Chief Investigators


Prof. Paul Mulvaney FAA FRSC FRACI
University of Melbourne
Centre Director

Mulvaney is a materials chemist who will focus on the use of semiconductor nanocrystals as excitonic materials for solar energy conversion, sensors and security labelling.

Prof. Udo Bach
Monash University
Centre Deputy Director and Capability Leader in Device Design and Fabrication

Bach is a solar energy expert who has worked with numerous solar industry partners including: Hoechst, NTera, Bluescope Steel, Bosch, Innovia, Suntech, Trina Solar.



Assoc. Prof. Jacek Jasieniak
Monash University
Capability Leader of the materials development and synthesis and Deputy leader of the Excitonic Materials for Security, Lighting and Sensing Theme.

Jasieniak is a materials chemist and will be applying his knowledge in nanomaterials, coatings and devices to all three themes. His background in external engagement also means that he will be taking on an active role in this area for the Centre, assisting the Director and the Business Development Manager. 


Prof. Salvy Russo
RMIT University
Centre Deputy Director and Capability Leader, Theory and Modelling.

Russo is a theoretical physicist who will drive the computational modelling program. As an Associate Dean at RMIT, he also will play a key role in managing the Centre administration and compliance.


Assoc. Prof. Dane McCamey
Outreach, Education and Governance Director, node manager UNSW

McCamey 's expertise is in coherent spin-based spectroscopy, microwave probes of conductivity, and high speed electrical measurements and device characterisation. These areas underpin Artificial Photosynthesis and Exciton Spin in Theme 3. 


Prof. Yi-bing Cheng
Monash University
Deputy Leader for the Device Design and Fabrication Capability

Cheng is a solar energy expert who has made numerous breakthroughs on the latest perovskite solar cells and has built extensive commercialisation links through start-up companies. He coordinates the Centre's links to Wuhan National Laboratory.




Assoc. Prof. Jared Cole
RMIT University
Deputy Theme Leader of the Control of Excitons Theme

Cole is a theoretical physicist who specialises in quantum theory and the study of open-quantum systems, particularly when applied to solid-state nanostructures. He has extensive experience in modelling and understanding electron transport, spin physics and decoherence theory, all of which are central to understanding the control and manipulation of excitons.



Dr Alison Funston
Monash University
Capability Leader in Spectroscopy and Measurement

Funston's research within the Centre will explore the enormous potential of hybrid inorganic/organic systems within specific systems designed for light harvesting, solar upconversion, singlet fission and directed energy transfer. She aims to combine time resolved excitation with a scanning near-field optical microscope, to provide real time imaging of exciton diffusion in films.




Prof. Ken Ghiggino
University of Melbourne
Deputy Capability Leader for Materials and Synthesis and Manager International Links

Ghiggino's group study excitonic processes in various systems including luminescent concentrators, non-coherent light upconversion andlight harvesting systems for photovoltaic and artificial photosynthesis applications. He has access to sophisticated spectroscopic equipment including ultrafast transient absorption and fluorescence instrumentation to follow these processes. 




Prof. John Sader
University of Melbourne
Deputy Capability Leader of the Theory and Modelling Platform

Sader is an applied mathematician with extensive experience in modelling nanomechanics and energy flow in nanoscale systems. His expertise in analytical, numerical and computational solutions of the Boltzmann equation will be utilised heavily, providing a foundation for mesoscopic electron and phonon transport.


Prof. Timothy Schmidt
Theme leader for the Excitonic Systems for Solar Energy Conversion Theme

Schmidt is a molecular spectroscopist who has specialised in the development of world leading upconverter systems for energy harvesting. This is a core platform for the new centre. He will also coordinate with other Theme Leaders.

Dr Asaph Widmer-Cooper
University of Sydney
Deputy Leader of the Excitonic Systems for Solar Energy Conversion Theme

Widmer-Cooper is a computational chemist with expertise in modelling the structure, dynamics and formation of amorphous, crystalline and self-assembled materials. He will help develop solution-processed materials for extracting energy from sunlight and will contribute to fundamental studies of exciton behaviour.


Dr Wallace Wong
University of Melbourne
Theme Leader for Excitonic Materials for Security, Lighting and Sensing.

Wong is a synthetic organic chemist with extensive experience in conducting polymer development. He will work on new OPV systems, and the development of flexible electronics with applications in security, sensing and photovoltaics. 

Assoc. Prof. Trevor Smith
University of Melbourne
Theme Leader for Excitonic Materials for Security, Lighting and Sensing.

Professor Trevor Smith is a spectroscopist in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. His primary interests are the development of super-resolution optical imaging methods and the use of ultrafast laser spectroscopy and time-resolved microscopy to study fast chemical processes, including energy transfer, electron transfer and excitons in polymers.

Dr Girish Lakhwani
University of Sydney
Theme Leader of the Control of Excitons Theme.

Lakhwani's expertise covers chiroptical spectroscopy, single molecule spectroscopy, device physics and master equation based coarse-grained simulations. He will coordinate programs across the themes of materials, theory, instrumentation and devices.

Partner Investigators


Dr. Anthony Chesman
Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO, Australia

Chesman is a point of contact for CSIRO within the Centre of Excellence. Chesman is the Team Leader of the Nanomaterials and Devices Team, whose interests span photocatalysis, nanocrystal synthesis, and novel architectures for solar cells.



Prof. Xiao Tao Hao
Professor, School of Physics, Shandong University, Jinan, China

Hao has research interests in surface electronic properties of conjugated polymers, polymer-based opto-electronic device architectures and transparent conducting oxide thin films. Hao is a PI within the Centre and will be working primarily within Platforms 1.4: Solution Processed Next-Generation Photovoltaics and 3.3: Photodetectors and Sensors. 


Prof. Markus Lippitz
Chair of Experimental Physics, Bayreuth University

Lippitz major role as a PI will be as point of contact for the University of Bayreuth research initiative “Photophysics of Synthetic and Biological Multichromophoric Systems”. The collaboration will focus on platforms 1.1 Thin Film Upconversion Devices, 1.4 Solution Processed Next-Generation Photovoltaics.


Prof. Jeffrey B. Neaton

Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley Director, Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Neaton’s group specialises in theoretical studies of novel condensed phases and their properties, using and developing “first principles” density functional theory (DFT)-based approaches. His theory group will collaborate on 2.3 Excitons on the nanoscale and 2.4 Multiscale Studies and Models of Exciton Transport.


Prof. Martin B. Plenio 
Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics, Universität Ulm

Martin Plenio is Director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics and of the Center for Quantum Bio-Sciences and he leads the Controlled Quantum Dynamics group at Ulm University, Germany. His research interests cover Quantum Technologies, Quantum Information Science and Quantum Biology (including Photosynthesis and Electron Transport). Prof. Plenio is a leading expert in the transport of excitons in natural photosynthetic systems.


Dr Fiona Scholes
Group Leader – Integrated Systems and Devices in CSIRO Manufacturing.

Scholes has responsibility across a range of research areas including printed solar films, organic lighting and electronics, nanomaterials and device fabrication.  CSIRO will collaborate on many areas including 1.1 Thin Film Upconversion Devices, 1.4 Solution Processed Next-Generation Photovoltaics, and 3.2 Light emitting devices.


Dr Jiang Tang
Deputy Director Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Tang's research expertise in material chemistry and device physics of optoelectronic devices provides valuable input especially on the search for new excitonic materials. They will collaborate on coupling of low optical band gap quantum dots such as PbS and PbSe CQDs with organic dye assembles to study the exciton transfer and recombination kinetics.


Dr Rebecca McCallum
Acting Group Leader for Hazard Management and Individual Protection, DSTG

McCallum will be the point of contact for DSTG within the Centre of Excellence. DST Group will interact with the Centre primarily through platforms 3.1 Excitonic Materials for Security and 3.3. Photodetectors and Sensors. 


Prof. Greg Dicinoski
Head Scientist of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

Dicinoski is the point of contact for the Reserve Bank of Australia within the proposed Centre of Excellence.  The RBA will interact primarily through platforms 3.1 Excitonic Materials for Security and 3.3 Photodetectors and Sensors. These offer great potential for the creation of new concepts in banknote and document securitisation.  


Prof. ChunLei Du
Professor of Optics, CIGIT, Chinese Acdemy of Sciences,

Du will be the point of contact for Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology (China). Chongqing Institute will interact with the Centre on co-development of photovoltaics throughplatforms 1.4 Solution Processed Next-Generation Photovoltaics and 3.2 Light emitting devices.

Associate Investigators


Prof. Susanne Huelga
Professor of Theoretical Quantum Optics, Universität Ulm

Prof. Huelga's research focuses on the exploration of quantum coherence for information processing and sensing. Relevant to the Centre of Excellence for Exciton Science is her work on exciton transport in photosynthetic complexes. This will support theoretical modelling in Theme 1 Excitonic systems for solar energy conversion and Theme 2 Control of Excitons.


Prof. Greg Scholes
William S. Todd Professor of Chemistry, Princeton University, USA

Scholes is an expert on electronic energy transfer and molecular excitons. The Scholes Group combines ultrafast laser spectroscopies with theoretical studies to understand mechanisms of light harvesting, electron transfer, and photo-initiated processes. Scholes will contribute to Theme 2 “Control of Excitons” and platform 2.4 on “Exciton transport”.


Prof. Anna Köhler
Full Professor, Department of Physics, Universität  Bayreuth, Germany

Köhler's research is concerned with optical and electronic processes in organic and hybrid semiconductors. She will collaborate on Platform 1.4 "Solution Processed Next-Generation Photovoltaics", Platform 2.3 "Excitons on the Nanoscale" which directly correlates with research at Bayreuth and also on Platform 2.4 on "Multi-scale Modelling and Models of Exciton Transport".

Prof. Jochen Feldmann
Professor of Physics & Nanosystems Initiative München(NIM)

Feldmann is a world-renowned expert in nanoscale semiconductor and metal physics.   NIM has strong interest in all three Themes of the proposed Centre of Excellence but particularly in Theme 1 – “Excitons for Solar Energy Conversion”. NIM has also been exploring new directions and materials including carbon dots and perovskites.

Dr Kenneth Silburn
Head Teacher Science, Casula High School President

Silburn is a recognised expert in Science Outreach, particularly to young people. He has a long history in developing high school based enrichment and engagement activities and will be an Outreach Partner in ACOEES. With his expertise in outreach and engagement, Silburn will help develop innovative and effective outreach programs.

Prof. K.G. Thomas
Professor of Chemistry, IISER, Thiruvananthapuram

George Thomas and his group have made significant contributions in several areas of photosciences and nanomaterials and are currently focusing on the studies related to light-matter interaction at the nanoscale.
He will focus on enhancing activities in Theme 1, Platforms 1.1-1.4 on “Excitons in Solar Energy Conversion”.

Prof. Heike Klussmann
Professor of Architecture, University of Kassel, Germany

Klussmann leads the division of Arts at the department of Architecture, Urban- and Landscape Planning, University of Kassel, Germany, where she founded and directs the Building Art Invention research group. She will work with Centre staff to implement and translate novel lighting concepts and materials into architecture and design.

Prof. Tim Schork
Senior Lecturer Department of Architecture, Monash University.

Schork is the director of RAW- the Monash Future Materials and Processes Laboratory, located within the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture. He will work with the Centre on building-integration of fluorescent solar concentrators (platform 1.2), novel photovoltaic systems (platform1.4), innovative lighting (platform 3.2) and sensing (platform 3.3) systems.

Prof. Rebekah Brown
Director & Professor, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University.

Brown has pioneered interdisciplinary research in the area of sustainable development with a focus on translation into policy, institutional and organisational development. She will facilitate policy initiatives to drive public awareness of the important roles of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Prof. Gary Rosengarten
Professor, Mechanical Engineering RMIT University,

Rosengarten's research is concerned with optical, radiative and thermal transport primarily in solar energy systems. His main interactions will be with CoE researchers working in platform 1.2 “Next Generation Luminescent Solar Concentrators”.

Prof. Ann Roberts
Professor of Physics University of Melbourne,

Roberts' research expertise lies in the area of theoretical, computational and experimental optical physics with a focus on nanophotonics and optical imaging. She will collaborate on the development of anti-counterfeiting features in Theme 3 – “Excitonic Systems for Security, Lighting and Sensing”.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Calum Kinnear
ARC CoE Research Fellow

Graduated: PhD at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Research Interests: plasmonics, biomaterials, sensing, colloid chemistry, scattering, nanomaterials, and soft matter physics



Ms Sarah Mulvey
ACEX Chief Operating Officer


Ms Kathy Palmer
ACEX Finance Officer


Ms Johanna Monk
ACEX Administrative Officer