Dr Tom Johansen

Honorary Doctor of Science

Citation delivered by Professor Judy Raper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Tom Henning Johansen as a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) on 18 December 2013.


This evening we celebrate the achievements of an internationally renowned researcher who has become a partner and a friend of the University of Wollongong. Professor Tom Johansen is an international authority on magneto-optical imaging in regard to superconductors, magnetic materials, and bio-magnetic applications. He has made critical contributions to the advancement of research into superconductors and superconductivity and has been in partnership with the University of Wollongong’s Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials for the past 15 years. During this, he has been dedicated to the establishment and operation of a state-of-the-art magneto-optical imaging facility.
This is a very complicated field. The expertise that Tom Johansen has provided has been invaluable in building an outstanding research culture, bringing knowledge and skills which he has generously shared with UOW research students and Institute members. He has been a distinguished mentor for Institute staff members; on numerous occasions assisting the Institute to promote new collaborations, strengthen existing projects, and achieve outstanding research results in this field.
Professor Johansen has been a principal investigator on several Commonwealth funded research projects and participated extensively in student exchange programs. His contribution was recognised by the Australian Research Council in 2009 when he was granted an International Fellowship. Recently, he contributed to the establishment of the Institute’s Clean Room, and has fostered new research in the investigation of cancer treatment technologies.
From early in life, Tom Johansen was fascinated by science and how human beings can interact with and influence their environment. He read enthusiastically about the Scott-Amundsen race to the South Pole and watched the moon-landing, gaining an appreciation of how small steps lead to big achievements. He was also captivated by fossils captured in rocks and the faceted beauty of crystals and this curiosity led him to pursue a life in science.
Some of Professor Johansen’s earliest work on magnetic levitation was highlighted in Nature Magazine and he was awarded the 1993 Norwegian IBM Prize in Solid State Physics for this research. In 2003 his work using magneto-optical imaging was directly connected to the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics and he has collaborated with 1987 Nobel Laureate K. Alex Mueller working on high temperature superconductivity.
Professor Johansen is a member of the Norwegian/European Physical Society, American Physics Society and is elected fellow of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and The Royal Norwegian Society of Science and Letters. He has been organiser and co-organizer of numerous symposia, conferences and international meetings. His publication portfolio of more than 815 publications is a tremendous achievement.
Since first visiting Australia in 1998, and Wollongong in 2004, Professor Johansen has become a valued colleague and an enthusiastic guide for staff and students. Chancellor, it is my honour and privilege to present Tom Henning Johansen for the award Doctor of Science, honoris causa.