Radio New Zealand interview

Dr. Andy Edgar and Dr. Nicola Winch were interviewed in February 2015 concerning the portable x-ray imaging system. The text and radio interview can be found here.

NZSM 2015

The next Engineering and the Physical Sciences in Medical Conference, EPSM 2015, will be held in Wellington from the 8th to the 12th of November 2015.

PhD scholarship

A PhD scholarship in physics is offered for research into advanced materials and devices for radiation dosimetry. The thesis research includes material preparation using our low humidity and low oxygen content glove boxes, and using our radiative and RF furnaces. The materials will be characterised and studied by x-ray diffraction, photoluminescence, transmittance, thermally stimulated luminescence, optically stimulated luminescence, and radioluminescence using facilities at Victoria University of Wellington and Callaghan Innovation. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to the development of point, 2D, and 3D dosimeters for radiotherapy and other applications. The scholarship provides a generous non-taxed living allowance of NZ$27,000 per annum plus the PhD tuition fee for three years.

Applicants should have a physics degree equivalent to the 4-year BSc (Honours) degree in New Zealand, with 1st or upper 2nd class Honours, or an MSc or postgraduate Diploma. We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent academic record and a good understanding of solid state physics. Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Victoria University.

Please send a resume, academic record, and the names and contact details of two Referees to: Grant with “PhD, Dosimetry” in the subject line. Applications close on the 15 April 2015.

New funding

In October 2014 we received four year funding from MBIE ( for dosimeters and radiation imaging devices for medical and non-destructive testing applications. Our aim is to develop optics-based 2D and 3D dosimeters that can be used to measure the radiation dose as part of a cancer treatment planning process and portable optics-based x-ray imaging systems for non-destructive testing applications.

Dr Grant Williams recognised in 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours

3 June 2014

Dr Grant Williams

Congratulations to Dr Grant Williams who has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), for services to science. Such an honour is bestowed on those "who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits."

Dr Williams, Professorial Research Fellow at the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, is currently involved in a number of research programmes that include the study of new materials for magnetic sensors, optical materials and methods for radiation detection, high temperature superconductivity, topological insulators, and linear and nonlinear optics.

"Part of the University’s mission is to play a leading role in shaping New Zealand’s future and our Honours recipients are doing just that," says Professor Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington.

"I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all our honours recipients, and thank them for using their expertise to enrich our world."

Dr Grant Williams wins Hector Medal.

10 November 2010

The Hector Medal for physical sciences was awarded to Dr Grant Williams of Industrial Research in Lower Hutt for his internationally recognised work on the chemical and electronic structure of materials, especially high temperature superconductors. His work has led to a better understanding of the fundamental physics and the development of materials for magnetic sensors, radiation detection and imaging, and optical communication. (Source: Royal Society of New Zealand.)More info.

Podcast - Glass for radiation imaging

13 May 2010

Our Changing World, Radio New Zealand National.

Andy Edgar and Chris Varoy are developing new glasses and glass ceramics which can store radiation so that the image is held like invisible ink and then retrieved digitally later.

The materials can detect X-rays, gamma rays and neutrons, and can be used for recording images of objects placed in X-ray or neutron beams.

While there are similar products already on the market, the group is trying to improve them. As Ruth Beran finds out, the materials are batched and poured in an inert, un-reactive environment of dry argon or nitrogen gas in a “glove box". (Image and text: Our Changing World.)

Listen to the podcast.

Left: Andy Edgar, PhD student Nicola Winch and Chris Varoy in the glass-making laboratory with the glove box in the foreground. Right: A garden water pump recorded in an imaging plate using x-rays, showing bent rubber blades and trapped gravel.