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Leadership team

Sydney Nano leadership

Our leadership comprises a team of pre-eminent researchers and scholars led by Professor Ben Eggleton. Our mission is to transform our economy, society and everyday life through multidisciplinary research in nanoscale science and technology. 

We aim to be globally trusted and recognised experts in nanoscience and technolgy. We are working towards achieving this by enabling and facilitating activities and translational outcomes that would not be possible through our existing university structures. 

The Sydney Nano Executive Committee, chaired by the Director, Ben Eggleton, comprises the Chief Operating Officer and five Deputy Directors, who work as a team to affect our academic, strategic and financial goals.

Leadership team

Ben Eggleton

Professor Ben Eggleton


An alumnus, Professor Ben Eggleton completed his undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Sydney. He held several roles in industry, including at prestigious Bell Laboratories in the USA, where he was director of photonics devices research, before joining the University again in 2003 as professor of physics.

Since then, he has received more than $57 million in research funding while at the University, including a Discovery grant and an ARC Linkage grant in 2018 to develop advanced technologies to enhance satellite communications, radar systems and surveillance capabilities for defence, as well as lay the groundwork for future fifth-generation wireless communications.

Professor Eggleton was previously an ARC Laureate Fellow and was founding director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS). His ground-breaking research into nanoscale optical waveguides underpins novel applications in telecommunications, quantum technologies and sensing.

The Eggleton’s group is currently supported by contracts with industry, government and end-users. He recently established the Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory which is sponsored by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Professor Eggleton is one of the most highly cited academics at the University, with an h-index of 70 (Web of Science) and is the author or co-author of more than 490 journal publications. He has won several prizes, including NSW Scientist of the Year for Physics and Astronomy, the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science, the Pawsey Medal, the Walter Boas Medal, and a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for Outstanding Research.

Professor Eggleton is a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He is also co-director of the NSW Smart Sensing Network. Professor Eggleton commenced as Director of Sydney Nano in May 2018.


Gunther Schmidt

Dr Gunther Schmidt

Chief Operating Officer

Dr Gunther Schmidt has over 20 years of international leadership and executive management experience in the business-to-business (B2B) and consultancy environment in a wide range of industry segments. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Gunther has a recognised expertise for the development of business innovation and driving operational excellence projects.

Dr Schmidt also has an academic background holding a Masters degree in Chemistry and a PhD (summa cum laude) in Materials Science from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia and the Museum of National History, Stockholm, Sweden.

Deputy Directors

Wojtek Chrzanowski

Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski

Academic Partnerships

Associate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski received his PhD from the Silesian University of Technology. In 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship and moved to University College London, and subsequently to the University of Glasgow to work on Externally Activated Resorbable Materials. He received DSc from the Polish Academy of Science in 2014 and SOAR Fellowship in 2016.

Wojciech actively collaborates with industry partners including PerkinElmer, MedLab, ROKIT, HIFU and Nano Medical Technology on developing innovative medical technologies and drug delivery systems.

His research centres around nanomedicine, extracellular vesicles nanosafety, and nano-bio-characterisation. He has developed physiology mimicking tissue models for toxicity and safety studies and pioneered a single extracellular vesicle characterization for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Wojciech has published his research outcomes in over 150 original research papers and co-authored four patents. His work has made a substantial contribution to the understanding of interactions between nanomaterials and living cells.

Anita Ho-Baillie

Professor Anita Ho-Baillie

Member Engagement

Professor Anita Ho-Baillie is currently the John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience. Prior to this appointment, she was at the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

She has extensive research training and education experience including supervision of 34 higher degree research students over the years and supervision of 12 undergraduate students installing a standalone photovoltaic and lighting system for a remote medical clinic in Nepal in 2004. The outcome demonstrates the impact of clean energy and sustainable living on lifting the quality of life in many parts of the world.

Anita also has first-hand experience of the benefit of industry partnership for tertiary education having been on a Co-op scholarship for her engineering undergraduate degree at UNSW. ​

James Rabeau

Professor Jim Rabeau

Industry, Innovation, Commercialisation and Enabling Capabilities

Jim Rabeau is currently Professor in Physics at the University of Sydney. He is uniquely qualified and experienced at the interface of research and industry, including university research and teaching, founding and running a startup, program management, data analytics consulting and university strategy and planning.

Jim studied in Canada and the United Kingdom, and held prestigious fellowships at the University of Melbourne and Macquarie University in Australia. From 2007 to 2012, he was Associate Professor in Physics at Macquarie University. While at Macquarie, Jim was the recipient of an ARC Future Fellowship and successfully led international research programs and published nearly 50 highly cited research articles in diamond quantum nanoscience, two books and a patent.

Most recently, Jim was the Program Manager in Sydney for Microsoft Quantum, a global initiative to build a quantum computer, and was co-founder/CEO of the startup company LuciGem specialising in nanodiamond-based imaging.

Alice Motion

Associate Professor Alice Motion

Outreach and Training

Associate Professor Alice Motion is a chemist and science communicator based at The University of Sydney. Her research focuses on open science and Science Communication, Outreach, Participation and Education (SCOPE). Finding ways to connect people with science and to make research more accessible is the overarching theme of Alice’s interdisciplinary research. 

After completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge, Alice moved to Australia to take up a position as the principal synthetic chemist for OSM, who are pioneering an open source drug discovery project and are trying to prove that science is better and more efficient when all data and results are shared. 

Alice is the founder of the Breaking Good project - a citizen science project that aims to empower high school and undergraduate students to be active researchers in projects that will improve human health. She is recognised as a leading international science communicator, and was named as one of ABC RN and UNSW's Top 5 Under 40 in recognition of her passion for sharing science stories in 2015. Alice is the co-host of the ABC Science podcast, Dear Science, and has been the host of a weekly science slot on FBi Radio's breakfast show since June 2015.

Omid Kavehei

Dr Omid Kavehei

Member Engagement

Dr Omid Kavehei is a Senior Lecturer and a SOAR Fellow. He was with the University of Melbourne between 2011 and 2014, where he worked on the Australian Bionic Eye project. He received his PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2012 with the Postgraduate University Alumni Medal. He was an Executive member of IEEE South Australia branch. In 2014, he was a Visiting Project Scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a recipient of a 2018 Endeavour Research Fellowship and a 2011 South Australian Young Nanotechnology Ambassador award.

His research interests include electroceuticals for treatment of pharmacoresistant epilepsy, and novel computational, neuromorphic and security paradigms based on nanotechnology.

Omid has published over 70 reviewed papers and conference proceedings. He is an IEEE Senior Member and a member of IEEE’s Nanoelectronics and Gigascale Systems Technical Committee.