I am a senior lecturer in Maths & Stats within the School of Engineering and Information Technology at Murdoch University (associated with both the Maths&Stats group and the physics group), a visiting fellow at both the Australian National University and an associate lecturer (Privatdozent) of the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. I refer to my field of research as ‘Materials geometry’, that is, the materials science and physics of complex nano- or micro-structured materials addressed through the goggles of geometry, including hyperbolic, computational and stochastic geometry. A particular research focus are ordered network-like nanogeometries based on triply-periodic surfaces and nets, formed spontaneously by self-assembly or in biological systems, with a variety of interesting properties, from photonics to mechanics, and with a likely role in many biological processes. I enjoy interdisciplinary work, between mathematical modeling, physics, physical chemistry and materials science.


2013 Habilitation (Dr. rer. nat. habil.), Physics, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

2005 PhD, Physical Sciences, Australian National University (pdf of thesis)

2000 Diplom-Physik, Physics, Universität Köln, Germany

Employment and visiting fellowships

Mar 2015 – present: senior lecturer, Murdoch University, School of Engineering and Information Technology, Maths & Stats, Murdoch, Australia

Oct 2006 – Feb 2015: lecturer, senior lecturer and acting professor, Theoretische Physik I (LS Klaus Mecke), Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Feb 2012 – April 2012: visiting fellow, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne

Feb 2011 – present: visiting fellow, Department Applied Maths, Research School of Physical Science, Australian National University

Feb 2005 – Aug 2006: Postdoctoral Fellow, Australian National University, Department of Applied Maths, Research School of Physical Sciences

Jun 2000 – Aug 2000: Visiting research student, Laboratory of Physics, Technical University Helsinki (HUT), Finland

Jun 1999 – Jun 2000: Research assistant, John Von Neumann Institute for Comuting, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Professional service

2017: Chair of Organising Committee for 2018 AIP Biannual Congress (9-14 Dec 2018, Perth)

2016-present: Deputy Chair (2016) and Chair (as of 1 Jan 2017) of the Western Australian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Conference organisation

Sept 2017 Member of organising committee of conference Geometry and Physics of Spatial Random Systems, Bad Herrenalb/Germany, 10-15 September 2017

Mar 2017 Symposium “Bioinspired Functional Materials: From Nature’s Nanoarchitectures to Nanofabricated Designs” (SYBM) at the Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society (DPG), Dresden 19-24 March 2017. (joint organisation with Karin Jacobs and Robert Magerle)

Mar 2017 Organisation (with Annela Seddon, Cecile Leal and Mahesh Mahanthappa) of Focus Session “New Mesophase Symmetries and Topologies in Self-Assembled Soft Matter” (invited speaker: Frank Bates) at the American Physical Society (APS) Spring Meeting in New Orleans

Sept 2016 Organisation of Boden Research Conference 2016 “Animal, Vegetal, Mineral‘, 19-23 Sept 2016, Yallingup, Western Australia (more information)

Nov 2015 session organiser for Symposium ‘TT: Topology in Materials Science—Biological and Functional Nanomaterials, Metrology and Modeling‘ (joint organisation with Sanju Gupta, Zhong Fang and Avadh Saxena) at the MRS Fall Meeting, 29 Nov – 4 Dec 2015, Boston/MA

Sept 2015 member of organising committee of conference Shape Up: Exercises in Materials Geometry and Topology, Berlin, 14-18 September 2015 (joint organisation with Myfanwy Evans, Frank Lutz, Bodo Wilts and Andrew Kraynik)

Sept 2015 member of organising committee of conference Geometry and Physics of Spatial Random Systems, Bad Herrenalb/Germany, 7-11 September 2015

Aug 2015 Conference ‘Physics of Cells: From Molecules to Systems (PhysCell 2015)‘, 30 Aug – 4 Sept 2015, Bad Staffelstein, Germany (I played a lesser role as one of many members of the co-organisation committee)

Mar 2015 Focus session “Beyond the Gyroid: Complex Network Phases in Self-Assembled Soft Materials“, joint organiser with Jacob Kirkensgaard (Niels Bohr Institute Copenhagen), American Physical Society Spring Meeting, San Antonio / Texas, 2-6 March 2015

Sept 2014, chair (jointly with Thorsten Poeschel) of organising committee of conference Jam-Packed: Packing and Jamming of Particulate Systems , Erlangen/Germany, 15-18 Sept 2014

Oct 2011, member of organising committee of conference Geometry and Physics of Spatial Random Systems, Freudenstadt/Germany, 9-13 September 2013

Oct 2011, chair (jointly with Stephen Hyde) of conference organisation committee Geometry of interfaces – topological complexity in materials and biology, Primosten, Croatia, 3–7 October 2011

Jul 2011, member of organising committee of conference  “Geometry and Physics of Spatial Random Systems”, Bad Herrenalb (Germany), 26-29 July 2011 (I played a lesser role in the organising committee consisting of the GPSRS principal investigators)

May 2010, scientific program committee of European Polymer Conference (EUPOC 2010) on “Hierarchically Structured Polymers, Gargnano Lago Di Garda, Italy, 30 May – 4 June 2010 (Joint organiser with Robert Magerle and Julio San Roman of the scientific program)

Editorial activities

2017  Co-organiser of the June 2017 issue of Interface Focus “Growth and function of complex forms in biological tissue and synthetic self-assembly” (jointly with Stephen Hyde, Myfanwy Evans and Bodo Wilts)

2012  Co-organiser of the October 2012 issue of Interface Focus (“Geometry of interfaces: topological complexity in biology and materials” (jointly with Stephen Hyde)

Invited conference presentation & colloquia

(for a list of contributed talks, click here)

Dec 2017 “Inspired by nature : photonic materials based on the gyroid nanogeometry”, invited talk, Material Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting 2017, Symposium BM3 ‘Biological and Bioinspired Materials for Photonics and Electronics – From Living Organisms to Devices‘, 27 Nov – 1 Dec 2017

July 2017 Mechanical and photonic meta-materials: function through geometric design“, keynote lecture, workshop  “Geometric Aspects of Materials Science” within the Computational Geometry Week (CG Week 2017), Brisbane 3-6 July 2017

Sept 2016 Local Structure Metric Based on Voronoi Diagram and Minkowski Tensors Reveals Non-Universality in Random Ellipsoid Packings”, invited presentation, Packing across length scales – 3rd international conference on packing problems, Shanghai, 29 Aug – 1 Sept 2016.

July 2016 “Chiro-optical effects in disordered photonics: Harmonic distortions enhance circular dichroism of Gyroids, and stochastic noise does not destroy it”, invited presentation, META 2016, Malaga 25-28 July 2016 (link to pdf of slides)

Dec 2015 “Chiro-optical materials inspired by the handed single gyroid structure in green butterflies”, invited presentation, PacifiChem 2015 conference, symposium on The Physical Structure, Function of Biological and Bioinspired Soft Matter, Honolulu/Hawaii, 15-20 Dec 2015

Jul 2015 “Minkowski tensor morphology measures for granular and cellular structures: Can you tell the point process from its average cell shape?”, keynote lecture, 14th International Congress for Stereology & Image Analysis, Liege/Belgium, 6-10 July 2015.

Jun 2015 “Minkowski tensor shape analysis of cellular, granular and porous structures”, invited talk, Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference, Minisymposium 96: Pore Morphology in Deforming Geomaterials: Observation, Characterization, and Modeling to Improve Performance of Critical Urban Systems. Stanford University on June 16-19, 2015 (participation cancelled)

Apr 2015Iridescence, Inclination & Circular Dichroism in Gyroid Photonic Crystals“,  invited presentation, The Rank Prize Funds Symposium on the Perception of Iridescence, Grasmere/UK, 20-23 April 2015

Mar 2015The Tricontinuous 3ths(5) Phase: A New Morphology in Copolymer Melts“,  invited presentation, German Physical Society Meeting Berlin, 16-20 March 2015

Mar 2015 “Biophotonics with a twist: the chiral gyroid in butterfly wing-scales”, colloquium talk, 10 March 2015, Adolphe Merkle Institut, Fribourg, Switzerland

Sept 2014 “Characterizing anisotropic features of cellular and granular structures by Minkowski tensors”, two invited lectures at Workshop on Tensor Valuations in Stochastic Geometry and Imaging, Sandbjerg Estate, Sonderborg, Denmark, 21-26 Sept 2014.

Aug 2014Eight-fold Intergrowth of Gyroid Nets: A Chiral Dielectric Material with Optical Activity Comparable to That of Meta-materials“, invited talk at PIERS 2014 – Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium PIERS in Guangzhou, China, 25-28 August, 2014

Jul 2014 Keynote lecture at conference on ’Lipid Cubic Phases: from Fundamentals to Applications’, organised by John Seddon and Calum Drummond, Heron Island, 30 Jul to 2 Aug 2014.

Apr 2014, ”Circular polarisation effects in Gyroid nanostructures: inspiration from butterfly wing-scales and biological relevance”, Living Light 2014: Living Light: Uniting biology and photonics, Namur (Belgium), 10-12 April 2014

Feb 2013, ”Jammed Particle Configurations: Local Structure Analysis by Minkowski Tensors”, Workshop on Non-Linear Response in Complex Matter, Erlangen (Germany), 25-27 Feb 2013

Dec 2012, “Mechanical Properties of Minimal Surface Scaffolds as Custom-Made Porous Solids”, International Workshop ”Through the looking-glass: a glimpse into the geometry of materials.”, Princeton University, 3-5 Dec 2012

Nov 2012, ”Multiple Entangled Chiral Nets Topology and the Transmission of circularly polarised light, Symposium on Geometry and Topology of Biomolecular and Functional Nanomaterials, MRS Fall Meeting, Boston, 25-30 Nov 2012

Sept 2012, ”The Shape of Voronoi Cells – Insight into Spherical Bead Packs”, InternationalWorkshop on Packing Problems, Dublin, 2-5 Sept 2012

Feb 2012, ”Minimal surfaces and nets as chiral photonic materials”, short talk, CUDOS workshop, Shoalhaven Bay, NSW, Australia, 31 Jan – 3 Feb 2012

Jul 2011, ”Disordered sphere and ellipsoid packings”, Workshop on Geometry and Physics of Spatial Random Systems, Bad Herrenalb, Germany, 26-29 July 2011

Mar 2011, ”Local Anisotropy of Fluids, Glasses and Jammed Bead Packs”, 75th Annual Meeting of the DPG and DPG Spring Meeting, Dresden (Germany), 13-18 March 2011

Aug 2010, ”Packing properties of minimal surfaces and self-assembly”, ECM26 XXVI European Crystallographic Meeting, MaThCryst Satellite Conference, 27-29 August 2010

Mar 2010, ”MorphologicalMeasures for Complex Polymer Geometries”, in lieu of K. Mecke, 10th Symposium on Polymer Blends, Dresden (Germany), 7-10 March 2010

Jul 2009, ”Morphology and Anisotropy Measures for Network Microstructures”, in lieu of K. Mecke, European Polymer Congress (EPF09), Graz, Austria, 12-17 July 2009

Sep 2007, ”Minkowski Tensor Valuations: Anisotropy Measures for Porous Materials”, joint invitation with K. Mecke, 14th internationalWorkshop on Stochastic Geometry, Stereology and Image Analysis, Neudietendorf, Germany, 23-28 Sept 2007

Public lectures, exhibitions & outreach

Jul 2017, AIP Women in Physics Day at Murdoch University, I was the organiser (jointly with Bruce Gardiner and Fiona Mochrie) of this event that attracted 350 school kids to a lecture on Astrophysics, experimental displays and a game-show-type event “The Boffins vs The Darwins” centered around several experiments.

Nov 2016, After-dinner speaker of the Australian Institute of Physics WA branch annual general meeting, “Only Entropy comes easy“, 16 Nov 2016, University of Western Australia

Aug 2016, AIP Women in Physics Day at Murdoch University, I was the main organiser of this event that attracted 540 school kids to a lecture on Quantum Dynamics, experimental displays and a panel discussion “Physics at University : Good for you and Good for Society”.

Okt 2013, Bierschaum und Leichtbaumaterial: Wo Geometrie die Physik macht, Public lecture as part of the university-wide open-day activity Lange Nacht der Wissenschaft in Erlangen on the physical mechanisms and properties of liquid foams, and their geometric origin.

Feb 2013, Physik auf dem Computer – Von Seifenblasen bis zu Schmetterlingsflügeln, Public lecture on the formation and purpose of spatial structure in soft matter.

Nov 2011, Minimal surfaces: from butterflies to human skin and 3D virtual reality. Public lecture as part of the university-wide open-day(or night, rather)-activity Lange Nacht der Wissenschaft Erlangen.

Nov 2011, Minimal surfaces: from butterflies to human skin and 3D virtual reality. Public lecture as part of the university-wide open-day(or night, rather)-activity Lange Nacht der Wissenschaft Erlangen.

Dec 2008, Sandman’s travel through the world of granular matter, Weihnachtsvorlesung (xmas-lecture) of the physics department of the University Erlangen (a theatrical performance involving about 20 staff and students built around eight granular matter experiments performed in front of an audience of more than 300)

Aug 2010, Development of puzzle toy ‘InfiniTiles’ to illustrate triply-periodic minimal surfaces. One of the co-inventors Stuart Ramsden received the ‘People’s choice award’ of the Australian Science Festival’s Big Ideas at Work competition in 2010.

May 2003, Participation in exhibition Factor of Ten – A Future Worth Having: science and art of the environment meet at the Australian National University. Saddle polyhedron joint with Gilbert Riedelbauch and Stephen Hyde, reported also in ’The Helix’ (Aug/Sept 2003) and Canberra Times (8 May 2003)


Jun 2017 Dean’s Award, School of Engineering and IT, Murdoch University

Nov 2014 Emmy-Noether Prize for an outstanding habilitation thesis at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg

July 2010 Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Physics Department of the University Erlangen (“Preis für eine hervorragend evaluierte Lehrveranstaltung”)


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