About us - Macquarie University Planetary Research Centre

About us - Macquarie University Planetary Research Centre

Planetary science is by its nature a hybrid discipline. It encapsulates basic physics and astronomy, geology, geophysics, geochemistry, cosmochemistry, and remote sensing of planetary surfaces, including Earth. Additionally, engineering underpins many of the practical aspects of planetary science, from instrumentation, to communications, and space and robotic technologies.

The Centre’s primary focus is to bring together these cross-disciplinary streams under an overarching research theme – the exploration, analysis, and monitoring of planets, including Earth, to understand their formation and evolution.  This incorporates both upstream fundamental research in planetary evolution, and downstream applications in engineering and technology development, including the intersection of engineering and remote sensing/geophysical instrumentation, and in Earth monitoring.  This focus will be realised by promoting activities that encourage the development of the cross-stream research directions, including i) supporting regular invited speakers from each discipline for Centre-wide seminars, ii) organising a planetary science workshop/symposium each year, to promote planetary science applications nationally, and enhance the visibility of the centre, iii) support the development of cross-department student projects, at the HDR, MRes, and undergraduate internship levels, to further cross-disciplinary research, and iv) provide administrative and logistical support for both competitive grant applications, and in particular for competitive fellowship applicants, and v) supporting student development and conference attendance.

Centre Director: A/Prof Craig O’Neill
Deputy Director: Dr Bruce Schaefer

Executive committee:
A/Prof Craig O’Neill
Dr Bruce Schaefer (Deputy Director)
Prof. Michael Heimlich (Engineering)
Prof. Orsola de Marco (Astronomy)
Dr Michael Chang (Env.)

Associate Members
Dr Helen Maynard-Casey (ANSTO/ MQ Honorary Associate)
Dr Andy Tomkins (Monash University)

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