Emerging Leaders in Science

Professor Tanya Monro was featured May 4, 2009 in the Australian as they showcased those investing their talents in science in their search for 100 young leaders.

Professor Tanya Monro, 36, Physicist

She’s been named one of the top 10 brightest young minds in Australia by science magazine Cosmos and says she knew at age 14 that she wanted to do a Phd in physics. Tanya Monro went on to do a Bachelor of Science (hons) at the University of Sydney, with honours (1st class) in physics, then her longed-for doctorate in physics, winning the Bragg Gold Medal for the best physics thesis in Australia. She then sorted through the offers and chose the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, UK, where she remained for nearly seven years. Now based at Adelaide University where she is Director of the newly formed Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing, the Sydney-born Monro heads up the Centre of Expertise in Photonics where her research – into the field of science and technology that allows the generation and control of light using glass optical fibres – leads the world. The winner of the 2008 PM’s Prize for Physical Scientist of the Years says it was her physics teacher at school who inspired her. “He made me realise that physics is an elegant and powerful way of understanding our world. That is is not about remembering dry and isolated facts, but of constantly discovering how ideas fit together, and how often the more you learn, the simpler and more beautiful our world appears.”

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