Theme Leaders

Theme Leaders are innovators in their field who work with our researchers, students and partners to identify and solve new and interdisciplinary challenges.

Professor Baohua Jia

Director: Centre for Translational Atomaterials

Prof. Jia is a University Research Leader in Nanophotonics Solar Technology, theme leader of Future Manufacturing Research Institute and leader of Laser and Nanomaterial Interaction (LNI) Group. Her expertise is on the control of the building blocks of materials on the atomic scale using light to develop high performance nano- and optoelectronics devices, including solar cells, water and air cleaners, fast-speed all-optical communications and intelligent manufacture.

Under the strategic and academic guidance of Director Professor Baohua Jia, CTAM, fosters an intellectually rigorous yet agile research environment that offers partners a flexible, responsive approach focused on the opportunities and challenges they face.

Associate Professor Chenghua Sun

Deputy director and Theme Leader –Atomic design

A./Prof. Chenghua Sun is an established computational chemist and material scientist. Over the last two decades, Dr Sun has been actively working on computer-aided materials design, atomic materials synthesis, engineering and commercilisation, mainly used for clean energy and clean environment applications. So far, this work has led to over 150 publications, with overall citations of 10000+ times. One of his research highlights is the synthesis of highly reactive titanium dioxide, as published by Nature in 2008, in which Dr Sun and his collaborators demonstrated how computational calculations can effectively improve lab-based materials research. In recent years, Dr Sun has been working on the design of advanced catalysts for various energy applications, including batteries, fuel cells, ammonia synthesis, etc. Dr Sun has been awarded three ARC grants, including two DPs and one Future Fellowship.

Professor Paul Stoddard

Theme Leader – Advanced Material Characterization

Prof. Paul Stoddart is Director of Swinburne’s ARC Training Centre in Biodevices (2014-2018). His research interests include applied optics and biophotonics with projects in the areas of fibre optic sensors, Raman spectroscopy and laser nerve stimulation. Professor Stoddart undertakes this research within the Applied Optics Group, which works closely with other research groups in biomedical engineering. This field offers opportunities to apply optical and photonics principles as biological systems respond well to a ‘light touch’. The advantages of non-contact interactions in biomedical applications are illustrated by our focus on laser nerve stimulation for bionic implants and optical biosensors. Before joining Swinburne, Professor Stoddart worked on industry-focused surface science and microanalysis problems in a national lab. His academic background includes gaining a PhD in laser spectroscopy from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Professor Xiaodong Huang

Theme Leader – Intelligent architecture

Prof. Xiaodong Huang is the Professor of Engineering Mechanics and ARC Future Fellow at Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology. Prof. Huang is an ARC Future Fellow on topology optimisation for three-dimensional periodic nanophotonic structures. His expertise includes topology optimisation methods, optimisation of advanced structures and materials, novel design of phononic and photonic materials and metamaterials. He obtained his Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from Swinburne in 2004, after an MEng in Solid Mechanics from Shanghai Jiaotong University. Before he joined Swinburne in 2017, he had worked at RMIT University since 2004. Over his academic career, Dr. Huang has won a number of awards: ARC APD fellowship; Early-Career Research Award by the Australian Academy of Science; RMIT Teaching Award; “1000 Youth Talents” by the Chinese government; and ARC Future Fellowship.


Professor Alan Lau

Theme Leader– Research commercialisation development

Prof. Alan Lau is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Performance and Development) of the University focusing on international relationships and partnerships and the university’s ranking strategy. His outstanding research performance lies in the fields of materials science and engineering and product design and development. He has received numerous research and teaching awards with some highlights including Best Paper Awards on Materials, The Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship Award, a Young Scientist Award, a Young Engineer of the Year Award, a Faculty Outstanding Award for Research and Scholarly Activities, an Award for Outstanding Research in Nanocomposites for Space Applications (USA) et al.

Professor Feng Wang

Theme Leader – Intelligent atomic Design

Prof. Feng Wang is a world-leading theoretician in molecular science with outstanding evidence of performance relative to opportunity. As a theoretical and computational chemist, she enables game changing for theoretical/computational chemistry from supporting and interpretation experimental results, to design and guiding theory led discoveries, by sitting above the maze in molecular and material science. Her research areas covers molecule structures and spectroscopy (MW, IR, Raman, X-ray, XPS, PES, EMS, UV-Vis, NMR and gamma-ray) for inorganic and organic molecules, materials and drug design, electron transfer and organic dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), quantum mechanical computing and computer machine learning (artificial intelligence) in chemistry.

Dr Rosalie Hocking

Theme Leader – Atomic material engineering

Dr. Rosalie Hocking is a chemist who leads a program studying small molecule transformations at Swinburne University of Technology. She is particularly fascinated with the chemical reactions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water as they key for the development of a carbon neutral economy. Her works uses a variety of analytical and chemical methodologies including the Australian synchrotron where her group are regular users of the XAS beamline.  Rosalie completed her PhD in physical and inorganic chemistry from the University Sydney in 2004. She has since held positions Stanford University/Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, CSIRO Land and Water, Monash University and James Cook University.  She has recently joined Swinburne University of Technology as a Vice Chancellor’s Women in STEM fellow & senior lecturer.

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