School seminars

School seminars

School Seminar Schedule

The School holds regular seminars presented by guest speakers and academic staff. These are open to all students and Macquarie staff to attend.

2019 Seminar Series

Seminar 1 - 28th February

Date: Thursday, 28th February 2019

Time: 12 - 1pm

Venue: 75 Talavera Road Continuum Meeting Room

Speaker: Professor Albert Polman, Center for Nanophotonics, AMOLF, Netherlands

Title: Silicon-based optical metasurfaces

Abstract:

We present the design and realization of optical metasurfaces for applications in enhanced photovoltaics, integrated optics and optical computing, and present a unique tool to characterize these geometries at deep-subwavelength spatial resolution.

The building blocks in our work are dense periodic and aperiodic arrays of crystalline silicon nanocylinders made using soft-imprint or electron beam lithography. In photovoltaic metasurfaces resonant Lambertian light scattering from Si Mie scatterers creates photovoltaic modules with well-defined colours. We then show how Si Mie scatterers can be arranged into topological photonic crystals, and use cathodoluminescence spectroscopy to characterize the topological bandstructures and unidirectional edge states. Finally, we will shows how we tailor the dispersion of Si metasurfaces such that they can perform first- and second-order derivative mathematical operations on optical input fields, creating a fully passive method for optical image recognition.

Seminar 2 - 11th March

Date: Monday, 11th March 2019

Time: 12 - 1pm

Venue: Room 801, 12 Wally's Walk

Speaker: Subir kumar Sarkar, Jadavpur University

Title: Computation without power dissipation: searching possibilities

Abstract:

Power consumption and power-related issues have become a first-order concern for most designs and loom as fundamental barriers for many others. While the primary method used to date for reducing power has been supply voltage reduction, this technique begins to lose its effectiveness as voltages drop to below one volt and further reductions in the supply voltage begin to create more problems than are solved. Under these circumstances, the process of design and the automation tools required to support that process become the critical success factors. In the last decade, huge effort has been invested to come up with a wide range of design solutions that help solve the power dissipation problem for different types of electronic devices, components and systems. These techniques range from RTL power management and multiple voltage assignment, to power-aware logic synthesis and physical design, to memory and bus interface design. A number of representative low-power design techniques from this large set are explained. More precisely, basic techniques are described, that are applicable at RT-level and below, and have proved to hold good potential for power optimisation. The growing market of mobile, battery-powered electronic systems (e.g., cellular phones, personal digital assistants, etc.) demands the design of microelectronic circuits with low power dissipation. More generally, as density, size, and complexity of the chips continue to increase, the difficulty in providing adequate cooling might either add significant cost or limit the functionality of the computing systems which make use of those integrated circuits. In the past ten years, several techniques, methodologies and tools for designing low-power circuits have been presented in the scientific literature. However only a few of them have found their way in current design flows. The purpose of this paper is to summarize, mainly by way of examples, what in our experience are the most trustful approaches to low-power design. In other words, our contribution should not be intended as an exhaustive survey of the existing literature on low-power design; rather, we would like to provide insights a designer can rely upon when power consumption is a critical constraint. We will focus solely on digital circuits, and we will restrict our attention to CMOS devices, this technology being the most widely adopted in current VLSI systems in practical design environments.

Seminar 3 - 2nd April

Date: Tuesday, 2nd April 2019

Time: 12 to 1pm

Venue: 44 Waterloo Road, Room G50

Speaker: Nathan Chang, UNSW

Title: A techno-economic analysis method developed for low TRL PV technologies and its potential wider application

Abstract:

When developing new technologies it is important to meet certain technical milestones, and this can take many years to achieve. During this development, it can be helpful to consider the projected costs and benefits of the end product to ensure a competitive value proposition can be made to the end users. Such techno-economic analysis combines commercial and technical factors and can help guide the directions of technology development towards commercialisation more quickly than if the technical milestones are addressed in isolation. However, a detailed techno-economic analysis is particularly difficult to conduct when at a low Technology Readiness Level (TRL), as there are significant uncertainties in how the technology will be realised, what it might cost, what its performance will be, and how it will be valued in the marketplace.
Nathan addressed these difficulties within the solar photovoltaic (PV) technology space while completing his PhD within the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The method he developed incorporates the uncertainty of a multitude of cost, performance and market factors into a Monte Carlo model, and has been usefully applied to developing PV technologies at a range of TRLs. One of the key benefits of this method is the rapid identification of cost and uncertainty drivers without excessive use of resources (which would be required to collect highly accurate data). This information can then be used to identify cost and performance related objectives for researchers and is particularly well suited to early-stage technologies with many significant uncertainties, and with few resources available for commercial analysis.
In this seminar, Nathan will outline the method and show how it has been applied to a number of PV technologies, and hopes that it will promote discussion of its applicability to other engineering areas. He will also demonstrate some tools he has been developing to allow easier collaboration with research groups to apply his method more widely.

Bio:

Nathan Chang is an Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) Postdoctoral Fellow, based at UNSW. He is continuing the work he started in his recently completed PhD, focusing on manufacturing cost analysis of various PV technologies to help with understanding and progressing their commercial viability. Before this, he worked for over 15 years in the photovoltaics industry (in both R&D and manufacturing) at Pacific Solar, CSG Solar and Suntech R&D Australia. During that time, one of his responsibilities was the Cost of Ownership analysis of the CSG Solar thin film Si technology as it progressed from the lab to commercial production. He completed his MBA in 2007 and BE (Electrical) in 1997.

Seminar 4 - 7th May

Date: Tuesday, 7th May 2019

Time: 12 to 1pm

Venue: 44 Waterloo Road, Room G50

Speaker: Professor Graham Town, Macquarie University

Title: Electric vehicles in the grid - intermittent storage balancing intermittent generation

Abstract:

During 2017-2018 several countries flagged their intention to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles over the coming two decades. This is expected to accelerate the electrification of transport and uptake of electric vehicles, increasing the demand for electricity by approximately 20%. During this period the proportion of distributed and renewable generation sources is also expected to increase to meet CO2 emission targets. It is well known that storage can compensate for the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation, and that the storage available in electric vehicles is substantially larger than that available in current fixed domestic installations. However, the battery storage in electric vehicles must also be regarded as intermittent, i.e. only available when the vehicle is parked, and then with availability as a sink (G2V) or a source (V2G) of energy constrained by travel patterns and plans. In this paper recent work investigating the use of electric vehicles to support renewable energy generation will be reported, together with an overview of V2G trials being conducted in Denmark in which the author participated mid-2018.

Bio:

Graham E. Town(S’87–M’89 - SM'06) received the B.E. degree with first class honors from the New South Wales Institute of Technology, Sydney, Australia, in 1984, the Ph.D. degree from the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, in 1992, and a Grad. Cert. in Higher Education Leadership and Management from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, in 2007.

From 1978 to 1985, he was with Amalgamated Wireless Australasia, where he was a Trainee Engineer, and subsequently Engineer, and worked on a variety of projects including the Interscan microwave landing system and the development of first-generation optical fiber communication systems. In 1985, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Sydney to undertake research in the area of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and was appointed Lecturer in 1991, Senior Lecturer in 1996, and Associate Professor in 2002. He was also an academic member of the Australian Photonics Cooperative Research Centre from 1992 to 2002. In 2002 he joined the Department of Electronics at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, where he established that University's undergraduate engineering degree program, and is currently a Professor in the School of Engineering.

Prof Town is author or coauthor of over 250 refereed journal and conference papers and several patents. His research contributions have been diverse, including nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, guided-wave optics and photonics, terahertz technology, and engineering education. Since 2012 has been leading industry-supported research on power electronics for compact and efficient power converters and inverters, and future “smart” power systems with a focus on energy management and grid integration of electric vehicles.

Professor Town is an invited Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and a member of Engineers Australia Energy Policy Advisory Board.

Seminar 5 - 4th June

Date: Tuesday, 4th June 2019

Time: 12 to 1pm

Venue: 44 Waterloo Road, Room G50

Speaker: Matt Linney, Autonomous Energy

Title: Commercial solar power systems

Seminar 6 - 2nd July

Date: Tuesday, 2nd July 2019

Time: 12 to 1pm

Venue: 44 Waterloo Road, Room G50

Speaker: Alexander Arriola,Macquarie University

Title: Interferometry

Seminar 7 - 6th August

Date:  Tuesday, 6th August 2019

Time: 12 to 1pm

Venue: 44 Waterloo Road, Room G50

Speaker: Professor Karu Esselle, Macquarie University

Seminar 9 - 1st October

Date: Tuesday, 1st October 2019

Time: 12 to 1pm

Venue: 44 Waterloo Road, Room G50

Speaker: Anita Ho-Baillie, Macquarie University

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