Dr Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture 2013

We are very pleased to announce our speaker for the 2013 Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture will be Professor Fiorenzo (Fio) Omenetto from Tufts University.

Event Details

Date: Monday, 4 November 2013
Time: 4:45 p.m. for 5 p.m. start
Venue: Eastern Avenue Complex, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney

Watch or download the video of the Dr Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture 2013 here.

The multiple forms of silk - from ancient textile to future technology

Silk, the millennia-old thread of luxury, offers unexpected and compelling options for use as a new material for technological applications.

The natural protein (fibroin) that composes the natural silk threads is extracted and used as the starting point for a biocompatible material platform with utility in photonics and electronics, ranging from nanoscale optical lattices to metamaterials, to electronic components [1-5].
The unusual combination of properties found in this material platform (polymorphic, biocompatible, all-water-processed, controllably degradable, edible, biologically active) allow for an unusual combination of form and function, enabling a series of devices that bridge the biological and technological words.

This lecture will weave this thread across the multiple possibilities that silk offers from the nano- to the macro scale and describe a new way of looking at this familiar material.


1. F. G. Omenetto and D. L. Kaplan, Nature Photonics, 2 (11), 2008 2. P. Domachuk, et al., Applied Physics Letters 95 (25), 253702, 2009 3. F. G. Omenetto and D. L. Kaplan, Science, 329, 5991, 528, 2010 4. Hu Tao, Jana M. Kainerstorfer, et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 109, 19584, 2012 5. Suk-Won Hwang, Hu Tao, et al., Science, 337, 1640, 2012

Professor Fiorenzo (Fio) Omenetto, Tufts University

Professor Fiorenzo (Fio) Omenetto, Tufts University


Fiorenzo Omenetto is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and leads the laboratory for Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics and Biophotonics at Tufts University and also holds an appointment in the Department of Physics. Formerly a J. Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining Tufts, his research interests cover optics, nanostructured materials (such as photonic crystals and photonic crystal fibres), nanofabrication, and biopolymer-based photonics. He has published over 100 papers and peer-review contributions across these various disciplines.

Since moving to Tufts at the end of 2005, he has proposed and pioneered (with David Kaplan) the use of silk as a material platform for photonics, optoelectronics and high-technology applications. This new research platform has been featured in MIT’s Technology Review magazine as one of the 2010 “top ten technologies likely to change the world”. He was named one of the top-50 people in tech by Fortune magazine in a class of 50 featuring Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Shigeru Miyamoto among others.

VIDEO | Dr Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture 2013

67:11 minutes Download video (mp4, 1370.96 Mb)

Dr Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture

The Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture series was established to honour and commemorate Dr Domachuk's outstanding contribution and commitment to optofluidics and biophotonics research. Peter Domachuk joined the School of Physics in 2003. His research is recognised globally with the successful publication of 36 journal papers. The Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture was initiated by his parents in 2013 with the collaboration of the University of Sydney’s School of Physics and the Faculty of Science, and administered by the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS).

The aim of the biennial Peter Domachuk Memorial Lecture is to attract the brightest minds and visionary thinkers in Optical and Experimental Physics. The lecture series aspires to attract the world's leading physicists to come to the University of Sydney to share information with students, academics and researchers and stimulate new and important lines of enquiry.

Dr Peter Domachuk

Dr Domachuk

Dr Domachuk completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degree in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. His PhD, under the supervision of Professor Ben Eggleton, was in the field of optofluidics and he published a series of landmark articles on the topic.

In 2006, Dr Domachuk was one of the first PhD student graduates of the CUDOS program. He then took a postdoctoral position at Tufts University in Boston, with Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto in the emerging field of biophotonics. At Tufts, he was part of ground breaking demonstrations in the field of silk photonics, bringing science closer to implantable, biocompatible optical components.

Dr Domachuk returned to the University of Sydney’s School of Physics in 2009 and was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow in the CUDOS/IPOS group at the University of Sydney. Dr Domachuk published many high profile papers on the topic of optofluidics and biophotonics - he had 36 journal papers published in total. At the University of Sydney he initiated a new program in biophotonics (silk photonics and optofluidics), established new laboratories, supervised students and built commercial opportunities and links with hospitals and the community including his collaboration with Visual Artist Fiona Davies on her Blood on Silk series of works.

The biennial Memorial Lecture was set up in honour of Dr Peter Domachuk, who passed away unexpectedly in December 2012.