Executive Committee

Prof. Martijn de Sterke

Prof. Martijn De Sterke

Martijn de Sterke is a theoretical physicist, whose approach to his research is characterized by actively seeking collaborations with experimentalists. He has authored papers in the fields of optics and photonics, solid state physics, and acoustics, and these papers have appeared both in the physics and in the engineering literature.

In optics he has worked on a variety of problems in the areas of nonlinear optics (soliton physics, nonlinear propagation, numerical methods, optical frequency conversion, parametric amplification), wave propagation in random media, guided-wave optics, coupling of co- and contra-propagating modes in one-dimensional periodic media, photonic crystals, microstructured optical fibres, self-written gratings and waveguides, and optical Bloch oscillations.

Highlights of his publication record include: development of the theory of grating solitons, including the coupling of these solitons, the nonlinear theory of deep gratings; first experimental verification of these solitons, and the definitive experimental paper; definitive paper on the theory of Hill gratings; theory and first observation of self-writing of waveguides in glass; first calculation of local density of states in realistic photonic crystals for determining radiation dynamics; first study of birefringence, structural losses and the nature of modal cut-offs in microstructured optical fibres; first calculation of the modes of microstructured optical fibres with high-index inclusions; first general theory of frequency conversion in two-dimensionally poled structures, and the general optimization of these poling patterns; first general theory of dynamic localization in semiconductors under an applied uniform AC fields; and proposal and experimental verification of grating-dispersion inverted interference devices.

Prof. 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.

Assoc Prof. Stefano Palomba

Assoc Prof. Stefano Palomba

A/Prof Stefano Palomba is an Experimental Physicist in Nanophotonic and Nanoplasmonic technologies, aimed to design and develop the next generation of integrated optical devices. He is a Senior Lecturer in Experimental Nanophotonics and he is establishing a world class Nanophotonic and Nanoplasmonic experimental facility at the School of Physics. The facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art femtosecond-OPO laser system for visible and infrared investigations along with a Near Field Scanning Optical Microscope for Nano-Optic research and a wide range of other vital equipment necessary to achieve breakthroughs in Nanophotonics.

He completed his Laurea degree as Optoelectronic Engineer at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy in 2002 and a Nanotechnology specialization course at the Universita' degli Studi (Italy - 2003). He earned a PhD degree in Nanoscale Physics from the Nanoscale Physics Research Laboratory at the University of Birmingham (UK - 2007). In the years 2007-2009 he worked as Postdoctoral Fellow in Professor Lukas Novotny’s Nano-Optics group at the Institute of Optics, the University of Rochester (NY, USA). From 2009 to 2011, he worked as Research Fellow in Professor Xiang Zhang's group at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). In the years 2011-2013,he worked as Research ScientistatKLA-Tenco rCorporation, Milpitas (California, USA), in the Technology Group, Wafer Inspection Division. In 2013 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney.

Stefano’s expertise in Nanophotonics, Plasmonics, Linear and Nonlinear Optics, Condensed Matter Physics, Metamaterials and Biophysics has led to various high impact publications and Technical Presentations at internationally recognised meetings.

Prof. Joss Bland-Hawthorn

Prof. Joss Bland-Hawthorn

Joss Bland-Hawthorn is the most recent recipient of a Federation Fellowship at the University of Sydney where he holds a chair in Physics.

Joss has over 200 research papers, and is world renowned for his breakthroughs in astrophysics and in instrumentation. In 1986, he obtained his PhD in astrophysics from the Royal Greenwich Observatory prior to taking up faculty appointments in Hawaii and Texas.

In 1993, he moved to the Anglo-Australian Observatory where he was Head of a highly successful group that pioneered astronomical concepts with names like Nod & Shuffle, Dazle, Starbugs, Honeycomb, and so on. Joss has carried out pioneering work on tunable filters, gratings and interplanetary laser communications.

In 2002, he proposed the new field of astrophotonics that sits at the interface of astronomy and photonics – in Feb 2009, this field was featured in the Focus Issue of Optics Express.

Joss is a recipient of the 2008 Muhlmann Award for experimental astronomy; he is also a recipient of the inaugural 2008 Group Achievement Award from the Royal Astronomical Society, London for his role in the highly acclaimed 2dF Galaxy Redshift survey that first mapped the 3D structure of the Universe.

Dr Sergio G. Leon-Saval

Dr Sergio G. Leon-Saval

Sergio G. Leon-Saval was awarded his PhD by the University of Bath, UK, in 2006. In October 2007 he joined the Optical Fibre Technology Centre (OFTC) in Sydney, Australia. In 2009, he moved to the University of Sydney, where he is currently part of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS) Executive Committee; Senior Member of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA); a Faculty Member of the School of Physics; and Director of the Sydney Astrophotonics Instrumentation Laboratory (SAIL). Dr Leon-Saval has more than 13 years of experience in the research area of photonics, optical fibre devices and astronomical/space instrumentation. His major expertise is on optical fibre transitions for device applications. More recently his research has focused on the development of photonic new concepts for astronomical instrumentation and spectroscopy, telecommunications and remote sensing for the farming industry.

Dr Leon-Saval has co-authored over 70 international refereed journals and more than 110 conference papers since 2004 with over >4700 citations, and a h-index of 35. He is a reviewer and editor for several international technical programme committees (TPC); and a member of international organisations such as the Optical American Society (Senior Member), IEEE, and the Optical Australian Society.