Our people

Our people

Professor Jason Twamley

Centre Director

Professor Jason Twamley

Professor Jason Twamley is a leading researcher in the theoretical physics of quantum science and technology with a particular emphasis on hybrid quantum systems – systems where one marries together different types of quantum systems to achieve an overall functionality which no one subsystem possesses. Professor Twamley originally trained as a lecturer in Ireland and there pioneered many European Union projects focusing on fullerene and diamond based quantum technologies and won a number of EU STREPS and Integrated Projects.

Since 2005, Professor Twamley has worked at Macquarie University as the Professor of Quantum Information Science and has developed expertise in superconducting, diamond, nanomechanical, magnetic and atomic quantum technologies. His particular focus is on developing quantum sensors where quantum effects can provide society with more precise and functional sensors for use in a variety of settings, examples being magnetometers and inertial sensors. Together with Associate Professor Gavin Brennen he conceived of a new field of quantum technology: quantum magneto-mechanics where one uses magnetic fields for levitating and trapping quantum objects.

Professor Twamley has strong research collaborations with Germany and the diamond research groups of Prof Jelezko and Wrachtrup, in China with the groups of Profs Peng Xue, Mang Feng and Keyu Xia and in Japan with Thomas Busch.

Department of Physics and Astronomy Members

 NameContact Details

Rich Mildren
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Deputy Director, ARC Future Fellow, Winner of the 2017 Eureka prizes

Rich Mildren (Australian Research Council Future Fellow 2010-2014) is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His research is in the development of novel and versatile photonic sources, instrumentation and applications. His PhD and early postdoctoral research was in the plasma kinetics of high power metal vapour lasers. He has studied ultrafast lasers at the National Research Council in Pisa, Italy. For 3 years (2005-2008) he led R&D for a University spin-off company in wavelength-switchable medical lasers, during which time he brought several medical laser products through to the stage of medical device regulatory approval. His most recent focus, conducted in the MQ Photonics Research Centre, is in the nonlinear optical phenomena in advanced optical materials including in synthetic diamond. Latest research results and news can be found on the Diamond Laser Group website.

He was recipient of the 2017 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia.

E6B-7 Wally's Walk 2.606
E: rich.mildren@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 8965

Gavin Brennen
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Associate Professor, ARC CoE EQuS

Gavin Brennen joined the faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University in 2007 and is a CI in the ARC Centre for Excellence in Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS). He leads a theory research group working on many body quantum information, quantum simulation & computation, including implementations of quantum technologies with AMO and superconducting systems. Gavin hails from Fairbanks, Alaska and completed his PhD studies at the University of New Mexico, followed by work as a post-doc at NIST Gaithersburg, and Senior Scientist at IQOQI, Innsbruck.

E6B-7 Wally's Walk 2.611
E: gavin.brennen@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 4445

James Downes
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Assoicate Professor

James Downes (B.Sc. (Hons) Victoria University 1995, Ph.D. Boston University 2004) is a Lecturer in the Department of Physics. His research involves the thin-film growth of novel semiconductor materials and the study of their electronic structure using neutron- and synchrotron-based techniques. In particular his research on organic semiconductors concentrates on understanding the interactions at organic-organic and organic-metal interfaces, and learning how to modify these interfaces in a controlled manner using photo-chemical techniques. James Downes' research rare-earth nitride materials is centred on using synchrotron-based soft x-ray emission and absorption spectroscopies and neutron scattering techniques to understand the detailed electronic and magnetic structures of these materials, with a view to enhancing their properties for use in optoelectronic and spintronic applications.

E6B-7 Wally's Walk, Room 2.710
E: james.downes@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 8900

Alex Fuerbach
Centre for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS)
Associate Professor

Alex Fuerbach was born in Vienna, Austria. He received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Vienna University of Technology in 1999 and 2001, respectively, in the group of Prof. Ferenc Krausz. In 2000 he joined Femtolasers Produktions GmbH in Vienna as a Research Scientist and was responsible for the development of novel ultrashort-pulsed Ti:Sapphire oscillators. In 2004 he became a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney where he studied nonlinear optical pulse propagation effects in novel waveguiding structures.

He is now Associate Professor at Macquarie University where his principal research interests are the generation of ultrashort laser pulses in the mid-infrared spectral region.

Alex is also Director of Education and Training for the renewed Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS).

E6B-7 Wallys Walk 2.611
E: alex.fuerbach@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 6145

Lachlan Rogers
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Lachlan Rogers completed his PhD at ANU (Canberra) working under Professor Neil Manson.  He worked on the fundamental physics of the nitrogen vacancy centre in diamond, and discovered the infrared transition that plays an important role in optically-induced spin polarisation.  After three semesters of full-time lecturing, he moved to Germany to work in the labs of Professor Fedor Jelezko at Ulm.  There Lachlan began work on the silicon vacancy centre in diamond, and has been central the development of optical access to electronic spin in this colour centre.

E6B- 7 Wally's Walk
E: lachlan.rogers@mq.edu.au

David Spence
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Prof Spence received an MPhys degree (1997) and a DPhil (2001) from Oxford University, UK. Following two years as a Research Assistant in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford, he moved to Macquarie University in 2004, where he completed an ARC Research fellowship (APDF). He now holds a professorship in the MQ Photonics research centre. His research focuses on novel solid state lasers. Two main strands of research focus are tunable and ultrafast UV lasers, and nonlinear conversion of laser sources, including UV, visible, IR, and THz sources.

E6B-7 Wally's Walk, Room 2.709
E: david.spence@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 8973

Michael Steel
Centre for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS)
Professor, Head of Physics & Astronomy

Mike Steel was awarded a B.Sc.(Hons) and PhD (1996) from the University of Sydney for research in the multiple wavelength interactions in nonlinear optical fibre Bragg gratings. After postdoctoral work in quantum optics at the University of Auckland and photonic crystals at Columbia University, he joined the photonics software company RSoft Design Group, Inc. In seven years at RSoft, he designed and developed a number of widely used photonics modelling software packages, including BandSOLVE, the world's first commercial photonic band structure analysis tool. He joined MQ Photonics in the Dept of Physics at Macquarie University in 2007. His research interests include polarization properties of photonic crystal fibres, design of high-Q photonic crystal cavities, slow light structures, magnetic photonic crystals and quantum light sources in waveguides and nanosystems.

E6B-7 Wally's Walk 2.713

E: michael.steel@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 8916

Thomas Volz
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Associate Professor

Chief Investigator Volz has successfully worked with different quantum systems, from ultracold quantum gases to integrated quantum photonic devices to nanodiamonds. He has made major contributions to each field. His work on Feshbach resonances in rubidium 87 and the creation and study of ultracold molecules is widely recognised. In quantum photonics, CI Volz demonstrated the creation of strongly correlated photons and ultrafast single-photon switching on a semiconductor chip. CI Volz runs several labs including the Low Temperature Cavity lab at CSIRO and the Nanodiamond Science lab at Macquarie University. The main focus of both labs lies on researching and exploring new ways to fabricate/harness materials which are relevant in quantum technologies. In particular, the main directions at present are quantum sensing with nanodiamonds, nanoscale light-matter interfaces and quantum optomechanics with levitated/trapped nanodiamonds.

E6B-7 Wally's Walk 2.609
E: thomas.volz@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 8261

Daniel Burgarth
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Senior Lecturer
E6B-7 Wally's Walk 2.611
T: +61 (2) 9850 4164

Mikolaj Schmidt
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Mikolaj Schmidt studies the optical and elastic response of nanoscale systems to enhance and control the interaction of light and vibrations with molecules and atoms.
E6B-7 Wally's Walk 2.407
T: +61 (2) 9850 4164

Partner Members from Other Department

 NameContact Details

Darren Bagnall
Department of Engineering 

T: +61 (2) 9850 9071

Michael Heimlich
Department of Engineering

Professor Heimlich received the BS (magna cum laude), ME, and PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has had research internships at Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY, USA), IBM Research (Yorktown Heights, NY, USA), and M/A-COM (Lowell, MA, USA). Mike is a senior member of the IEEE and has served on the technical program committee for IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC). He has published in a variety of areas including semiconductor defect recognition, antenna design, microwave photonics, and design flow and has been an invited speaker. He holds a patent in several areas spanning software engineering and wireless systems.

E6B-7 Wally's Walk, Room 145
E: michael.heimlich@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 1095

David Inglis
Department of Engineering
Senior Lecturer

E6B-7 Wally's Walk, Room 127
E: david.inglis@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 9144

Alex Fuerbach

Sourabh Khandelwal
Department of Engineering
Senior Lecturer

Dr. Sourabh Khandelwal is a Senior Lecturer at the Dept. of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He research on industry standard compact models for advanced semiconductor devices such as FinFETs (BSIM-CMG model), FDSOI (BSIM-IMG model) is being used in advanced circuit design by several semiconductor companies. He is lead developer of ASM-GaN-HEMT compact model, which is in final phase of becoming world's first industry standard compact model for the emerging GaN technology.

7 Wally's Walk, Room 131
E: sourabh.khandelwal@mq.edu.au

Louise Brown
Macquarie University Centre for Analytical Biotechnology
Senior Lecturer

Louise Brown obtained her PhD in muscle biophysics from The University of Sydney and completed two postdoctoral fellowships at Florida State University and The University of New South Wales. With the support of an ARC APD fellowship, she set up her lab at Macquarie University in 2005. Her team uses structural biology, biophysical, and material chemistry approaches to unravel the intricacies of complex protein-protein interactions with outcomes pertinent to biotechnology. As a recognized leader in spin labeling for magnetic resonance, she explores structure-function relationships of large dynamic protein systems. With new perspectives from synthetic biology, a current ARENA funded project in the lab (with Prof Robert Willows) engages with the renewable energy sector to produce hydrogen from genetically engineered microorganisms. She is passionately engaged in training our next generation of molecular scientists to be engaged, motivated and entrepreneurial problem solvers; and through the iGEM competition, has helped mentor 9 award winning iGEM teams since 2010.

E8C-6 Wally's Walk 305
E: louise.brown@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 8294

Lindsay Parker

Lindsay Parker
Department of Molecular Sciences

6 Wally's Walk, Room 256
E: lindsay.parker@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 8269

Paul Sowman
Department of Cognitive Sciences
Associate Professor

16 University Avenue, Room 3.824
E: paul.sowman@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 6732

Advisory Board

Chair: Dr Dan Twichen, Element Six, UK

Dr Twichen has a PhD from Oxford and leads Element Six, the world’s foremost company for the production and application of synthetic diamond materials.

Dr Graeme Malcome OBE, CEO and Founder of M Squared Lasers, UK

Dr Malcome developed the company M Squared lasers from his PhD in physics and is now a global leader in the development of laser photonics as applied to quantum technology, biophotonics and chemical sensing.

Ass Prof Nathalie De Leon, Dept of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, USA

Prof De Leon graduated from Harvard in 2011 and an expert in diamond material science. She was one out of 84 researchers in the USA to be awarded the USA Department of Energy’s Early Career Award.

Dr Scott Foster, Principal Scientist, Undersea Sensor Technology, Defence Science and Technology Group DST, Edinburgh, South Australia

Dr Foster has expertise in developing advanced sensors for defence purposes using a range of physics and technology.

Mr Shaun Wilson, CEO Shoal Group

Shaun Wilson is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of systems engineering house, Shoal, a firm which focuses on conceptual design of large, complex defence and transportation systems in Canberra.


NameContact Details

Robert Williams
Research Fellow

6 Science Road, Room 311
E: robert.williams@mq.edu.au
Amanuel Berhane
Research Fellow
14 Eastern Rd, Room 313
Ondrej Kitzler
Research Fellow 
14 Eastern Road (E8A) 311
E:  ondrej.kitzler@mq.edu.au
Wei He
Research Fellow
16 University Avenue, Room 3.504
E: wei.he@mq.edu.au
Matt Sanderson
Research Fellow
Nick Benikos
Technical Research and Innovation Specialist
Yuval Sanders
Research Fellow
7 Wally's Walk, Room 2.406
Zahra Khabir 
Samerra Iqbal 
Mikolaj K. Schmidt
Research Fellow


Christopher Baldwin
PhD Student
E: christopher.baldwin@hdr.mq.edu.au
Zhenxu Bai
PhD Student 
E: zhenxu.bai@students.mq.edu.au

Mojtaba Moshkani
PhD Student
E: mojtaba.moshkani@mq.edu.au


Xuezong Yang
PhD Student
E: xuezong.yang@students.mq.edu.au

Muye Li
PhD Student
E: muye.li@hdr.mq.edu.au
Nabomita Roy Mukty
E: nabomita-roy.mukty@hdr.mq.edu.au

Elisabeth Wagner
PhD Student
E: elisabeth.wagner@students.mq.edu.au

Fatima tuz Zahra
PhD student
E: fatima-tuz-zahra.fatima-tuz@students.mq.edu.au
Mina Ghanimi Fard
PhD student
E: mina.ghanimi-fard@hdr.mq.edu.au
Minakshi Das
PhD student
E: minakshi.das@hdr.mq.edu.au
Emma Wilson
PhD student
E: emma.wilson@mq.edu.au

Margaret Ryan
PhD Student
E: margaret.ryan@mq.edu.au


Hannah Rappaport
PhD Student
E: hannah.rapaport@hdr.mq.edu.au


Jordan Wehrman
PhD Student
E: jordan.wehrman@mq.edu.au

Tatiana Izmaylova
PhD Student
E: tatiana.izmaylova@hdr.mq.edu.au
Judy (Di) Zhu
PhD Student
Robert Seymour
PhD Student
E: robert.seymour@mq.edu.au
Aydin Anic
PhD Student
E: aydin.anic@mq.edu.au
Ana Murteira
PhD Student
E: ana.murteira@mq.edu.au
Andrea Constantino
PhD Student
Leonie Lampe
PhD Student
E: leonie.lampe@mq.edu.au
Poonam Kumari
PhD Student
E: poonam.kumari@hdr.mq.edu.au
David Collin
PhD student
Daniel R. Blay
PhD student
E: daniel.blay@mq.edu.au
Matt van Breugel
PhD student
E: matthew.van-breugel@hdr.mq.edu.au
Sarath Raman Nair
PhD student
E: sarath.raman-nair@hdr.mq.edu.au
Jemy Geordy
PhD student
E: jemy.geordy@hdr.mq.edu.au
Omar Muhieddine
PhD student
E: omar.muhieddine@hdr.mq.edu.au
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