I went to high school at Armidale High School, Australia, and graduated as Dux of the school. Following this I obtained a first class Honours degree in computer systems and electrical engineering at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, with a thesis titled “Non-idealized models in linear optics quantum computing”. I then obtained a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Queensland, with my thesis “Towards optical quantum information processing”. Subsequently I moved to the University of Oxford as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in quantum computing and quantum information theory. I worked briefly as a software engineer and bio-informatician, before returning to the world of physics as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light (Germany), University of Queensland (Australia), University of Paderborn (Germany), Macquarie University (Australia), and finally UTS in a joint project with Lockheed-Martin. In 2016 I was appointed Senior Lecturer (Research Intensive) in quantum computing at UTS. In 2016 I was awarded a Future Fellowship by the Australian Research Council (ARC).
My research interests include quantum computing, quantum information theory and quantum optics. In particular, I have focussed my research efforts on liner optics quantum computing, the spectral structure of photons, photo-detection and photon engineering, the characterization of photons, cluster state quantum computing, quantum fault-tolerance, encrypted quantum computation, quantum networking, boson-sampling, quantum metrology, and quantum random walks and their application to implementing quantum algorithms. I work closely with experimental groups to design and optimize experimental implementations of quantum information processing protocols.
My theoretical work has underpinned internationally groundbreaking experiments, including the largest optical quantum walk on a non-trivial graph topology at the time, and the largest demonstration of boson-sampling. I present my research internationally at world-leading conferences in my field.
I speak regularly at public science events, communicating the excitement of physics to the general public. And my work features regularly in the media, including newspaper articles, and radio and podcast interviews.
Outside of physics I’m a keen mountaineer and rock climber, freediver, drummer, DJ, composer, singer, debater and public speaker, traveller and adrenaline junkie. I’m heavily involved in liberal politics in both Australia and Germany, speaking regularly at political functions, and have worked on the election campaigns for politicians at the federal, state and local levels in Australia. I contribute articles to the Australian Libertarian Society and The Conversation. I volunteered for 4 years for Lifeline as a telephone councillor, aiming to reduce suicide, overcome personal crises, and improve people’s mental health and quality of life. In 1999 I was jointly awarded the Armidale Young Citizen of the Year award for my community work.
I am a very naughty boy and was expelled from preschool.