Committee Biographies

Gerd Schroeder-Turk

Dr Gerd Schröder-Turk took up an academic position in the School of Engineering and IT at Murdoch University in Perth in 2015. His area of expertise encompasses soft condensed matter physics, biophotonics, statistical physics and 3D structure analysis. His particular interest is ‘materials geometry’, that is, the materials science of nanostructured materials and tissues. He holds a PhD awarded by the Australian National University in 2005, and a habilitation degree from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. For the 2018 congress, he feels particularly strongly about creating an event that, apart from being a top international physics conference, builds bridges into the non-university communities, including in particular to the broader science education community.

Ian McArthur

After 18 years as the Head of the School of Physics at the University of Western Australia, Ian McArthur has recently returned to a teaching and research role. After completing a PhD in theoretical Physics at Harvard University, he held postdoctoral positions in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, and in the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Karlsruhe. Prior to his return to Australia, he was an Assistant Professor at Hamburg University. His field of research is supersymmetric quantum field theory. He is a member of the Executive of the Australian Institute of Physics, and Chair of the National Committee for Physics of the Australian Academy of Science. Having served as Chair for the WA Branch of the AIP, he is delighted that the 2018 AIP Congress is to be held in Perth.

Igor Bray

Igor Bray (org. comm.), John Curtin Distinguished Professor, Curtin University. Has been at Curtin since 2007, and Head of Physics and Astronomy since 2010. PhD from Department of Mathematical Physics at University of Adelaide in 1986 for thesis entitled “Gravitational lens effect of galaxies and black holes”. Current research interests are in the field of Quantum collision theory with application in Atomic and Molecular Physics, see

Almantas Pivrikas

Almantas Pivrikas has graduated Bachelor as well as Master’s degrees in physics at Vilnius University, Lithuania. He obtain his PhD degree at the end of 2006 at Abo Akademi University. After postdoctoral research at Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria and The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, he is now employed at Murdoch University, Perth. His area of expertise lies within opto-electronic devices, such as photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes, field-effect transistors and sensors. He discovered an unexpected photophysical phenomena called non-Langevin photocarrier recombination in organic materials which led to significant improvement in fundamental knowledge as well as device performance improvements.

Ron Burman

Ron Burman is an Honorary Research Fellow and former Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia. He is a long-time member of the gravity group, and provides advice on theoretical topics to the outreach program while also completing a mathematical project on electromagnetic wave propagation. He is a past treasurer of the WA Branch and has been on conference organizing committees as treasurer. He was a long-time treasurer of the Gravity Discovery Centre Foundation.

David Blair

David Blair is an experimental physicists. He developed the first southern hemisphere gravitational wave detector NIOBE, and the Sapphire Clock. In 1998 he led the development of a 50km2 site at Gingin, near Perth, Western Australia, for a proposed southern hemisphere laser interferometer gravitational wave detector. He also led the creation of the Gravity Discovery Centre, which is a major public outreach centre for teaching Einsteinian Physics to schools and the general public. The Australian International Gravitational Research Centre at Gingin includes an 80m high optical power laser interferometer and the 1m Zadko Robotic Telescope used for multi-messenger astronomy and gamma ray burst follow-up.
The Gingin Centre is part of Australia’s contribution to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, an international collaboration in gravitational wave detection that includes more than 1000 physicists. Blair leads the Einstein-First education project. This is a collaboration focused on developing Einsteinian physics for the school curriculum.
Blair has strong collaboration links with China and was convenor of the KITPC Program “The Next Detectors for Gravitational Wave Astronomy” in 2015.
In 2013 Blair was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2007 he won the Western Australian Scientist of the Year Award. In 2005 World Year of Physics, Blair was awarded the ANZAAS Medal as well as a WA Government Centre of Excellence Grant to develop the Australian International Gravitational Research Centre. In 2004 he won the Learning Links award of the Minister for Education and Training. In 2003 he was awarded the National Medal for Community Service, the Centenary Medal for Promotion of Science and the Clunies Ross National Medal for Science and Technology. In 1995 Blair was awarded the Walter Boas Medal of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Jodie Bradby

Jodie Bradby is currently the Vice-President of the Australian Institute of Physics and a Professor at the Research School of Physics and Engineering at The Australian National University. She has previously held an ARC Future Fellowship and a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship. Her research aims to create new materials using pressure as a synthesis tool and to understand how materials deform under extreme environments.

Sharon Eyer

Sharon leads Alcoa’s Geochemistry and Applied Physics Group, supporting refineries through analysis & identification of solids as well as contributing to research efforts. Sharon was a finalist in the 2016 Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) award category for Outstanding Women in Resources in recognition of her contribution in encouraging the participation of women in the resources industry. Sharon is keen to increase industry involvement in this congress and as such is an Industry Representative on the organising committee for their 2018 conference.

Ketesse Hansen

Ketesse is a Technical Officer with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Curtin University. Her diverse role includes Radiation Safety Supervisor, science outreach, and physics education. Ketesse also holds a long-time interest in fluid mechanics. She was acknowledged for her work in reinvigorating the undergraduate physics laboratory experience when her team received the Curtin Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Innovation Award for 2016. Additionally, Ketesse was involved with the organisation and running of the 30th International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions, and two of the associated satellite meetings in Cairns, Australia, 2017.

Mariusz Martyniuk

Mariusz Martyniuk received his B.Sc. (Hons.) degree from the University of Toronto, M.A.Sc. from McMaster University, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Western Australia in 2007. He worked in the industry sector as an Electronics Engineer before rejoining The University of Western Australia, where he is currently with the Microelectronics Research Group and manages the Western Australian Node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility. His primary areas of interest encompass thin-film materials and thin-film mechanics, as well as their applications in micro-electromechanical systems and optoelectronic devices. Dr. Martyniuk’s research contributions were recognized by the award as a team member of the Inaugural Australian Museum Eureka Prize (the Oscars of Australian science) for Outstanding Science in Support of Defence or National Security in 2008.


Stuart Midgley

Stuart completed a PhD in computational quantum physics at the University of Western Australia and now works for DownUnder GeoSolutions designing and building the largest commercial super computers in the world. This has involved inventing a novel cooling solution, allowing DUG to have some of the most energy efficient data centres in the world.

Ana-Sunčana Smith

Prof Ana-Sunčana Smith holds a PhD from the Technical University Munich. She is a full Professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen-Nuremberg where she leads the Group for Physics Underlying Life Sciences, and an adjunct professor at the Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia. Prof Smith’s research focus is in bioadhesion, complex transport, active fluctuating systems and solid-liquid interfaces. In 2009 she was awarded a title of the Rising Star of the Excellence Cluster EAM and in 2011, she became the Member of the Young Collegium of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2013 she received the ERC Starting Grant MembranesAct. In 2016 she was honoured with the Order of the Croatian Daystar for contributions to Croatian science, and in 2017 IOP JCMP selected her as an Emergeen leader in condensed matter physics. She is Editorial board member of the Biophysical Journal. She was the Chair of the Physics of Cells conference series (PhysCell2009, 2012, and 2015). Prof Smith is a dedicated lecturer of courses in theoretical physics, and contributed to several international graduate schools among which are the biophysics programs at the University of Zagreb Croatia, EPFL in Lausanne Switzerland, and Cambridge UK.

Geoff Swan

Dr Geoff Swan is currently a Senior Lecturer in Science Education at Edith Cowan University. His specialty is physics education with over 25 years’ experience in teaching physics at tertiary and secondary levels. He has received both university and national awards for physics education, and he is a past convenor (chair) of the AIP Physics Education Group. Most recently, Geoff has developed and delivered intensive WACE Year 11 and 12 Physics Refresher courses for WA Department of Education Teachers.

Cathryn Trott

Cathryn leads the Epoch of Reionisation research program at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, which aims to detect and characterise neutral hydrogen in the first billion years of the Universe. She uses the Murchison Widefield Array and future Square Kilometre Array to detect this weak cosmological signal, which traces the formation and evolution of the first stars and galaxies. Cathryn is an ARC DECRA Fellow and Curtin University node leader for the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D). She is currently Vice-President of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

Kathryn Wilson

Kathryn Wilson is an undergraduate student studying Physics and Nanotechnology at Murdoch University in Perth. Kathryn’s particular interest is in Astrophysics. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Western Australia and is currently a practising lawyer. For the 2018 Congress, Kathryn hopes to engage all students with an interest in physics and the broader community to create a forum where ideas can be shared and discussed.

Michael Tobar

Michael E. Tobar received the Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Western Australia, Perth, W.A., Australia, in 1994. He is currently a Professor of Physics with the School of Physics at the University of Western Australia. Notably, between 2009 and 2014 He was awarded a Laureate Fellowship by the Australian Research Council.

His research interests encompass the broad discipline of frequency metrology, precision measurements and quantum, low temperature and condensed matter physics. He has co-authored about 270 journal publications in these fields of research and has 11 patents. Over his career he has used his expertise to undertake some of the best test of fundamental physics, and investigated many areas of physics using the developed precision and quantum measurement tools in his laboratory. He has also adapted such technology to the commercial sector. Over his research career he has obtained approximately 25 Million AUD of funds directly for his research programs over his career and is a key CI for the ARC Centre of Excellence funded at 31 Million AUD over 7 years. Recent awards include the 2014 Cady Award presented by the IEEE, the 2014 Clunies-Ross award presented by the Australian Academy of Science and Technology, the 2012 Alan Walsh medal presented by the Australian Institute of Physics, the 2010 WA scientist of the year, presented by the WA dept. of Commerce, the 2009 Barry Inglis medal presented by the National Measurement Institute for precision measurement, the 2006 Boas medal presented by the Australian Institute of Physics. Also, during 2007 he was elevated to Fellow of the IEEE, 2008 the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and 2012 the Australian Academy of Science. He also received a citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for inspiring research students to reach their full potential and transform to successful research scientists through participation in ground-breaking research. He was also recently elected as a voting administration committee (adcom) member for the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society.

Jingbo Wang

Professor Jingbo Wang received her PhD from Adelaide University, and subsequently worked at Adelaide University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. Currently, she leads an active research group at the University of Western Australia working in the area of quantum simulation, quantum walks, and quantum algorithm development. Professor Wang pioneered cutting edge research involving, in particular, single and multiple particle quantum walks. Her research team was the first to show the power of quantum walks in extracting local and global structural information of complex networks and in distinguishing a wide range of non-isomorphic graph classes. Her recent work includes quantum simulation of designer functional molecules or materials, theoretical modelling of Dirac walks on non-square lattices in curved space-time, understanding protein folding kinetics and dynamics via quantum computation, as well as exploring the implications of quantum stochastic and decoherence processes. Her research team also developed a general quantum compiler with an optimiser, which maps a given quantum algorithm to a quantum circuit consisting a sequential set of elementary quantum logic gates. It provides a powerful tool to assist the design of actual physical implementation of quantum algorithms in laboratories. Professor Wang and her team have recently obtained some of the most efficient quantum circuits to implement a wide variety of quantum operators, which could underpin the utmost quantum supremacy.

Brett Carter

Dr Brett Carter (Chair of Solar-Terrestial and Space Physics Group, and Program Committee Member) is a Senior Research Fellow RMIT University’s School of Science. His primary research area is Ionospheric Physics, with a particular focus on Equatorial Plasma Bubbles. His background covers a wide range of space physics/space weather topics, including high-latitude radar aurora, geomagnetically induced currents, and coupled thermosphere-ionosphere modelling. For his work, Dr Carter received the 2016 ICSU SCOSTEP Distinguished Young Scientist Award, and the American Geophysical Union’s 2016 Space Weather Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing.,

Evelyne Deplazes

Dr. Evelyne Deplazes is an Early-Career Research Fellow at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute at Curtin University. She received her PhD in computational biophysics from the University of Western Australia in 2012. Subsequently, she was awarded an Early Career Fellowship (ECF) by the Swiss National Science Foundation, followed by an ECF form the Australian National Health and Research Council (NHMRC) to work at the University of Queensland. In 2016, Dr. Deplazes returned to Curtin University to pursue her independent research projects. Her research focuses on the development and use of computational and experimental biophysical approaches to study biomolecular systems. In particular, her expertise lies in the use of molecular dynamics simulations of venom peptides to study their interactions with cell membranes to to facilitate the rational design of peptide-based pharmaceuticals.
Apart from her research Dr Deplazes is passionate about supporting diversity and equity in science and teaching the next generation of scientists to be ‘critical thinkers’.

Simon Doe

Simon is currently the National Manager of the ANFF as well as being the South Australian Facility Manager of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF-SA). Established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, the ANFF links 8 university-based nodes to provide researchers and industry with access to state-of-the-art fabrication facilities.
The capability provided by ANFF enables users to process hard materials (metals, composites and ceramics) and soft materials (polymers and polymer-biological moieties) and transform these into structures that have application in sensors, medical devices, nanophotonics and nanoelectronics.
The ANFF SA node is co-located at the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia, and Flinders University, and brings together expertise in surface modification, characterisation, nanotechnology, and advanced materials. The node is focused on the design and fabrication of micro and nano-engineered structures, including microfluidic devices, in both polymer and glass substrates. Surface structures and patterns, channel designs, and chemical functionality can be tailored to the needs of the facility users. The facility houses state-of-the-art photolithography, embossing, etching, and bonding equipment in ISO Class 5 and 6 clean room environments, and ready access to a variety of powerful surface characterisation tools at the University of South Australia and Flinders University locations. The facility specializes in the production of next-generation and high-performance microfluidic devices and can offer rapid turn-around of prototypes.
With a background in materials engineering and joining, Simon has over twenty years experience in product design and development, and was recently in industry as a development manager for a medical device company. He was employed at CSIRO in the Division of Manufacturing Science and Technology before working as a Product Development Manager for a start-up medical device company involved with catheter tracking technologies. Prior to this he was in the UK, in the defence industry as a materials and welding engineer.

Martin Ebert

Prof Martin A Ebert has worked in academic, research and clinical medical physics since 1993. His research work focuses on the derivation of evidence for the efficacy of radiotherapy for cancer treatment, methods for increasing its efficacy and the interactions between physics and clinical medicine. He has interacted extensively with industry and plays active roles in the education, training and professional development of medical physicists both in Australia and internationally. Martin is particularly interested in stimulating the physics and allied scientific communities into using their expertise for addressing fundamental questions in oncology and other areas of human health.

Ben Eggleton

Professor Benjamin Eggleton is a Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney, Director of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS) at the University of Sydney and co-Director of the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN). He was previously an ARC Laureate Fellow and an ARC Federation Fellow twice. He obtained the Bachelor’s degree (with honors) in Science in 1992 and Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Sydney in 1996. Eggleton is the author or coauthor of more than 460 journal publications, including Nature Photonics, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Physical Review Letters and Optica and over 200 invited presentations. His journal papers have been cited 18,000 times according to webofscience with an h-number of 64 (82in google scholar). Eggleton is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AA), the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America and IEEE.

Lorenzo Faraone

Lorenzo Faraone received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth, WA, Australia, in 1979. He was a Research Scientist with Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA, from 1979 to 1980, where he was involved in studies on MOS devices. From 1980 to 1986, he was a Member of the Technical Staff with RCA Laboratories, David Sarnoff Research Center, Princeton, NJ, USA, where he was involved in very large scale integration CMOS and nonvolatile memory technologies, and space radiation effects in silicon-on-sapphire MOS integrated circuits. He joined the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, UWA, in 1987, where he has been a Professor since 1998, and the Head of the Department/School from 1999 to 2003. Since joining UWA, his research interests have been in the areas of compound semiconductor materials and devices, and microelectromechanical systems. He has supervised more than 30 Ph.D. student completions, and published more than 300 refereed technical papers in journals and conference proceedings. Prof. Faraone received the RCA Laboratories Individual Outstanding Achievement Award in 1983 and 1986, and the John de Laeter Innovation Award in 1997. He is a Member of the Order of Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and IEEE.

Simon Fleming

Simon Fleming has over thirty year’s research experience in photonics and optics with ~350 publications. His research focus is specialty optical fibres, from their design and fabrication to their application. He has recently been exploring the application of the fibre drawing technique as a broader micro-fabrication approach for realisation of a wide range of structures from metamaterial hyperlenses to biomedical devices. He has worked in industry and academia, the latter in roles frequently involving end-user engagement. He has served on several company boards and been actively involved in research translation. He is currently Professor of Optics in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, and Director of the Research and Prototype Foundry, the University’s micro- and nano-fabrication user facility. He is a Senior Member of OSA, President of the Australian Optical Society, a Fellow of IET, and a Chartered Engineer.

Matthew Hole

A/Prof. Matthew J. Hole is a Senior Fellow of the ANU. His principal field of research is magnetohydrodynamics, fluid modelling, and wave analysis of fusion plasmas, industrial plasmas, and space plasmas. Matthew is the founding Chair of the Australian ITER Forum; the Australian member of the IAEA International Fusion Research Council, an ITER Science Fellow, Chief Division Secretary of the Asia Pacific Physics Society Division of Plasma Physics, and on the Board of Editors of Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, one of 3 top journals in the field. Matthew is representative of the Plasma Physics discipline.

Mikhail Kostylev

Prof Mikhail Kostylev completed his Ph.D. in Physics at St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University (SPETU), St. Petersburg, Russia in 1993. From 1993 to 1995 he stayed with School of Physics in Osnabruck University (Germany), having won a post-doctoral fellowship from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). From 1995 to 2005 he held a tenured Assoc/Prof position at SPETU. He moved to the University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2005. Currently he is a Professor with the School of Physics at UWA and leads a Magnetisation Dynamics and Spintronics Research Group. His main research interest is magnetism and linear and non-linear oscillations and waves. Mikhail has co-authored more than 150 peer reviewed publications in this field. Currently, his most active projects are sensing substances and particles based on magneto-electronic approaches, interface magnetic phenomena and Magnon-based Quantum Information.

Pegah Fatemah Maasoumi

Pegah is an experimental physicist with experience in fabrication and electrical characterization of organic optoelectronic devices as well as photo-physical characterization and cryogenic measurements in organic light emitting materials and devices. Pegah was awarded her PhD in organic electronics from The university of Queensland in 2016. She joined the ARC centre of excellence for exciton science as postdoctoral research fellow in 2017 where she explores new architectures and uses advanced fabrication techniques to develop novel electronic devices such as flexible solar cell, quantum dot LEDs, NIR photodetectors, light emitting transistors for more efficient sustainable energy, environmental biosensors and security labelling. For 2018 congress, she will work hard toward creating international physics conference not only strong scientifically but also providing a diverse and balanced environment.

Robert McLaughlin

Prof. Robert McLaughlin is Chair of Biophotonics in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics at the University of Adelaide, and Managing Director of Miniprobes Pty Ltd. Previously, he has been a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, and spent 5 years in the medical device industry where he was responsible for the development of three commercial products. He has published 2 book chapters, 73 journal papers and 8 patents, and been awarded over $5M in research funding. In 2014, he led the team named WA Innovator of the Year. In 2015, his team were awarded the Australian Innovation Challenge. In 2016, he was awarded the South Australian Premier’s Research and Industry Fund Fellowship.

Andrea Morello

Andrea Morello is a Professor of Quantum Engineering at UNSW Sydney and a Program Manager in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He received a degree in Electronics Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy) in 1998, then completed his PhD in the birthplace of low-temperature physics, the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium in Leiden (Netherlands), followed by a postdoc at UBC in Vancouver (Canada). He joined UNSW in late 2006. He and his team were the first in the world to demonstrate the operation of a single electron and a single nucleus quantum bit in silicon. They still hold the record for quantum memory time, and the most accurate demonstration of quantum entanglement in the solid state. For these achievements, Andrea was awarded a Eureka Prize (2011), the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (2013), the David Syme Research Prize (2013), the NSW Science & Engineering Award (2014), and was the inaugural winner of the R. Landauer & C.H. Bennett Award for Quantum Computing (2017).

Maria Parrappilly

Dr Maria Parappilly is an award winning physics educator and Research Section Head for STEM Education at Flinders University. She received her Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Adelaide in 2006. Her pioneering teaching innovations have been recognised with state and national awards, and internationally with the international D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning (only one awarded in Physics, Canada, 2017). She has been named as the 2015 South Australian STEM Educator of the year. Dr Parappilly is the chair of Physics Education Group (PEG) of Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). She was inducted into the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll for 2017 as a passionate educator. Maria has been the SA representative of the AIP PEG since 2008.

Lister Staveley-Smith

Professor Lister Staveley-Smith is Science Director at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at the University of Western Australia (UWA), and also serves as Leader of the UWA node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D). His research interests lie in the field of radio astronomy, and he co-leads a large survey project on the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) to map a large volume of the local Universe using the 21-cm spin-flip transition of neutral hydrogen to trace gas-rich galaxies. He serves on the committee as a representaive of the cognate AIP society, the Astronomical Society of Australia.

Chris Vale

Prof Chris Vale is the Chair of the Australian Institute of Physics topical group on ATomic and MOlecular Physics. He completed his undergraduate studies and PhD at Victoria University in Melbourne. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Sussex, UK, working on Bose-Einstein condensates on atom chips before returning to Australia in 2003 as a research fellow at the University of Queensland. In 2007 he moved to Swinburne University of Technology where he began work on ultra cold Fermi gases. He currently leads the Fermi gas experimental team at Swinburne where his research has focussed on universal aspects of strongly interacting Fermi gases in two and three-dimensions.

Anton Wallner

Anton is a Senior Fellow of the ANU (Canberra) and group leader at the Department of Nuclear Physics. His primary research area is Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and his experience in accelerator-based analytical techniques is applied to both fundamental and applied science. His area of expertise encompasses nuclear astrophysics, nuclear physics and more general characteristic fingerprints of rare natural and anthropogenic isotopes in the environment. He is also an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) consultant. Anton holds a PhD awarded by the University of Vienna. He held research positions at TU Munich, in Vienna, at ANSTO and joined the ANU in 2011.