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Tony Murphy has been a research scientist with CSIRO since 1989. He is currently a Chief Research Scientist, and leads the Materials and Process Modelling Team. He has worked mainly on the physics, chemistry and applications of thermal plasmas such as welding arcs. His work has included computational fluid dynamic modelling, calculation of the thermophysical properties of plasmas, and optical diagnostics. He developed the ArcWeld software, which predicts weld depth and shape, and other properties of the arc and weld pool, for arc welding of aluminium alloys and steels. He was part of the team that developed the PLASCON plasma waste destruction process; at least twelve PLASCON plants have been built around the world, destroying ozone-depleting substances, greenhouse gases and toxic organic chemicals. Tony has also worked on the use of solar energy to produce hydrogen from water, and on the optical and thermal properties of nanoparticles and nanostructured films.

His recent projects include:
- Development of computational models of metallic additive manufacturing, with the aim of developing a digital twin of the process;
- Extension of arc welding models to repeated passes (wire-arc additive manufacturing), and additional metals, shielding gases and weld geometries;
- Calculation of the properties of complex gas mixtures and plasmas at high temperatures and pressures.

He is also involved with projects investigating the use of non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasmas for production of ammonia and hydrogenation of carbon dioxide, and thermal plasmas for iron and steelmaking.

He has carried out research contracts with several Australian and international companies, including General Motors Holden and General Motors, AutoCRC, CRRC (China Rail and Rolling Stock Corporation), Rail Manufacturing CRC, Boeing, SRL Plasma, LS Industrial Systems and Siemens.

Tony has published over 300 papers in refereed journals, and his work has over 13,000 citations in the Web of Science, with an h-index of 54. He has presented over 100 invited, keynote and plenary lectures at international scientific conferences and summer schools. He has won several awards and holds editorial positions with five international journals, including Editor-in-Chief of Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing and Associate Editor of Journal of Manufacturing Processes.

Current Roles

  • Team Leader
    Materials and Process Modelling

Academic Qualifications

  • 1981

    Bachelor of Science with Honours (Physics), University of Sydney

  • 1987

    Doctor of Philosophy (Physics), University of Sydney

Professional Experiences

  • 1989-present

    Research Scientist, CSIRO

  • 1987-1989

    Postdoctoral Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Germany

Achievements and Awards

  • 2024-

    Plasma Physics Innovation Prize
    European Physical Society Plasma Physics Division

  • 2023-

    NSW Premier's Prize for Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics
    NSW Government

  • 2023-

    Top Researcher (Best in Field), Physics & Mathematics (General)
    'The Australian' Research Awards

  • 2021-

    Plasma Chemistry Award
    International Plasma Chemistry Society

  • 2021-

    Plasma Innovation Prize
    Association of Asia-Pacific Physical Societies – Division of Plasma Physics

  • 2016-

    American Physical Society

  • 2012-

    Harrie Massey Medal
    Institute of Physics (UK) & Australian Institute of Physics

  • 2008-

    Alan Walsh Medal for Service to Industry (with Tony Farmer and Trevor McAllister)
    Australian Institute of Physics

  • 2003-

    Institute of Physics (UK)

  • 2000-

    Pawsey Medal
    Australian Academy of Science

  • 2000-

    Australian Institute of Physics

  • 1995-

    Edgeworth David Medal
    Royal Society of New South Wales

  • 1994-

    Engineering Excellence Award in Environmental Engineering (team member)
    Institution of Engineers, Australia, Victorian Division

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2014-present

    Editor-in-Chief, Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

  • 2021-present

    Associate Editor, Journal of Manufacturing Processes

  • 2002-present

    Editorial Board, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

  • 2012-2023

    Editorial Board, Scientific Reports

  • 2020-2023

    Editorial Board, IOP SciNotes

  • 2009-2013

    Editorial Board, Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

  • 2016-present

    Editorial Board, Reviews in Modern Plasma Physics

  • 2021-present

    Editorial Board, Welding in the World

  • 2022-2022

    Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Plasma Processing Science, Andover, NH, USA

  • 2019-2019

    Chair, 'Towards a True Digital Twin of Metal Additive Manufacturing' Symposium, Melbourne

  • 2018-2019

    President of International Plasma Chemistry Society (Vice-President 2016-17; Board of Directors 2004-09 & 2012-19)

  • 2018-2018

    Vice-Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Plasma Processing Science, Smithfield, RI, USA

  • 2017-2017

    Joint Chair, Summer School of the 23rd International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, Montreal, Canada, 2017

  • 2013-2013

    Joint Conference Chair, 21st International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, Cairns, QLD

  • 2010-2010

    Chair, 16th Gaseous Electronics Meeting, Durras, NSW, Australia, 2010

  • 2001-2003

    Task Force on Destruction Technologies of the United Nations Environment Programme Technology and Economic Assessment Panel