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Conferences 2015

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Conferences 2013

10th Biennial National Conference
“Healthy, Wealthy and Safe”

15th – 17th October 2013, MGSM Executive Conference Centre
Macquarie Park, Sydney

Welcome Message

Welcome to MSA 2013, the Metrology Society of Australia’s 10th Biennial National Conference. This year, the conference will be held at the MGSM Executive Conference Centre in Macquarie Park, Sydney. The 10th Biennial National Conference seeks to provide scientists, researchers, stakeholders, practitioners and students with an informal environment within which they can present and discuss developments and ideas in physical, chemical and biological metrology. The MSA is pleased to provide participants with the opportunity to promote dialogue and greater collaboration within the scientific community thereby strengthening Australia’s metrological framework and infrastructure.

- Final Program Click Here and Information on Plenary Talks! See below.

More information on registration, costs and inclusions is available here.

- Information on Accommodation and Transport Options. See below.

Conference Themes

Australia has made a remarkable transition from a predominantly primary and secondary industry economy to one that is now dominated by the services sector. We are also increasingly specialising in high-tech materials, goods and services. This evolution of our society has required an evermore sophisticated network of measurement standards and systems to embed our progress in place forming a strong foundation for future capabilities that will continue to keep us “Healthy, Wealthy and Safe”. These three themes will form the basis for this year’s conference.

Our health is ensured by measurements of food nutrients and contaminants and disease diagnosis depends on the measurement of microorganisms and biochemicals in body fluids and the use of advanced techniques such as high resolution imaging. Effective treatments often rely on carefully controlled doses of potent drugs manufactured to exacting specifications.

Our wealth has been derived by national and global trade that rely on international agreements for measurement standardisation. Trade measurement infrastructure ensures a level playing field in commercial markets providing trust for the fair exchange of goods and services. Development of advanced industries in Australia will require a sophisticated measurement infrastructure capable of delivering the finest tolerances on critical components.

Our safety is enhanced by ensuring compliance to a comprehensive array of standards for electricity generation and distribution, handling of dangerous goods, engineering components in the transport industry and consumer protection. In addition, our nation’s security is backed by leading military technology that must help maintain peace in our region.


MSA2013 will be held at the MGSM Executive Conference Centre, Macquarie Park, Sydney. MGSM's Macquarie Park Conference Centre is a multi-award winning, purpose-built learning environment and is located just 15 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD. Visit www.conferences.mgsm.com.au for more information. A map of the location is below.

1. Registration, morning and afternoon teas will be in the foyer adjacent to Stage 5 Upper Level Rooms 265/267.
2. Plenaries, technical presentations and workshops will be held in Stage 5 Upper Level Rooms 265/267
3. The Poster Session, Welcome Barbeque and Lunches will be held in the Macquarie Room
4. A computer identical to that used for presentations in Rooms 265/267 will be available to presenters in Room 232 for checking presentation formats

Accommodation Options

Conference attendees have a number of options to choose from for accommodation. The conference venue, the MGSM Executive Conference Centre has accommodation available onsite if you wish to stay here. Please make arrangements with your hotel of choice directly to reserve your accommodation.

Name of Hotel


Contact Information

Distance to MGSM Conference Centre

Indicative Cost per Night

MGSM Executive Accommodation & Restaurant

99 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113

T: +61-2-9850-9300
F: +61-2-9850-6090

0 km

$176 upwards

Travelodge Macquarie North Ryde Hotel

81 Talavera Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113

Reservations: 1300 886 886
T: +61 2 8874 5200
F: +61 2 8874 5300

100 m


Stamford Grand North Ryde

Herring Rd, North Ryde, NSW 2113 ‎

T: +61-2-9888 1077
F: +61-2-9805 0655

1 km



Marriott Courtyard North Ryde

7-11 Talavera Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113

T: +61-2-6461 9500
F: +61-2-9491 9555

2 km

$279 (room only basis)

Transport Options

MGSM's Macquarie Park Executive Conference Centre is just 15 kms from Sydney's CBD and is easily accessible by car and various forms of public transport. The centre is a short distance to Sydney Olympic Park, Chatswood, Parramatta and the Northern Beaches of Sydney. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance to Macquarie University's Aquatic and Sports Centre and the Macquarie Centre, which includes retail outlets, restaurants, a cinema, ice rink, and a railway station and bus connection that can take you anywhere in and around Sydney.

Getting to THE MGSM Macquarie Park CONFERENCE CENTRE

By Car

The Macquarie Park Conference Centre is an easy, 20 minute drive from Sydney's CBD and approximately a 35-minute drive from Sydney's Domestic and International Airport. On-site parking is free of charge for hotel and conference centre guests (conditions apply).

By Train

Macquarie University train station is just a few minutes' walk from the Macquarie Park Conference Centre. Trains to Sydney's CBD (and Epping line) depart every few minutes. Macquarie University to Sydney's CBD takes approximately 30 minutes by train, and approximately 4 minutes to Epping. Please visit CityRail for timetable information.

By Bus

Buses travel to Macquarie University from many Sydney Metropolitan areas, including the City, Hills District, North Shore, Chatswood, Manly, the Ryde and Carlingford areas, and the Western Suburbs. Buses arrive and depart just a few minutes' walk from the Macquarie Park Conference Centre. Please visit Sydney Buses for timetable information.

Airport Taxi, Shuttle and Train Services

Taxis are available at the Sydney Airport, outside of both international and domestic terminals. Fares to Macquarie University may range from $80-$120, depending on traffic. Airport shuttle services operate daily from Sydney Airport. Shuttle buses may be available through Airport Shuttlemate or Hills Airport Shuttle. A rail service is available from Sydney Airport to Macquarie University (adult one-way $17.30). Travel time is approximately 1 hour.

Call for Abstracts – NOW CLOSED

The MSA’s 12th Biennial Conference Organising Committee invites abstract submissions for oral or poster presentations. Abstracts should support one or more themes of the conference and authors can describe new applications, new techniques and present project findings.
With this year’s submissions, the Organising Committee specifically requested that abstracts clearly explain:
• the practical significance of the work being presented
• the broader scientific context within which the work fits, and
• the impact of the work done on our quality of life and its relevance to the Australian community

Submission of Extended Abstracts and Full Papers

Participants have been invited to submit their presentations as either a full paper (not exceeding 6 x A4 pages) or as an extended synopsis (not exceeding 2 x A4 pages) for publication in the MSA2013 Conference Proceedings. Participants should use the templates provided when preparing their paper or extended synopsis. The deadline for the submission of full papers or extended abstracts is 6 September 2013. Authors are requested to submit their papers as a Word Document to: Veronica.Vamathevan@measurement.gov.au.

Plenary Speakers


How Can Australian Science and Innovation Survive in the Face of Dramatic Shifts in Global Competition?

Dr. Thomas Barlow


There is a contest for technological supremacy occurring across the Pacific – a contest of historic importance, for its outcome will shape the world during the coming century and the winner will claim not just economic, military, and political ascendancy, but also superiority in their values and system of government.

Nations caught between the Eagle and the Dragon - nations like Australia, Japan, and Korea - must weigh the advantages of strategic alliances and trade links with both great powers. There has never been more a more important time to understand the implications of escalating American and Chinese competition. For those who believe technological innovation underlies economic strength, this presentation will inform of hidden trends in the Asian ascendency.


Dr Barlow is Australia's leading research strategist. Over many years, he has advised a range of technology-intensive companies, many of Australia's universities and major government research agencies, as well as Australian policymakers at both state and federal levels.

He has held prestigious research fellowships at Oxford University in the UK and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been the Science Adviser to the Minister for Education, Science and Training in the Australian Government, and has worked as a weekly columnist for the Financial Times newspaper in London.
Independent and widely recognised as an innovative thinker, Dr Barlow is highly respected within the Australian research community for his imagination, optimism, and vision.


Don't Talk to Me About Confidence Intervals, This is Medicine!

Professor John Magnussen


Medicine exists like a bubble of art floating on a sea of science. At its boundary it gives credence to statistics, yet treats individuals: maintaining the confidence and hope of those who are unwell without ignoring the body of knowledge that must shape their lives.

How can we keep the bubble afloat in a society that demands exactitude and perfection yet continues to drive cars, cross roads, eat cheap calories and not exercise? Accept what we can and change what we must.


Professor Magnussen qualified in Medicine and then went on to complete a PhD in Nuclear Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at UNSW. He qualified in Radiology from RPAH in 2002, where he worked both in diagnostic and interventional radiology, and was the Director of Research.

He has presented at numerous international meetings in basic science and clinical research and has special interests in neuro-otology, minimally invasive treatment of liver cancer and materials analysis using CT, amongst others. He is the Professor of Radiology at Macquarie University, working at new the Macquarie University Hospital and at Macquarie Medical Imaging.


Our Changing Economic Environment

Mr. Mark Cully


There is an income/productivity challenge facing Australia and at its heart is the global debate between Pollyanna and Cassandra economists on whether we can reasonably expect the productivity growth rates seen in the developed world since the mid-19th century to continue. What role might science, research and measurement might play in this process?


The Chief Economist with the Department of Industry, Mark has a first-class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Arts in Industrial Relations from the University of Warwick. He was appointed head of research on employment relations for the UK Government in the late 1990s, where he ran what was the world’s largest survey of working life, the results of which were published as Britain at Work. Mark returned to Australian in 1999 to join the National Institute of Labour Studies as Deputy Director, and was then General Manager at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research for six years, running its statistical then research operations. He was also the Chief Economist at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for 4 years, authoring numerous papers and articles and chairing the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Migration.


Quality Measurements in Health Care

Dr. Richard Bartlett


The Department of Health undertakes a number of initiatives aimed at improving the safety and quality of diagnostic testing and treatment services in Australia. Broadly, initiatives are focused on consumer, providers and requestors, with an aim to provide access to safe, efficient and clinically effective pathology, diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology services.

Many areas, programs, projects and initiatives in health describe the need for a ‘quality service’ but drilling down to a definition of quality is not an easy task. Instead quality is often described using concepts rather than an actual definition. This can make the measurement and the establishment of performance indicators even more challenging when trying to gauge if/when a quality diagnostic testing or treatment service is provided.

What is a quality service? How do we gauge if a quality service is provided? Is the MBS a good measure of quality? What other mechanisms and measures do we use in diagnostic, pathology and radiation oncology to guide and inform effective policy development with regard to quality?


Dr. Bartlett is currently First Assistant Secretary, Medical Benefits Division, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). The Division has policy responsibility for the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Private Health Insurance Arrangements. MBS expenditure is forecast to be $18.8b in 2013-14 and private health insurance rebate expenditure is forecast to be $4.9b. The Medical Benefits Division has four branches: Medical Specialist Services Branch, Private Health Insurance Branch, Medicare Finance and Listing Branch and Primary Care, Diagnostics and Radiation Oncology Branch. Prior to joining DoHA in 2009, Richard worked in a variety of roles in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Richard has qualifications in Arts, IT and accounting, with a PhD in early medieval history.


The Relevance of Measurement Institutes in the Twenty-First Century

Dr. Peter Fisk


The science, practice and impact of metrology have evolved continuously over many years, and will continue to do so. The international metrology community is planning fundamental changes to the definitions of the SI units that will allow greater accuracy and utility in realising these units for many years. Further, metrology is supporting, both from a technical and a legal perspective, new fields such as nanotechnology, and extending its support for the vast fields of chemistry and biology.

It is important to recognise that we can only predict some of the applications and needs for metrology as the world evolves socially, industrially and technologically. National Measurement Institutes (NMIs) must recognise and adapt to changes and requirements that we presently understand, and work to predict and accommodate possibilities that are less certain. This is essential if NMIs are to continue to support the availability of measurement capabilities that meet the needs of their country. This is a difficult task. One thing that is clear is that the diversity of measurement requirements is likely to continue to increase, and that it is unlikely that any single NMI will be able to meet all of these needs for a major nation by itself. Further, the likely increase in the diversity of requirements will come with costs and the question of who should pay these costs, especially in the common contexts where governments are seeking to reduce, not increase, expenditure. These issues are being actively considered within NMI, and this talk will cover some aspects of this work.


Dr. Fisk graduated from the Australian National University in 1986 with a PhD degree in atomic physics. Between 1986 and 1991 he was a Research Fellow in the Laser Physics Centre, Research School of Physical Sciences, conducting full time research in solid state physics and quantum optics and giving lecture courses to advanced physics students. Following a short period as a Visiting Scientist at the IBM Almaden Research Centre in California, he joined the CSIRO National Measurement Laboratory (NML) in 1991 to start and lead a new research project on atomic clock development. In 1993 he was appointed Head of the Time and Frequency group of NML. On 1 July 2004 he was appointed General Manager of the Physical Metrology Branch of the National Measurement Institute. Upon the retirement of Dr Laurie Besley, Peter was appointed NMI’s Chief Executive and Chief Metrologist on 9 February 2012.


Social Events

Welcome BBQ Starter Reception

A welcome reception will be held after the formal sessions on Tuesday 15 October 2013. This will be a great opportunity to mingle with colleagues and meet other participants at the Conference.

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner is always a great event for metrologists and friends to gather, and will be held on the evening of Wednesday 16 October at The Waterfront Restaurant, Circular Quay. Transport to and from the conference centre and dinner is provided. Click here for full details. Registration to attend the dinner is done via the MSA2013 Online Registration system

Key Dates

Call for papers  
15th March 2013
Abstracts submission
Notification of acceptances
15th June 2013
Early bird registration 
5th October 2013
Submission of extended abstracts/full papers
6th September 2013
Conference dates
15-17th October 2013



The Organising Committee

Daniel Burke, National Measurement Institute (NMI), Sydney
Frederick Emms, National Measurement Institute (NMI), Sydney
David Hayles, National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), Sydney
Thomas Hagen National Measurement Institute (NMI), Sydney
Maree Stuart, MAS Management Consultancy Services
Roselle Mailvaganam, National Measurement Institute (NMI), Sydney
Veronica Vamathevan, National Measurement Institute (NMI), Sydney


For additional information and queries regarding the conference, contact the Organising Committee by emailing MSA2013@metrology.asn.au.


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