This distinguished award is presented in honour of the late Dr Phillip Garth Law AC, a secondary science teacher, university physics lecturer, President of the Royal Society of Victoria and Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, to celebrate the achievements of early career researchers holding a PhD in the physical sciences from a Victorian university.
Dr Doherty completed his Doctor of Philosophy with the University of Melbourne in 2012, winning the University’s Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in the PhD thesis for his work titled The Theory of the Nitrogen-Vacancy Colour Centre in Diamond. He was supervised by Professor Lloyd Hollenberg in the University’s School of Physics. Since completing his PhD, Marcus has been engaged in theoretical and collaborative research with the Laser Physics Centre at the Australian National University, undertaking further research into the properties of the colour centres in semiconductors and their applications in quantum technologies. His total citations according to Scopus and Google Scholar are 419 and 693 respectively, underpinned by extensive collaborations with world-leading research groups based at Harvard, Stuttgart, Ulm, the Carnegie Institute, Berkeley, City College New York, and the Universities of Queensland and Melbourne.
“It was a challenge for our judges to rank this year’s applicants. The boundaries of the disciplines are becoming more and more indistinct with the encouraging rise of interdisciplinarity and collaboration across the sciences,” remarked the Society’s Science Programme Chair Professor Sandra Rees. “However, Marcus’ work is outstanding and his achievements as a postdoctoral fellow are remarkable. This is a very challenging time in a scientist’s career and it’s plain we can expect great things from Dr Doherty’s continuing work.”
Dr Doherty’s future research will focus on demonstrating “coherent spin transport” in diamond, which is currently a major barrier in the development of solid-state quantum information processing for application in quantum computing.