Sebastian Ng's research centres on the development of high-power, low-noise laser systems and the development of adaptive optics for thermal compensation of laser interferometers. Throughout his undergraduate study, Sebastian was fascinated by the size and complexity of the laser-based gravitational wave detectors. This contributed to his pursuit of a PhD in laser physics developing high-power holmium-doped fibre lasers.
Fortuitously, OzGrav began at the completion of Sebastian’s PhD and he was hired to lead the University of Adelaide’s investigation into 2µm laser sources for cryogenic silicon detectors. In this role, he developed fibre seed lasers and amplifiers in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group while expanding his knowledge base into wavefront sensing, high precision material characterisation and the design and installation of hardware into LIGOs vacuum enclosure. He also received the opportunity to visit the Hanford observatory where he worked on the laser upgrade and assembly of a CO2 laser actuator for thermal compensation. OzGrav and his node leader granted Sebastian many other opportunities for professional development, including chairing Ozgrav’s Quantum program, undergraduate lecturing and course design, and the oversight of a range of research themes throughout the OzGrav node at the University of Adelaide.
QuantX Labs, a start-up company based in Adelaide that specialises in ultra-precise timing solutions, recently approached Sebastian to lead the development of optical clocks for space-based Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) delivery. In negotiation with QuantX Labs and OzGrav, Sebastian will continue his supervision responsibilities and oversee laser development at the University of Adelaide, while also capitalising on the experience he has gained from his time at OzGrav within the industry sector. As part of QuantX Labs, Sebastian leads the team developing optical clock technology, as well as seeking new avenues for investment. A primary goal of the company is to simplify the transition from university project to commercial product.