John Howard is an Emeritus Professor at the Research School of Physics.
Professor Howard is an expert in nuclear fusion. As an ITER science Fellow, he leads the Australian experimental project on the ITER tokamak under construction in France.
He obtained his BSc (Hons I + University Medal) and PhD degree in 1983 in the field of plasma physics at the University of Sydney. He subsequently worked in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UCLA until his return to the Australian National University in 1989.
Professor Howard has worked primarily on the diagnosis and physics of plasmas in the H-1 heliac fusion-device at ANU. He also has interests in the broad area of remote sensing and inverse methods with strong links into industry. He was head of the Plasma Research Laboratory from 2009 until he took early retirement in 2016.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and served as a member of the editorial board of Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion for many years. He has also served on various international review and/or conference committees and chaired the Australian Institute of Physics Congress in 2014. He has published more than 100 refereed articles and has received many millions of dollars in research funding. Professor Howard supervised more than 20 PhD or MPhil students and a dozen or more honours students, including a number of medalists.
Professor Howard invented coherence imaging optical systems that are now installed on many of the world’s largest fusion devices. Based on this work he was a finalist in the 2012 Australian Innovation Challenge.