STEM Guest Lecture Series

STEM Guest Lecture Series

Welcome to our STEM guest lecture series comprising masterclasses delivered by leading ANU academic experts and researchers.

Each guest lecture will focus on a different discipline area and you can register to attend as many guest lectures as you would like. Participants will be expected to have some level of background knowledge (and ideally, would have completed some university-level courses) in the subject area of each lecture. 

We look forward to seeing you!

Please note the guest lectures will be recorded and the recordings will be made available on this page.

Wave propagation - a mathematical perspective

4.30pm 16 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

The propagation of waves in space, such as that of electromagnetic waves in telecommunication, is instrumental to many aspects of science and engineering. Various physical phenomena, such as...

About the speaker

Dr Po-Lam Yung studied harmonic analysis at Princeton University under the supervision of Professor Elias M. Stein (Wolf Prize Laureate 1999). He obtained his PhD in 2010, and has since taken up positions at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, University of Oxford, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong before being offered a Senior Lectureship at the Mathematical Sciences Institute at the ANU. Dr Yung's research revolves around harmonic analysis and related areas, with particular focus on singular integrals, Sobolev embeddings, time-frequency analysis, oscillatory integrals and Fourier decoupling. His work has been recognized by a Titchmarsh Fellowship from the University of Oxford, an Early Career Award from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.

Master of Science in Mathematical SciencesPhysicsEngineeringMathematics

Semiconductor nanostructures for optoelectronics applications

4.30pm 17 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

Semiconductors have played an important role in the development of information and communications technology, solar cells, solid state lighting.  Nanowires are considered as building blocks for the...

About the speaker

Professor Jagadish is a Distinguished Professor and Head of Semiconductor Optoelectronics and Nanotechnology Group in the Research School of Physics, Australian National University.   He is currently serving as Past President of IEEE Photonics Society.  Prof. Jagadish is the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Physics Reviews, Editor of 3 book series and serves on editorial boards of 19 other journals.  He has published more than 950 research papers (680 journal papers), holds 5 US patents, co-authored a book, co-edited 15 books and edited 12 conference proceedings and 18 special issues of Journals. He is a fellow of 11 Science and Engineering Academies and 14 Professional Societies. 

He received many awards including IEEE Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology, IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award, OSA Nick Holonyak Jr Award, IUMRS Somiya Award, UNESCO medal for his contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies and Lyle medal from Australian Academy of Science for his contributions to Physics. He has received Australia’s highest civilian honor, AC, Companion of the Order of Australia, for his contributions to physics and engineering, in particular nanotechnology. 

Master of Science in Precision Instrumentation & MeasurementMaster of Science in Quantum TechnologyPhysicsEngineeringAstronomy & Astrophysics

From Nanomaterials to Multi-Scale Devices for Future Health Engineering

4.30pm 18 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

Brain injury and disease results in neuronal loss and disruption of the brain parenchyma. Therefore, to achieve functional recovery post insult or disease, it is necessary to promote the long-term...

About the speaker

David Nisbet is a Professor who is jointly appointed between the Research School of Chemistry and the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. He is the head of the Laboratory of Advanced Biomaterials, with laboratories within both schools. Dave joined the ANU after completing his PhD at Monash University and postdoctoral Fulbright scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dave is passionate about developing novel biomaterials, and particularly about seeing the biomaterials developed for clinical applications. His research groups consist of team of engineers, chemists, and biologists, all working together to create novel materials to help combat injury and disease.

Master of Science in Materials Science (Advanced option available)PhysicsEngineeringChemistryBiologyHealth

What Sets the Masses of Stars?

4.30pm 22 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

The most important characteristic of star, which determines its properties and evolutionary path, is its mass at birth. Observations show that the most common birth mass is slightly smaller than the...

About the speaker

Mark Krumholz is a theoretical and computational astrophysicist whose research focuses on flows of interstellar gas, the formation of stars and galaxies, and numerical and statistical methods for astrophysical simulation and data analysis. He received his PhD in 2005 from the University of California, Berkeley, was a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University from 2005 - 2008, and was on the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz from 2008 - 2015. He has been a professor at the ANU since 2015.

Master of Science in Astronomy & AstrophysicsPhysicsAstronomy & Astrophysics

3D printing dynamic materials

4.30pm 23 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

Three-dimensional printing (3DP) is gaining momentum as a leading technology, which provides personalized solutions to advanced fabrication needs. Printed objects enable a broad range of applications...

About the speaker

Luke Connal is an Associate Professor Lecturer at the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University (ANU) where he is an ANU Future Fellow.  He received his PhD at the University of Melbourne and post-doctoral experience as the Sir Keith Murdoch Fellow at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research program is in the design of advanced polymeric materials for applied systems. He has been recognised by numerous awards such as the ACS Chemical and Engineering News Talented 12 and he is currently on the editorial board at Molecular Systems Design and Engineering.

Master of Science in Materials Science (Advanced option available)PhysicsEngineeringChemistryBiology

Health transitions and global population health challenges

4.30pm 24 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

In most low and middle income countries a profound transition is underway in patterns of health burden. Diseases of infection and poverty, and maternal and child health risks, are being joined by a...

About the speaker

Dr Matthew Kelly is a Research Fellow in the Department of Global Health within the Research School of Population Health, ANU. He has been conducting research on transitions in health burdens in the Asia-Pacific region for the last ten years. The main vehicle for this research has been a long running cohort study in Thailand, focusing on the rapid rise of non-communicable diseases in that setting. A second major research interest is in the strengthening of health information systems, particularly for mortality. In this field he is working in Indonesia with the Ministry of Health to build the first national registration system for mortality. He has also worked with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Division on improving information on mortality and its causes.

Master of Public HealthBiologyEnvironment & SustainabilityHealth

Earthquakes and tsunamis caused by low-angle normal faulting in the Banda Sea, Indonesia

4.30pm 25 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

While we'd like to think our knowledge of plate tectonics allows us to confidently identify the sources of large, destructive tsunamis, this isn't always the case. This is particularly true...

About the speaker

Prof Phil Cummins is an earthquake and tsunami scientist, specializing in earthquake sources, tsunami generation and early warning, as well as seismic and tsunami hazard, especially in Asia-Oceania.

Master of Earth SciencesMaster of Science in Earth SciencesEarth & Marine SciencesEngineeringEnvironment & Sustainability

Continuing the fight against malaria, despite the emergence of new infectious diseases

4.30pm 28 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

What do the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), the Italian painter Caravaggio (1571-1610) and the English poet Lord Byron (1788-1824) have in common? They all died of malaria! Deadly...

About the speaker

Kevin Saliba obtained a BSc (Chemistry) and a PhD (Pharmacology) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Kiaran Kirk at The Australian National University between 1997 and 2004. Late in 2004 he took up a lectureship at The Australian National University Medical School. He was promoted to senior lecturer in 2008, Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor in 2019. He is currently Head of the Division of Biomedical Science and Biochemistry at the Research School of Biology.

Master of Science in Biological SciencesMaster of BiotechnologyBiologyHealth

Uncovering the Secrets to Biological Complexity

4.30pm 29 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

Scientists have long sought to understand the origins of biological complexity, including what makes us, as humans, such complex beings. Early assumptions that the secret to complexity was tied up in...

About the speaker

Dr Lara Malins completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry at Boston University in 2009. She relocated to The University of Sydney as an International Postgraduate Research Scholar to undertake her PhD with Professor Richard Payne on the development of new peptide ligation strategies. Upon completion of her postgraduate work, Lara served as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Professor Phil Baran at The Scripps Research Institute, developing synthetic methods for the targeted modification of peptides.

She was appointed Research Fellow at the Research School of Chemistry in November 2017 and is currently a Senior Lecturer and Westpac Research Fellow.

Master of Science in Materials Science (Advanced option available)ChemistryBiologyHealth

Cenozoic intra-plate volcanism in Eastern Australia: The role of mantle plumes, plate motion and lithospheric structure

4.30pm 30 June 2021 (AEST) | Register

The majority of Earth’s volcanism is concentrated at tectonic plate boundaries, where plates move away from one another to create mid-ocean ridges, or where one plate slides beneath another to form a...

About the speaker

I am Senior Fellow at the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES), the ANU. I have developed some of the most advanced computational tools available for simulating geodynamical Earth processes and have applied these tools, alongside a variety of novel observational datasets, to significantly enhance understanding of the dynamics, structure and evolution of Earth’s mantle, as well as its expression at the surface.

My current research focusses on the solid Earth’s structure and evolution, including the mechanisms underpinning intra-plate volcanism, the topographic and geochemical expression of mantle flow, the force-balance governing tectonic plate motions, and the dynamical interpretation of seismic images.

Among other awards, I received the 2014 Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the Geodynamics Division of the European Geoscience Union and the 2018 Hales Medal from the Australian Academy of Sciences.

Master of Earth SciencesMaster of Science in Earth SciencesEarth & Marine SciencesEnvironment & Sustainability

The bright future of renewable energy

4.30pm 1 July 2021 (AEST) | Register

The price of renewable electricity has dropped lower than the price of conventional electricity in recent years. Globally, solar and wind now account for more than half of new electricity capacity....

About the speaker

Kylie Catchpole is a Professor at The Australian National University (ANU) School of Engineering. Her research interests include solar cells and solar fuels, as well as the broader energy transition. Professor Catchpole’s group has created world record efficiency solar cells, and their work on direct solar-tohydrogen generation was named among the top 10 innovations by the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) in 2020. She was awarded the inaugural John Booker Medal for Engineering Science from the Australian Academy of Science.

Computer ScienceEngineeringEnvironment & Sustainability

Solving Genome Puzzles

4.30pm 5 July 2021 (AEST) | Register

Genomics sequencing has created opportunities and challenges to gain new insights in biology and biomedical research. Genome sequencing data usually consists of millions or billions of short DNA...

About the speaker

Dr Yu Lin is a Senior Lecturer at The Australian National University (ANU) School of Computing. His research focuses on computational biology and bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary area at the intersection of computer science and biology. He has been working on designing new models and algorithms to address computational challenges for interpreting complex datasets – including genome assembly, metagenomics and comparative genomics. In 2020, Dr Lin received the Outstanding Contribution by an Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Society.

Computer ScienceBiologyHealth

‘Beauty and the Beast’: How emerging technology and Industry 5.0 will allow us to be more human

4.30pm 8 July 2021 (AEST) | Register

Many famous Sci-Fi movies feature artificial intelligence (AI) or robots going mad and killing all the humans. But in reality, AI is the only way we, as humans, are going to be able to cope with an...

About the speaker

Dr Catherine Ball is an Associate Professor at The Australian National University (ANU) School of Engineering. Associate Professor Ball is a scientific futurist, tech influencer, author, champion of diversity and drone expert. She works across global projects where emerging technologies meet humanitarian, education and environmental needs. Associate Professor Ball is a proponent of community engagement with STEM, and likes to demystify emerging tech. She continues to support Australia as being the world leader in the advancement of ethically driven technological applications.

Computer ScienceEngineering

Research Data Governance

4.30pm 13 July 2021 (AEST) | Register

Data is the lifeblood of modern research. From the Nobel Prize winning research of Professor Brian Schmidt on the expansion of the Universe, to the life-saving work testing the effectiveness of...

About the speaker

Paul Wong is a Senior Lecturer at The Australian National University (ANU) School of Cybernetics. His experience across academia, public service and industry over the last decade, has covered all aspects of the strategic use of data as an enterprise and national asset. Paul has managed enterprise class data and systems, played a key role in the establishment of a national consortium to support digital research infrastructure, and contributed to the improvement of research data management practices nationally. He is a member on domestic and international advisory panels in eResearch, data management, research assessment and national research infrastructure development.

Computer Science

Energy conversion and storage

4.30pm 15 July 2021 (AEST) | Register

Electricity contributes a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Solar photovoltaics and wind generation are now the lowest cost sources of new electricity capacity, and Australia is leading...

About the speaker

Dr Matthew Stocks is a Research Fellow at The Australian National University (ANU) School of Engineering. His research and development experience in renewable energy and photovoltaics spans more than 25 years. He has been chief investigator on several research projects, all examining aspects of renewable energy generation. These span from high efficiency solar cell concepts, through to studies supporting high penetration renewables including 100% renewable energy and sustainable transport. Dr Stock’s work on pumped hydro energy storage and integration of renewable energy in Australia has had wide engagement from industry, government and the general public, and received the Eureka Prize for Environmental Science in 2018.

EngineeringEnvironment & Sustainability