The Showcase will conclude with a forward looking presentation by the Centre's Director Ben Eggleton and an inspirational talk from our special guest Marita Cheng.

The CUDOS Legacy & the limitless future of Photonics by Ben Eggleton

CUDOS vision in 2011 was to be the world leader in research in on-chip photonics, for all-optical signal processing. Ben Eggleton will discuss how CUDOS has realized this vision and look forward to the future potential impact of photonics. Photonics is the lynchpin of a seven trillion dollar industry, underpinning the internet. The 21st century will be the era of photonics and CUDOS’ legacy will be its contributory role in creating the revolutionary technologies that will change our world and drive our innovation economy.

Professor Benjamin Eggleton is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney, founding Director of the ARC Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) and co-Director of the NSW Smart Sensing Network. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Sydney in 1996. He then spent seven years at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies – the last 2 years as Director of Photonic Devices Research where he was engaged in forward-looking research supporting the company’s business in optical fiber devices. He returned to the University of Sydney in 2003 as full Professor and ARC Federation Fellow. He has published 450 journal papers, with over 17,000 citations and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, IEEE Photonics, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) and the Australian Academy of Science (AAS). ). He was the recipient of the OSA Adolph Lomb Medal, the ICO Prize and the Walter Boas Medal from the Australian Institute of Physics. He was President of the Australian Optical Society and is currently Editor-in-Chief for APL Photonics.

Solution driven inventions, young talent mentoring and entrepreneurship = Marita Cheng!

Marita Cheng argues that Australia has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to participation, engagement and achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects – particularly girls. Solutions driven inventor, talent mentor and fearless entrepreneur Marita will draw on both her background and personal experience to tell a very interesting story about her business journey, start-ups and entrepreneurship. She will share her passion for the role of science and technology and participation of young women in this field.

Marita Cheng was the 2012 Young Australian of the Year and is a technology entrepreneur and women in technology advocate. Marita Cheng is the founder and CEO of about (formerly 2Mar Robotics).

Marita was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year for demonstrating vision and leadership well beyond her years as the Founder and Executive Director of Robogals Global. Noticing the low number of girls in her engineering classes at the University of Melbourne, Marita rounded up her fellow engineering peers and they went to schools to teach girls robotics, as a way to encourage girls into engineering. Robogals has now taught 70,000 girls from 11 countries our robotics workshops across 32 chapters.

Marita was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. She grew up in housing commission with her brother and single-parent mother, who worked as a hotel room cleaner. She graduated from high school in 2006 in the top 0.2% of the nation, and that year was awarded Cairns Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteering and extra-curricula efforts, which included winning awards for mathematics, Japanese and piano. Marita speaks English, Cantonese and Japanese.

Marita has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) / Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne. She serves on the boards of Robogals Global, the Foundation for Young Australians, and RMIT's New Enterprise Investment Fund, where she helps decide on start-up investments, the Victorian State Innovation Expert Panel, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative's Tech Advisory Board. Earlier this year Marita was honoured as one of the next generation of Australian leaders by the American Australian Association.


Enjoy barista coffee whilst listening to a talk from one of the CUDOS Alumni who have contributed significantly to building CUDOS' legacy and have landed a range of jobs.


Dr Chad Husko
Hybrid 2D+3D silicon nanophotonics with recent presentation of a silicon laser using a hybrid silicon-2D material system

Dr Jochen Schroeder
Optical Communications - linear and nonlinear optical signal processing techniques

Dr Caitlin Fisher
As Programs Outreach Officer, promoting science to a wide audience - primary and secondary school students and teachers, and to the general community

4.00pmDr Yvan Paquot
Hybrid renewable power plants design with wind, hyrdogen and diesel energy

Global Alumni

Dr Caitlin Fisher

Programs Officer, Partner Outreach and Engagement Unit Faculty of Science
The University of Sydney, Australia

I finished my PhD at CUDOS in late 2016 and began working at a private tutoring college, Matrix Education, as a science teacher for Years 9-12 high school students. I then worked casually within the Partner Outreach and Engagement Unit for the Faculty of Science in early 2017 and have recently accepted a full-time position as Programs Officer within the team.
The Partner Outreach and Engagement Unit aims to promote science to a wide audience, including between schools and faculties, to primary and secondary school students and teachers, and to the general community. Primarily we run events that showcase science and the science research achievements of staff at the University of Sydney. The events range enormously from public lectures on reptile pregnancy, to academic quiz shows hosted by Dr Karl and Adam Spencer, to watching science videos directed by primary and secondary school students for a science communicator competition.

Dr Chad Husko

Alexei Abrikosov Fellow
Argonne National Laboratory
Center for Nanoscale Materials, USA

Senior Member (OSA)
Ambassador (OSA)

After finishing a DECRA fellowship at CUDOS in 2014, I moved to Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago, IL) and am currently the Alexei Abrikosov Fellow.
My research interest lies in Hybrid 2D+3D silicon nanophotonics. Despite immense progress in the understanding of materials and devices for silicon photonics, several key components remain elusive. Recently, we have shown a nanoscale silicon laser using a hybrid silicon-2D material system.

Dr Thomas David Meany

Research Scientist
Toshiba Research Europe Ltd & University of Cambridge, UK

Dr Yvan Paquot
Project Manager Renewable Energies & Energy
Tractebel – ENGIE group (world #1 independent power producer), Thailand

After completing my PhD in ultrafast nonlinear optical signal processing at CUDOS in 2013, I embarked on a 1-year world tour by bicycle, in partnership with the Belgian National Centre for Development Cooperation. I then took up a Project Manager role at the Bangkok branch of Tractebel Engie Group, developing solar, wind and hydropower infrastructure in Southeast Asia.
My research interest lies in hybrid renewable power plants design, optimisation and financial model for off-grid remote applications. Integration of solar, wind and hydropower with battery and hydrogen energy storage technologies.

Dr Jochen Schroeder

Senior Researcher (tenured)
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

I was a Postdoc and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney CUDOS node from 2009 to 2014. In August 2014, I left Sydney to take on a Senior Lecturer position at RMIT University in Melbourne. In September 2016 I moved from the sun in Australia to the snow in Sweden to join Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg as a Senior Researcher (equivalent to research-only Associate Professor, tenured) in the Photonics Laboratory.
My research interest lies in optical communications, in particular linear and nonlinear optical signal processing techniques for increasing capacity and decreasing power consumption of fibre communications systems. Recently we have been exploiting frequency combs, coherent laser lines at different wavelengths, to show extremely high spectral efficiency transmission. I also have a strong interest in mode-locked lasers and spatial manipulation of light fields, using Liquid Crystal on Silicon spatial light modulators.