A generous gift of $5 million from one of Australia's leading businessmen will enable the University of Sydney to make major advances in the field of nanoscience.


The gift from John Hooke CBE, former Chairman and CEO of Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA) will endow a new academic chair in the School of Physics and the Australian Institute of Nanoscience which is to be built at the University of Sydney. The chair will be named the John Hooke Chair of Nanosciences.


"John Hooke has made an extremely generous and farsighted donation which will allow us to take important steps in cutting edge research," said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.


"Transformational gifts like this make an enormous difference not only for today's students and researchers, but for future generations."


Nanoscience involves interdisciplinary research which has the potential to deliver more energy-efficient communications and advances in medical imaging and treatment of diseases through nano-devices based on quantum physics and photonics.


The new Australian Institute of Nanoscience at the University of Sydney is to be housed in a purpose built facility adjacent to and integrated with the School of Physics. Funded by the Federal government and the University it will bring together researchers and teachers working in world class laboratories for research in quantum science, photonics, biomedical science and material systems at the single atom level. Work on the new building is due to commence early in 2012 and it is expected to be completed in early 2014.