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The Dodd-Walls Centre

 A New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence

Top Scientists Team up with New Zealand Industry - SEE OUR VIDEO FROM THE DWC INTERFACE CHALLENGE!

The Dodd-Walls Centre and the MacDiarmid Institute connected their top scientists with some of New Zealand’s most innovative companies to showcase what they could do for them.  The Interface Industry Challenge was launched late last year asking companies to come up with commercial problems they couldn't solve within their own technological capability, which the Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) would help solve for free.   

The CoREs are virtual institutions that draw on the talent of top scientists from anywhere in the country in a particular research area.  The Dodd-Walls Centre specialises in photonic and quantum technologies while the MacDiarmid Institute focuses on materials science and nanotechnology.  Having signed non-disclosure agreements, the two CoREs are working on proofs of concept to solve problems for seven companies they’ve matched to various scientists.  The scientists are now starting to produce some solutions the companies can use as a competitive advantage, and in some cases may even lead to new intellectual property.

The directors of both institutes, Professor David Hutchinson from the DWC and MacDiarmid’s Professor Thomas Nann say New Zealand industry needs to keep innovating to stay ahead.   The challenge was a fun way of letting companies know what scientific help they could tap into, and both CoREs hope funding the initial research now will benefit them with longer-term research partnerships.   The seven companies involved range from larger companies such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Buckley Systems to start-ups Avertana, Lanaco, Aquafortus Technologies and Invisi Shield.  

Andy West, a director on the boards of Aquafortus and Lanaco, says it is unusual to get free research from CoREs and that’s helpful for both companies he's helping govern which are still at the stage of “burning capital and are yet to enter full revenue profitability,” although Lanaco is close.  Lanaco is a materials science company that uses fine wood blended with synthetic fibres to produce what it dubs as the world's most breathable air filter, while Aquafortus Technologies is developing water extraction technology involving organic chemistry which could potentially extract water from liquid waste materials and help desalination.   “We have access to some extremely clever people across a range of universities as CoREs are not normally in just one site – they draw the best people from around the country in any given field. And we have access to really expensive scientific equipment we couldn’t afford ourselves,“ Dr West says.

To view the DWC Interface Challenge video click here 

DWC Associate Investigator Dr Justin Hodgkiss recently talked to Kathryn Ryan at Radio New Zealand about the potential for future science and business collaboration - click here to listen to the interview.   



DWC Seminar Series 2017

Click here for full details of any seminars on this week


The Dodd-Walls Centre is a world class collaborative research network building on New Zealand’s strength in the fields of quantum optics, photonics and precision atomic physics. Our research centres around photonics, the manipulation of light at the most fundamental, quantum level, and the control and manipulation of matter at the atomic scale, through the use of light.

Download the DWC overview here!


Find out more about Quantum Mechanics

Find out more about Bose-Einstein Condensates

What is an atom?



 Deadlines for Dodd-Walls Centre PhD applications for 2017 are:  1 March, 1 July and 1 November.

See further information here



Dodd-Walls Centre 2015 Annual Report

Dodd-Walls Centre 2015 Annual Report

Read about the Dodd-Walls Centre's first year of operation as a Centre of Research Excellence

download PDF here

Read about Facts and Figures here

Dodd-Walls Centre News
Scientists Discover Extreme Geothermal Activity in Southland DWC Investigator Neil Broderick involved in Nature publication on Extreme hydrothermal conditions at an active plate-bounding fault more »
Bright Ideas Competition at 2017 CLEO Laser Science Conference Winner The Dodd-Walls Centre is thrilled to announce that Harald Schwefel was awarded winner of the Quantel Laser: Bright Ideas Competition at the 2017 CLEO Laser Science to Photonic Applications event in San Jose. Having reached the final round of four entrants, Harald presented to the Panel at CLEO, and was delighted to win the competition and receive US$30,000 of laser equipment. more »
Collective Strong Coupling of Cold Atoms to an All-Fiber Ring Cavity

DWC Investigator Dr Maarten Hoogerland was a contributing author of the following article recently published in Optica more »

NZ Physists Collide Ultracold Atoms to Observe a Key Quantum Principle

15 March 2017

DWC Physicists Neils Kjaergaard and Ryan Thomas were recently interviewed by ABC Australia.  For more information or to hear the interview, click here

more »
DWC Scientists control atom

9 March 2017

The equipment Dr Mikkel Andersen and fellow researchers have developed to control individual atoms looks like the stuff of historic science fiction. Read more

more »
New gas sensing using photonic technology

Dunedin-based Photonic Innovations has acquired complementary gas detection technology that makes workplaces such as meat processing companies and cool stores safer. Read more here

more »
Former DWC Student wins Woolf Fisher Fellowship Award

Former DWC and Otago Unversity Phd Student, Matthew McGovern has won the prestigious Woolf Fisher Fellowship Award, Congratulations! For full story click here

more »
DWC 2017 Symposium covered on the media

The importance of Quantum Technology was a major topic at the DWC 2017 Symposium. Invited scientists from overseas were interviewed by TV1 News here, Channel 39 here and Radio NZ here.

more »
DWC Member Simon Poole of Finisar receives the Charles Todd Medal

To listen to the full interview on Radio NZ click here

more »
DWC Member - Associate Professor Stephane Coen wins Hector Medal at Royal Society Research Honours
IN November 2016 DWC Investigator Stèphane Coen was awarded the Hector Medal by the Royal Society New Zealand. The Hector Medal is awarded for an outstanding advancement in the physical sciences and this was awarded to Stèphane for his research into optical phenomena in optical fibre and microresonators.  For the full article read here
more »
Latest Lighthouse Platform Event
During the latest Lighthouse Platform event on 1st Dec 2016, members of Industry came together to hear Simon Poole (New Business Ventures, Finisar Ltd, Australia) and Andy Brown (Global Business Development, SPIE, USA) at the Generator in Auckland's CBD.
Read more here
more »
Our Stories
 Madhuri Kumari, PhD student in the Dodd-Walls Centre, “After spending two years as a junior research fellow at Raman Research Institute, Madhuri left India for the first time and followed her passion for optics all the way to New Zealand” Read Madhuri's full story here
more »
Dissipative Phases of Cavity-Mediated Photon Interactions
The DWC is hosting a series of seminars and public lectures open for everyone to attend, details can be found below.  


what's on this week: 

The Dodd-Walls centre is proud to present a series of seminars hosted by our themes on different topics and everyone is welcome to attend.   Friday’s seminar is presented by Ricardo Gutierrez Jauregui from University of Auckland.   Ricardo will present the seminar in room 303.610 at the University of Auckland and this will also be available via Zoom. 

Title:       Dissipative Phases of Cavity-Mediated Photon Interactions

When:    Date: Friday 24 February, 12 noon (sharp) to 1.00pm

Room:    303.610, University of Auckland + remote locations via Zoom

                University of Otago – Room 320e, Dodd-Walls Centre, Science III


Anyone can join from anywhere with the use of a laptop or computer via Zoom.

Zoom Meeting ID: 478-489-695 (further details below)



The exquisite control acquired over quantum systems in recent years has provided a playground

for studies of transitions between different phases of light and matter[1;2]. The realization of the

Bose-Einstein condensate opened the door for quantum optics experiments using matter waves, while the advent of circuit quantum electrodynamics has allowed for strongly interacting systems to be

simulated by light fields[3]. However, due to dissipation, the duality between light and matter systems

is not complete. Dissipation affects both the evolution and the physical properties of a quantum

system in a fundamental way.

In this seminar we address the question of how phase transitions in equilibrium relate to their driven dissipative analogues. This is done by contrasting the phases acquired by a quasi-conservative system, interacting BEC in an optical trap, with a driven-dissipative system, two driven cavities presenting a Kerr nonlinearity. We present the phases the system can acquire in both scenarios. First, for the single cavity limit where tunnelling is suppressed, then for the full Hamiltonian where competition of J and g leads to different phases of the system. The effect of quantum fluctuations on the phases of the system is highlighted.


[1] M. Greiner, O. Mandel, T. Esslinger, T. W. Hansch, I. Bloch, Nature 415, 39 (2002).

[2] A. D. Greentree, C. Tahan, J. H. Cole, and L. C. L. Hollenberg, Nature Physics 2, 856 (2006).

[3] G. Kirchmair, B. Vlastakis, Z. Leghtas, S. E. Nigg, H. Paik, E. Ginossar, M. Mirrahimi, Lu. Frunzio, S. M. Girvin

& R. J. Schoelkopf, Nature 495, 205209 (2013).



more »

Dodd-Walls Centre Partner Organizations

Hosted by the University of Otago


The University of Auckland



Massey University


The University of Canterbury




Victoria University of Wellington





Dodd-Walls Centre Links


The Photon Factory



The Lighthouse Platform

Quantum Science Otago


Illuminating New Zealand