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The Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) has announced Dr Horst Punzmann as the new Facility Manager for its ANFF-ACT Node.

ANFF-ACT provides a range of capabilities and services for next generation opto-electronic devices, nano-photonics and metamaterial-based optical devices, specialising in the creation of III-V semiconductor nanostructures and materials. Located at the ANU’s Research School of Physics, the ANFF-ACT Node is currently relocating its equipment into a new, purposely built $210M building, which incorporates a central semiconductor-grade cleanroom and multiple stable optical laboratories. The ANFF-ACT Node also works closely with the ANFF OptoFab Precision Optics Hub, also located at ANU.

Dr Horst Punzmann joins ANFF-ACT from the Centre for Plasmas and Fluids in ANU’s Research School of Physics, the largest university-based physics research institution in Australia. Horst takes the reigns from Kaushal Vora, who has done an incredible job in the acting Facility Manager role over the past 2 years. We thank Kaushal for all his efforts and we look forward to his success back in the role he most enjoys.

As a research engineer with a multi-disciplinary background in physics and engineering, Horst provided system engineering support for various research groups, while managing research laboratories and workshops. Previously, Horst was the facility manager of the Australian Fusion Plasma Research Facilities (APFRF) from 2006-2015 and coordinator of its A$7M research facility upgrade, supported by the Australian Government through the Education Investment Fund (EIF) project 2009-2013.

While managing research facilities, Horst also manages to find time to conduct collaborative research in fluid mechanics and liquid-based metamaterials, which has led to high-quality journal publications and competitive funding for ARC Discovery Projects and industrial collaborations.

As the ANFF-ACT Node Facility Manager, Horst will play a vital role not only in the management of the facilities and the team, but also will provide seamless operation between the ACT Node and the Optofab Precision Optics Hub within the new cleanroom space at ANU. Horst will also play a key role in attracting and developing new links with external users and industrial partners.

On Horst’s appointment, ANFF-ACT Director Prof. Hoe Tan said, ‘We are delighted to welcome Horst to the position. He brings in acute knowledge in the management of large-scale research facilities and a strong connection with industry collaborators.’

Horst said, ‘I am excited about the opportunity to join the ACT team in their new endeavour. I believe success is a natural consequence of adaptation to constant change. This new opportunity in the ANFF operations here at the ANU fits well in the success story of the ever-evolving, technology-pioneering quest of the ANFF organisation. I am very much looking forward to working with our researcher partners and highly experienced process engineering team on the upcoming challenges, to make this a success.’

Get in touch with Horst via his LinkedIn page by clicking here or by emailing him at