Plenary Speakers

Prof. Federico Capasso (joining us virtually)
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University

Federico Capasso is the Robert Wallace Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard University, which he joined in 2003 after a 27-years career at Bell Labs from postdoc to Physical Research VP. He pioneered bandgap engineering of heterostructure materials and devices, including the quantum cascade laser, metasurface based flat optics, MEMS based on the Casimir effect and measured for the first time the repulsive Casimir force. He is a member of NAS, NAE and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). His awards include the Balzan Prize for Applied Photonics, the King Faisal Prize, the APS Arthur Schawlow Prize, the AAAS Rumford Prize, the IEEE Edison Medal, OSA’s R. W. Wood Prize, the Materials Research Society Medal, and the Witherill medal of the Franklin Institute. In 2021, he received the Fredric Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize. 

Prof. Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop
Director of Quantum Science Laboratory, School of Mathematics and Physics,
The University of Queensland 

Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop has long standing experience with lasers, linear and nonlinear high-resolution spectroscopy, laser micromanipulation, and atom cooling and trapping. She was one of the originators of the widely used laser enhanced ionisation spectroscopy technique and is well known for her recent work in laser micromanipulation. She has been also working (Nanotechnology Laboratory, Göteborg, Sweden) in the field of nano- and microfabrication in order to produce the microstructures needed for optically driven micromachines and tips for the scanning force microscopy with optically trapped stylus. Recently she led the team that observed dynamical tunnelling in quantum chaotic system. Additionally Prof. Rubinsztein-Dunlop has led the new effort into development of new nano-structured quantum dots for quantum computing and other advanced device related applications. Her research interests are  in the fields of atom optics, laser micromanipulation, nano optics, quantum computing and biophotonics. 

Dr. Danuta Sampson

Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science (Incorporating Lions Eye Institute),
The University of Western Australia 

Dr Sampson is a senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia, a senior research fellow at the Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Western Australia and 2017 Ambassador of the Optica. Her research focuses on designing and constructing non-invasive imaging instruments based on optical coherence tomography for ophthalmology and developing standardised workflows for ophthalmic image and data analysis. Beyond research, she is passionate about science communication and developing a more inclusive society. She has been involved in over 30 outreach programs for schools, invited to speak at several events encouraging female students to enter STEM, and served as a mentor to female high school and university students. Recently, she published her first children's book, “Jesse explores vision impairment,” to raise awareness about vision impairment.

Dr. Jiawen Li

School of Electrical and  Mechanical Engineering, The University of Adelaide

Dr Jiawen Li is a Fellow of L’Oréal-UNESCO, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and National Heart Foundation, and a Senior Lecturer at School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, the University of Adelaide. She received Bachelor’s degree in Optical Engineering from Zhejiang University (China) in 2010, and PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of California Irvine (USA) in 2015. Since finishing her PhD, Dr Li has secured $3 million research funding as the lead chief/principal investigator. She is one of the MIT Technology Review Global 35 Innovators under 35, the only one from Australia being selected in 2023. She has also won numerous prestigious awards and honours, including Young Tall Poppy Science Award, Superstar of STEM, Australian and New Zealand Optical Society Geoff Opat Early Career Researcher Prize, Heart Foundation Paul Korner Innovation Award. Dr Li’s research focuses on multimodal imaging, ultrathin endoscopes, optical sensing, 3D micro-printing, and optical coherence tomography.

Dr. Rose Ahlefeldt

Research School of Physics, The Australian National University

Dr Rose Ahlefeldt completed her PhD at ANU in 2013, studying europium crystals as a platform for quantum computing. She then worked as a postdoc at Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, France, as well as at Montana State University, USA on a Fulbright Scholarship. She returned to ANU in 2016, where she is now a Senior Research Fellow. In 2018 she was named the Australian Capital Territory Scientist of the Year. Her research focuses in two main areas: studying interactions in rare earth crystals through theoretical models and high-resolution optical spectroscopy, and optimising rare earth crystals for use in quantum information, including as quantum memories, quantum processors and optical quantum interconnects.