Prof Nigel Spooner

Professor Nigel A. Spooner: BSc.Hons, MSc (Physics, U. Adelaide), DPhil. (Physics, U. Oxford, 1993); GCSL (U. Melbourne). 132 articles, 6,900 citations, h-index = 38 and i10-index = 83 March 2022. University of Adelaide & Department of Defence, Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). Head, Prescott Environmental Luminescence Laboratory (PELL). Science & Industry Member of SA EPA Radiation Protection Committee, Member of Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) Technical Advisory Working Group. Physicist with a career spanning private enterprise, academia and Defence. Research expertise in radiation and radioisotope detection and quantification & pioneering “Novel Fluorescence” (NF) for materials characterisation.

Nigel was recruited from Oxford to the ANU in 1993 to establish and head their Luminescence Laboratory; successes included world-leading imaging luminescence technology, and luminescence geochronology articles on the covers of Nature and Science. In 2002 Nigel joined DSTG and in 2007 initiated the joint DSTG-University of Adelaide PELL project. PELL is now among the world’s best-equipped radiation detection research facilities, and the world-leading NF laboratory.

Since 2016, Nigel pioneered application of NF techniques for materials characterisation, commencing with funding from CRC ORE for the ground-breaking “Upconversion” project to create a new class of real-time non-contact sensor capable of mineral species discrimination. Defence “Next Generation Technology Fund” funding followed for research into sensing explosives. The Australian Space Agency currently funds a Demonstrator Feasibility project aimed at developing NF for deployment for In situ Space Resource Utilisation. Successes to date include a cross-belt fluorine mineral sensor prototype under test with a METS partner.

Funded through the BRII Regulatory Technology – Feasibility Study grant, Nigel’s team are undertaking a feasibility study to apply Asymmetric Photonic Analysis to the discovery of NF signatures from selected asbestos minerals of high importance to safety in the Australian context, providing concept demonstration of NF technology for the challenge.