Major science and technology research facilities

The University of Sydney has extensive state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities, these include the:

Australian Mekong Resource Centre

The Mekong Reserve

Australian Mekong Resource Centre (AMRC) is an internationally prominent resource and research centre based at the School of Geosciences.

The Centre promotes research, discussion and debate on development, natural resource management and environment issues in the Mekong Region. Established in 1997, AMRC focuses on the role Australia plays in the region as a near neighbour, donor and major trading partner.

Chemical preparation and analysis facilities

The School of Chemistry hosts a large number of facilities for chemical preparation and analysis. All of these Facilities are available to researchers throughout the University, and external to the University.

  • The Separations (Chromatography) Laboratory has three GCs and six HPLCs, which are used for analytical and preparative chromatographic separations of organic samples.
  • The Mass Spectrometry Unit is a user facility that services internal and external users. The MS Unit has five mass spectrometers.
  • The NMR Facility has five modern spectrometers in operation, as well as a host of processing stations.
  • The Crystal Structure Analysis Facility provides a single crystal X-ray diffraction structure determination and analysis service to both internal and external clients.
  • The Vibrational Spectroscopy Facility provides a wide range of vibrational spectroscopic instrumentation and accessories.
  • The Theoretical Chemistry Group maintain a cluster of high speed workstations for a wide range of quantum and statistical calculations.
  • The Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Facility is a joint facility between the University of Sydney and UNSW.
  • The Laser Chemistry Laboratory features a suite of high-powered pulsed lasers with capability of accessing light from the near infrared to vacuum ultraviolet.
  • The Thermophysical Properties facility provides a suite of Magnetic Susceptibility, Heat Capacity and Resistivity analysis (PPMS), ThermoGravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to both internal and external clients.

Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis (ACMM)

The Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis (ACMM) is the largest and most comprehensive facility of its type in Australia. The centre is the headquarters the  Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility, and is a node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Materials. Researchers have access to an outstanding array of nanostructural analysis equipment, within the ACMM and at its partner nodes. The centre is a major contributor to the University’s research output, and plays a vital role in supporting the microscopy and wider community through training, award courses and consulting.

Electron Microscope Unit: red blood cells

John Ray Herbarium

John Ray Herbarium hosts a major collection of more than 50,000 plant specimens.

The Herbarium is located in the School of Biological Sciences and is source of research material for taxonomic and morphologic research.

Molecular facilities

Research facilities at the School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences include:

Transgenic Mouse Facility
  • Analytical Ultracentrifugation
  • Circular Dichroism Spectropolarimetry
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • NMR Spectroscopy
  • Protein Production and Purification
  • Transgenic Mouse Facility
  • X-Ray Crystallography

The MS/NMR facility is used by a large number of researchers to aid in the elucidation of new bioactive pharmacological compounds as well as natural product identification and quantification of metabolites from patient samples and for researchers involved with both clinical trials and hospital patient monitoring. Also involved is contract research with industry.

Molonglo radio telescope

Molonglo radio telescope

The Astrophysics Group in the School of Physics operates the Molonglo radio telescope near Canberra, which has a total length of 1.6km and a collecting area of 18,000 square metres (the largest of any radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere).

The telescope is currently completing the ARC-funded Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey (SUMSS), which provides the first sensitive imaging survey of the entire southern sky at radio wavelengths.

The Molonglo telescope is also being used to prototype and test new technologies relevant to the international next-generation radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). This project, which is being carried out in collaboration with CSIRO, has recently been awarded substantial funding through the Australian Government's Major National Research Facilities (MNRF) program.

Ocean Drilling Program

We are lead institution and host the secretariat of The Ocean Drilling Program. It is the premier international Earth Science research program to understand the dynamics of the Earth's Environment and the Earth's Interior.

One Tree Island Research Station

One Tree Island Research Station

The University has the One Tree Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef.

The research station provides easy access to study sites within One Tree Reef - a Scientific Research Zone within the Capricornia section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It provides a unique opportunity for long-term field studies in a site known to be free of other human disturbances.

Plasma, surface and materials characterisation facilities

The Applied and Plasma Physics group has received over $3 million in infrastructure funding for new equipment over the last two years and has recently added the following world class plasma, surface and materials characterisation facilities to its existing suite:

  • JA Woollam 2000M variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometer with in-situ capability.
  • Secondary Neutral Mass Spectroscopy (SNMS) - the only one in Australia.
  • Digilab FTIR with ATR and in-situ capability.
  • Automated plasma probe station with Mach, emissive and single, double and triple probes.

Sydney University Proteome Research Unit

Sydney University Proteome Research Unit

The Sydney University Proteome Research Unit is housed within the School of Molecular Bioscience and draws upon expertise from the School and across the University of Sydney. SUPRU provides a range of services using specialist integrated technologies for proteomic discoveries to enhance our knowledge of the role of proteins in biology and medicine..

Other facilities at the School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences include NMR spectroscopy, microscopy, protein analysis and X-ray crystallography.

Sydney ViSLAB

Vislab director Dr Masa Takatsuka in 3-D glasses at the screen that generates images for researchers

The Visualisation and High-Performance Computing Laboratory (ViSLAB) is the leading-edge site in Australia for advanced visualisation and computing. It is funded by the University of Sydney, and partners (GrangeNet and Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications: AC3).

It has been used by hundreds of researchers statewide in disciplines spanning from Astrophysics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Engineering and Medicine, to Archaeology, Visual Arts, Economics and Meteorology.

ViSLAB will actively engage in academic research in order to advance hardware, software and visualisation technologies. It now collaborates with National ICT Australia in the field of collaborative visualization, and is a Centre of Expertise in Visualization for AC3 and will participate in the next Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing Grid program.