IONS KOALA 2018 – Sydney, Australia

The IONS Conference on Optics, Atoms, and Laser Applications (KOALA) is an annual conference held in Australia and New Zealand sponsored by The Optical Society (OSA). The 11th instalment of IONS KOALA is being co-hosted by the OSA student chapters at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney. With the support of many organisations, KOALA brings together research students in physics from all around the world.

Student presentations are the main focus of KOALA with the majority of the conference dedicated to either student talks or poster presentations that cover a broad variety of topics within the field of optics, atoms, and laser applications in physics. Plenary talks will include presentations by experts in the fields of quantum optics, biophotonics, astrophotonics, and atomic physics, as well as dedicated sessions on professional development and outreach. There will be plenty of opportunities to network throughout KOALA with multiple social events and activities scheduled for the week.

KOALA 2018 is possible through the generous support of many partners. For more information about our sponsors, please go to the 2018 Sponsors page.

Conference Information


Conference proceedings at the Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University,  Sydney, Australia, and on-campus accommodation at Robert Menzies College.

Important Dates

01/08/18: Abstract submission open.
31/08/18: Early abstract deadline for international candidates who request a visa letter or a travel grant.
07/09/18: Successful early abstract notification.
30/09/18: Final abstract deadline EXTENDED.
08/10/18: Successful abstract notification.
03/12/18: Check-in for KOALA 2018.

Conference Topics

Previous KOALA conferences have showcased student research in areas such as astrophotonics, atomic physics, biomedical imaging, biophotonics, laser physics, metrology, molecular physics, nanofabrication, nonlinear optics, optics, photonics, quantum optics, spectroscopy, and solid-state physics. We welcome research from these topics and any other related field!

Presentation Styles

Student Talks: 12-minute talk plus 3 minutes Q&A.
Poster Presentation: A1 portrait poster plus 1-slide rapid-fire poster preview.
For more information, please go to the Presentation page.

Registration Fees

$200 AUD: Standard fee
$170 AUD: Discounted fees for OSA and AOS members.
For information about membership, please visit The Optical Society webpage or the Australian Optical Society webpage. The registration fee covers all food and accommodation.

Travel Grants and Scholarships

A limited number of domestic and international travel grants will be available. We encourage all attendees to apply!

Plenary Speakers

More information about our speakers can be found here.

Professor Muyinatu Bell

Johns Hopkins University

Dr Laura Coyle

Ball Aerospace

Professor Michael Steel

Macquarie University

Dr Ceri Brenner

UK Science and Technology Facilities Council

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

The University of Sydney

Dr Jean-luc Doumont



IONS KOALA 2018 Team

Daniel Blay

General Chair

Thomas Gretzinger

General Chair

Atiyeh Zarifi

Organising Committee

Luke McKay

Organising Comittee

Michelle Whitford

Organising Committee

Yameng Zheng

Organising Committee

Yang Liu

Organising Committee