The School of Physics at the University of Wollongong is a highly ranked, research-intensive unit with a world-class reputation for excellence in research.

Physics at the University of Wollongong has been rated as "well above world standard" in the Excellence in Research for Australia results 2018. As well as scoring the highest possible rating of 5 for the entire Field of Research (FOR) "02 – Physical Sciences", the maximum score of 5 was also attained in the sub-fields of "0204 – Condensed Matter Physics" and in "0299 – Other Physical Sciences", which embraces "029903 – Medical Physics".

These results are a testimony to the EIS Faculty research powerhouses within the School of Physics which include the Centre for Quantum Devices, Optics and Solids and the Centre for Medical and Radiation Physics. Such recognition is achieved through our active engagement with a significant network of local, national and international industry partnerships and collaborations that continues to grow every year.

Top rated

Physics at UOW was given the maximum rating of "Well above world standard" in the 2018 Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) rankings.

ERA 2018

Top 150

UOW ranks among the world's top 150 universities for Physical Sciences.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by subject 2023

Research powerhouses

The Centre for Medical Radiation Physics (CMRP) is mainly dedicated towards the development of semiconductor detectors and dosimeters for clinical applications in radiation protection, radiation oncology, medical imaging and nuclear medicine. Other research themes include the development of radiation transport simulation tools for medical physics and space medicine, and nanoparticles and nano-structured particles for targeted radiotherapy. Members of the CMRP are affiliated with the UOW Molecular Horizons Institute.

The Centre for Quantum Devices, Optics and Solids (qDOS) conducts world-leading research in condensed matter physics, thin film technology (TFT), magnetism and superconductivity, and terahertz science, conducting both experimental and theoretical work. Members of qDOS are affiliated with the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials (AIIM) and the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM).

Find a researcher

Dr David Bolst 

Monte Carlo simulation methods for hadron therapy and radiation protection in facilities on earth and in space.  

Dr Dean Cutajar 

Advanced brachytherapy dosimetry. 

Professor Susanna Guatelli 

Projects offered in scientific computing for radiation physics, including:

  • Development of Monte Carlo simulation tools for applications in medicine, space and industry application. 
  • Radiation protection studies  in Earth facilities and in space.
  • Development of machine learning solutions for dosimetry 

The projects will offer a wide range of opportunities to work in scientific computing in highly international collaborations, including  CERN (Geneva, Switzerland), IN2P3 (France) and INFN (Italy). National collaborations include ANSTO, CSIRO and hospitals in Australia. 

Dr Lorna Jarrett 

Education for climate change and sustainability, Aboriginal knowledge systems and centering country in physics and engineering education, innovative cross-disciplinary approaches in physics education including arts-sciences collaborations, lived-experience informed approaches to embedding equity, diversity and inclusion in learning and teaching, designing successful outreach programs. 

Associate Professor Nicholas Jones 

Remote sensing of atmospheric chemical constituents using ground based spectroscopic techniques, inverse methods in remote sensing, analysis of spectra from remote sensing instruments. 

Senior Professor Michael Lerch 

Electronic properties of semiconductors to the design and development of novel, solid state based sensors and instrumentation for application in radiation medicine.

Optimization of radiation medicine created by the physical and semiconducting properties of silicon based sensors and engineered nano-ceramics in different radiation field environments. 

Senior Professor Roger Lewis 

Terahertz Physics, terahertz radiation sources, detectors of terahertz radiation, active and passive components for manipulating terahertz radiation, including polarization control and beamshaping. Applications of terahertz radiation to areas such as authentication and conservation of artwork, industrial processing and plastics recycling. 

Dr Enbang Li 

Photonics, optical fibre sensing, fibre-optic radiation detection.

Senior Professor Peter Metcalfe 

Clinical medical physics, radiation dosimetry for stereotactic radiotherapy, MRI-Linac dosimetry, MRI Biomarkers, radiomics, robotic guided dosimetry.

Professor Alexey Pan 

Superconductivity, magnetism, thin film technology, quantum technologies and related devices, energy handling, magneto-optical imaging. Spin-charge transport and interactions at interfaces in hybrid multi-layered heterostructures. Properties of functional materials for applications in medicine, quantum technologies, space exploration, defence and telecommunication.

Professor Marco Petasecca 

Design and development of silicon radiation detectors for space and medical applications. Design and development of electronic digital readout and analog front end for radiation detection instrumentation. Radiation hardness modelling and characterisation of radiation detectors for high energy physics, space and medical applications. Medical Physics and medical instrumentation

Dr Jessie Posar 

Development of printable organic semiconductors for wearable ionizing radiation detectors.

Charge transport properties of organic and amorphous electronic materials under ionizing radiation fields to optimise their performance and radiation stability for space, defence, and medical applications.

Photoactive organic bioelectronics for optical neuromodulation.  

Dr Yujin Qi 

Advanced nuclear imaging physics, instrumentation and applications, including new or improved image detector development, system simulation and design for novel imaging tools, the study of accurately quantitative 3D image reconstruction techniques for specific biomedical imaging and radiotherapy applications.

Distinguished Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld 

Radiation detection and dosimetry for medical, space and aviation applications including micro- and nano-dosimetry. Quality assurance instrumentation for radiation therapy including proton and heavy ion therapy and medical imaging.  Radiation transport simulations for modelling of micro- and nano-dosimetry. Radiation physics of nanoparticles and its applications in radiation medicine. Radiobiology of charged particle therapy.

Dr Moeava Tehei 

- Design and application of new nanomaterials theranostic platforms for targeted treatment of cancer

-Targeted Nano-Therapies: In vitro and in vivo studies. 

-Synchrotron Microbeam Activated Radiation Therapy (SMART)

-Synchrotron Activated Radiation Therapy (SART)

-Elaboration of cancer therapies and imaging by combining the effects of targeted radiations and drugs or nanoparticles at the nano-scale level.

-Neutron scattering


Dr Linh Tran

Development of semiconductor radiation detectors, microdosimeters for relative biological effectiveness (RBE) study in proton and heavy ion therapy, Boron Neutron Capture therapy (BNCT) and fast neutron therapy (FNT) as well as research on theoretical radiobiological models in hadron therapy and Monte-Carlo simulation for applications in aviation and space.

Senior Professor Chao Zhang

Transport and optical properties of low dimensional electronic systems such as semiconductors quantum wells, graphene, and carbon nanotubes. Theoretical study of electron correlation and scattering, quantum and classical plasmons, surface plasmon polariton excitations in nanosystems. Theory and simulation of spin-related transport and optical processes in spintronic systems. Thermionics and thermoelectrics in semiconductors.

Associate Professor Josip Horvat 

Terahertz spectroscopy, density functional theory modeling, frustrated spin systems. 

Dr George Takacs 

Atmospheric science, climatology, science education research, radiation physics. 

Associate Professor Rodney Vickers 

Far infrared spectroscopy of impurities in semiconductors is the theme of most of the 17 refereed articles published since 2001. These include publications in such well-regarded journals as Physical Review B and Applied Physics Letters. Techniques employed include the application of high magnetic fields and cooling of samples to below 4.2 Kelvin. External stress is also applied including an innovative technique of controlled self-stress at low levels. Grants received included ARC discovery, ARC linkage infrastructure, ARC linkage international and research infrastructure.

Generation of THz radiation and its use in spectroscopy.

Associate Professor William Zealey

Astronomy and Astrophysics- Planetary geomorphology study of peri and proglacial features on mars.