Don's background

I'm a research scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Adelaide, where I specialise in the mathematics of radar signal processing, orbital prediction, and 3-dimensional rotation/orientation theory.  I'm also a Member of the Australian Institute of Physics, and the Australasian Society for General Relativity and Gravitation.

I hold a doctorate from the Department of Physics and Mathematical Physics at Adelaide University, with a thesis in mathematical physics completed in 1996.  My PhD work was concerned with quantum statistical methods, where I used the tool of influence functionals to study decoherence and the growth of entropy in the early universe, as well as related topics such as thermal radiance of black holes.  I worked with and was supervised by Paul Davies (Adelaide), Bei-Lok Hu (Maryland), and Andrew Matacz (Adelaide and Maryland).

Before that I completed a masters degree in physics with first class honours in the Physics Department at the University of Auckland in 1991, specialising in applied accelerator physics.  I did the initial exploratory work which eventually lead to the establishment there of a PIXE facility.  PIXE (proton-induced X-ray emission) is used for trace element analysis using the idea that proton bombardment will cause materials to emit tell-tale X-rays and gamma rays.  For this I was awarded the Seiichi Waki Prize in 1990 for best Auckland experimental physics masters thesis.  I was also awarded Senior Prizes in Physics (1988) and Mathematics (1987).

Prior to that I completed a bachelors degree majoring in mathematics at Auckland University in 1988.  In the same year I held a vacation scholarship at the Australian National University in Canberra, contributing to all levels of the nuclear department's accelerator mass spectrometry programme, analysing soil samples for their chlorine-36 content.

I have a book published by Springer: Explorations in Mathematical Physics: the Concepts Behind an Elegant Language, a set of DSTO-published lectures on statistical mechanics, and DSTO-published reports on the mathematics of rotation/orientation theory, information fusion, and geolocation, all available on the Internet.




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