The University of Sydney Nano Institute



There are five laboratories that form part of the CUDOS (the Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems) Research Group. CUDOS conducts research in optical physics and electrical and electronic engineering, building on its achievements of demonstrating that an integrated photonic-based signal processing platform - a photonic chip - can switch data at speeds beyond terabits a second. The CUDOS group laboratories are situated on the north eastern side of the SNH on Level 2 as shown in Figure below. Professor Ben Eggleton is the Director of CUDOS and the Academic in charge and reports directly to the Head of School. Eric Magi is the CUDOS Laboratory Manager and Senior Research Fellow and reports to Eggleton. Also on staff are an Electrical Engineer Support/Technical Support person and 7 – 9 Senior Researches, usually with 3 – 4 on the premises at any one time.

Location of CUDOS Labs at SNH

Location of CUDOS laboratories at Sydney Nanoscience Hub 


The majority of the work undertaken by CUDOS uses optical amplifiers and lasers. Some Dangerous Goods are also used in the research and experimental work in minimal quantities. Compressed air and nitrogen are used in the laboratories. Basic solvents (IPA and acetone) are ordered in 4 L Winchesters and then decanted into four smaller bottles. These are re-ordered approximately once a month and are stored in the adjacent chemical store. Paint stripper, which is a Class 8 corrosive substance, is also used to strip optical fibres. This is used very minimally, and one can will generally last 5 – 10 years. Although there are no gas burners as such in the CUDOS laboratories, there is equipment that uses an open butane flame to heat optical fibres. This flame has a very small gas flow.

High speed electronics (running at 65 Gigahertz and therefore static sensitive) are also used in the CUDOS laboratories along with the optical amplifiers and lasers.

No hazardous waste products are likely to be generated as a result of the operations with the exception of shards which are detailed in Section 15.11. of SNH Safety & Operations Manual (PDF 4899KB)

Although there are no specific procedures in place regarding cleaning following experiments, it is expected that users leave their work stations in the same manner as before they started.    

Safety and training

All staff and students must go through the induction process specific to the CUDOS Research Group. Because there are seven universities partnered up as part of the CUDOS group, as well as sabbaticals and exchange students, there are new personnel requiring access to the CUDOS laboratories on a weekly basis. All are required to go through the induction process. There are four steps to the induction process which are summarised below.

  • A meeting with Senior Research Fellow/CUDOS Laboratory Manager, Eric Magi, who will go over the six-page induction document which includes responsibilities of students, supervisors and subordinates, and familiarisation with major equipment such as the optical amplifiers and lasers.

  • A video shall be viewed which provides information on laser safety and higher education on what the risks involved are.

  • Seeing an optometrist for an eye health scan and check-up (these records are obtained by the optometrist and are requested in the event of an incident).

  • A verbal quiz (discussion) on the induction document and video content. This process is currently being updated by Eric into a written process. A 100% pass rate is expected.

Once this process is complete, students/staff/researchers etc. sign a document stating they understand the use and safe operation of the equipment and will abide by the rules. The document is counter-signed by Eric Magi. All these induction/training records are kept by Eric Magi in his paper filing system.  

The risk assessment process is currently being reviewed and shall be updated once complete.

Equipment is safe to work on so the maintenance of any equipment in the CUDOS laboratories shall be undertaken by Eric Magi when required.  


Once all the above training has been undertaken, a swipe card is issued granting access to laboratories etc. As an additional safety measure, each laboratory has a laser interlock system installed providing a fail-safe Access Control System (ACS) to ensure unauthorised personnel are prohibited from these areas where laser radiation may be present. When the power to the controller is interrupted, critical outputs, such as door magnetic locks and laser interlocks, revert to a safe state: magnetic locks off and interlocks open. 

Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment (PPE)

Laser safety goggles are required when in any of the CUDOS laboratories. 

Further Information

WHS documentation specific to CUDOS laboratories will shortly be available on the Sydney Nano SharePoint, which is currently under construction.  

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