I'm Stefan, in my work life a physicist. Currently my main post is Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University in Melbourne, steering an amazing group of highly dedicated colleagues in world-class training and research in physics and astronomy. I also hold the Lee-Lucas Chair in Experimental Physics at Imperial College London, which I joined many years ago and still consider a place home.
For over twenty years now (can't believe it) I conduct research in fundamental and applied plasmonics and metamaterials, nanophotonics, photonic energy conversion and optoelectronics. That's fun and has enabled me to see the world, but what really drives me is people development. I'm very proud of my alumni — at this point twenty-one of them have obtained faculty positions, all over the world: at École Polytechnique Montréal, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, CSIC Madrid, Hong Kong City, Soochow University, IPTH Jena, University of KwaZulu-Natal, CNRS Grenoble, King's College London, University of Oman, University of Birmingham (two!), LMU Munich, Universidad de Santander, Shenzhen University, the University of Lisbon, University College London, the University of Buenos Aires, SUSTech, Northumbria University, and at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Higher education in physics prepares you for highly valued jobs — many of my graduates are now in finance (London salaries calling), some have formed start-ups or are in industrial R&D; others have fallen off my radar. Hope you are all well!
I'm a graduate from Caltech, where I first did a Masters in Applied Phycics and then a PhD in the group of Harry Atwater (thanks Harry!). Then I went to the University of Bath in the UK for my first tenured position, before joining Imperial in 2017. From 2019 till the start of 2022 I was mainly in Munich, establishing a new Chair in Hybrid Nanosystems at LMU. In March 2022 I joined Monash University, taking on the role of Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy, and re-uniting with a set of former colleauges from Imperial College there.
My research has been quite successful, the main indicator being the great places my alumni went to. Additionally I was awarded the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences (together with my friend Mark Brongersma), the Paterson Medal of the Institute of Physics, and most recently the ACS Nano Lectureship. I am also a fellow of Optica and the Institute of Physics. The Royal Society supported parts of my time in London with a Wolfson Research Merit Award. Since 2017 I am on the ISI Highly Cited Researcher list. I was part of the initial editorial team of ACS Photonics, and am now Editor-in-Chief of Nanophotonics.