I have been a researcher in photonics since
1983 and my work has
resulted in well over two hundred journal and conference publications.
My particular areas of interest include optical fibre and fibre
drawing, optical materials providing gain, non-linearity and more
exotic behaviour, and their application to real world problems. Since
1996 I have had extensive experience in leadership, management and
governance of research facilities, groups and collaborations.
teaching has primarily involved the supervision of many PhD and MSc
research students. Since 2009 I have been deputy coordinator of Senior
Physics, and from 2011 I have the same role in Intermediate
My professional engagement involves organisation of a
number of conferences internationally and domestically, together with
being Treasurer and a Councillor of the Australian Optical Society.
From 2011 I have a split role in the School of Physics. 60% of my time
is given to the role of Chief Operations Officer in the CUDOS Centre of Excellence. For the
other 40% of my time I am a professor in the School.
My main contribution to the
administration of the School is as chair of the Space and
Infrastructure Committee. I am on the Executive of the Institute of
Photonics and Optical Science. I manage the University's
in the the NCRIS funded ANFF OptoFab. I am a Director of the Bandwidth Foundry, a wholly owned
subsidiary of the University, that provides micro- and nano-fabrication
facilities and services.
My research career started at about the time when it was
becoming apparent that single-mode optical fibre not only offered much
greater capacity than multimode, but could actually be practical. My
first contributions to the field were in the area of metrology,
characterisation and standards for single-mode fibre. I contributed to
the international standard ITU-T G650 and was involved for well over a
decade in the two major conferences in the field, SOFM and OFMC.
With the invention of the optical fibre amplifier my interest moved to
applying my measurement and characterisation knowledge to the new class
of fibres that employed rare-earth doping to give gain. My research
quickly moved onto the fibres and particularly the amplifiers and
lasers that could be made with the. I made several important
contributions particularly to the understanding and realisation of
praseodymium doped fluoride fibre amplifiers.
In 1994 I joined University of Sydney's Optical Fibre Technology Centre
to apply my knowledge of praseodymium doped fluoride fibre to realise
all solid state blue fibre lasers. This work was very succesfull and we
still hold the record for performance of this type of laser, although
the development of blue laser diodes has subsequently lowered the
We needed an all fibre modulator capable of handling this blue light
and started to explore poling as a means of making a fibre manifest
electro-optic behaviour. This topic has been my major research interest
since about 1996. Together with many research students and staff, we
have made many significant contributions to this field.
In terms of applications, I am currentlky particularly interested in
biomedical applications of photonic and optical fibre technology and in
recent years have worked on fibre-optic dosimetry for raditaion
treatment of cancer and on laser detection of the early stages of
The fibre drawing technique, where one starts with a macroscopic
artefact and then draws into into a microscopic filament retaining all
the geometric features, has always fascinated me. In 2001 I contributed
to the very early stages of the microstructed Polymer Optical Fibre
breakthrough. Since 2009, with colleagues and students, we have been
researching the application of this technique to the fabrication of
metamaterials - nanostructured metal-dielectric composites with
extraordinary optical properties such as negative refraction and
Publication list [updated 02/09/10]
Teaching and Research Student Projects
My responsibilities in undergraduate teaching are:
Whilst I have no formal role, I maintain a strong interest is the Masters
of Photonics and Optical Science.
My main areas of current research activity are in poling and
metamaterials and there are various possible projects that we can offer
at all levels from TSP to PhD. Additionally, I am especially interested
in biophotonics and, whilst I do not have any well-defined projects to
propose, I would be very haappy to discuss opportunities in this area
is it is of interest to you.
Poling is a technique that significantly modifies the properties of
glass to give it an important nonlinearity. Glass with this
nonlinearity can be used to switch light and to change the wavelength
of light. The main aspects of the mechanism of poling are understood,
however there is a lot as yet unknown. Student projects include
investigating the mechanisms to demonstrating the nonlinear behaviour.
Metamaterials are a very hot research topic. They are materials that
are made up of dielectrics and metals regularly patterened on a scale
that is much smaaller that light. With this structure they can behave
in ways that are impossible for naaturally occuring materials: they
caan demonstrate negative refractive index, permit imaging of objects
much smaller than the wavelength and provide invisibility. They are
however very hard to make. Our research innovation has been to apply
the techniques of optical fibre drawing to their fabrication. Students
projects include theoretical analysis of the materials and devices, and
experimental and theoretical investigation of their fabrication.
Biophotonics takes the photonic science and technology that have
revolutionised telecommunicatiosn over the last few decades and adapts
and applies it to solve biomedical problems. I have worked on the
application of special fibres to radiation treatment of cancer and to
early detection of dental decay. This is an exciting field which is
steadily gathering momentum. There are many possibilities and I would
be happy to discuss potential projects.
Chair of the Space and Infrastructure Committee 2008-Present
[More details coming soon]
Room: 311, Bldg. A28
Phone: 02 9114 0851