:YAG Laser for Airborne Methane Detection Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Myles Ray Clark
    2012 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Development of an Er:YAG Laser for Range-finding Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Lachlan Mitchell Harris
    2011 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Development of Air-Clad Holmium-Doped Silica Fibre Lasers Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Sebastian Ng
    2009 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Development of continuous-wave Tm:YAlO3 lasers for high power applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Ka Wu
    2009 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Development of dual-wavelength pumped mid-infrared fibre laser Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Ori Henderson-Sapir
    2008 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Development of A Cryogenic Yb:YAG End Pumped Zigzag Slab Laser Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Miftar Ganija
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - 2019 Member GWIC doctoral thesis committee, responsible for choosing the best PhD thesis from amongst the worldwide gravitational wave detection community The University of Adelaide Australia
    2019 - ongoing Vice-Chair South Australia AIP Branch Committee Australian Institute of Physics Australia
    2017 - 2017 Member Technical Program Committee for CLEO PacRim CLEO Pacific Rim Conference Singapore
    2017 - ongoing Co-Chair Commissioning (joint Program Manager) Ozgrav Australia
    2017 - ongoing Co-Chair Instabilities & Distortions (joint Program Manager) Ozgrav Australia
    2015 - 2017 Co-Chair Organizing Committee, Gravitational Wave Advanced Detector Workshop
    2014 - 2015 Member Organizing Committee, Australian and New Zealand Conference on Optics and Photonics (ANZCOP) Australia
    2014 - 2015 Member USA Organizing Committee, Gravitational Wave Advanced Detector Workshop in 2015, Alaska United States
    2013 - 2014 Member GWIC doctoral thesis committee, responsible for choosing the best PhD thesis from amongst the worldwide gravitational wave detection community
    2011 - 2012 Member Kagra International Technical Review Team for the $70M Large Cryogenic Gravitational Wave Telescope (LCGT) project Japan
    2010 - 2012 Member Outreach Committee, School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide Australia
    2010 - 2012 Member Learning and Teaching Committee, School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide Australia
    2010 - 2010 Member USA National Science Foundation (NSF) review of a proposed relocation of an $80M LIGO detector United States
    2009 - ongoing Member South Australian Branch Committee, Australian Institute of Physics Australia
    2009 - ongoing Member Scientific Management Committee, University of Adelaide Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) Australia
    2004 - 2007 Member LIGO Laboratory 40m Technical Advisory Committee United States
    2004 - 2006 Member Grant Review, Internal LIGO Laboratory NSF United States
    2003 - 2007 Member International Technical Advisory Committee, ACIGA High Power Test Facility
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2012 - 2014 Associate Editor LIGO Magazine
  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: 83135165
  • Email: david.ottaway@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4380
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Physics, floor G
  • Room: G 18
  • Org Unit: Physics

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