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The Australian National University

Dr Niraj Lal

PhD in physics, University of Cambridge, 2012; BSc (hons), Australian National University, 2007
Visiting Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems | Renewable Energy Business Development Officer, Victorian Government
ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science

Areas of expertise

  • Classical And Physical Optics 020501
  • Condensed Matter Physics 0204
  • Photodetectors, Optical Sensors And Solar Cells 090605

Research interests

Nanophotonics for next-generation solar cells


Dr Niraj (Nij) Lal is a Visiting Fellow at the ANU and current Postdoctoral Researcher in the Renewable Energy Lab at Monash University and was named as one of the ABC's Top 5 Scientists Under 40 for 2016.   His interests are in nanophotonics for solar cell applications and science communication. In 2012 Niraj graduated as a Gates Scholar with a PhD in physics from the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. Prior to his PhD, Niraj worked as a bicycle courier in Perth and a travelling science presenter to primary school kids across regional WA with Scitech. Niraj graduated with a BSc in physics from the Distinguished Scholar Program at the ANU in 2007, winning the Angus Nicholson Honours Scholarship for passion and excellence in Science. He has appeared on radio and television, written two childrens books about science and has taught science at levels ranging from pre-school to post-graduate. Niraj was named the 2013 ACT Young Tall Poppy of the Year and regularly gives public presentations about science and electricity - more info can be seen at his website


Selected grants/awards

2016: ABC Top 5 Scientists Under 40

2016: TEDxSydney Sustainability Salon Presenter

2015: ANU Early Career Academic Fellowship, Honorary Member University House,  

2012-2015: Australian Renewable Energy Agency Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

2013,14: Australian National Science Week Seed Grant Recipient

2013, 14: ACT Community Grant Recipient, Raio de Sol Canberra Community Samba Drumming Band

2012: Fellow and Research Grant Recipient, Cambridge Philosophical Society

2009-2012: Gates Cambridge Scholarship, University of Cambridge

2009-2012: United Kingdom Overseas Research Studentship

2007: ANU Angus Nicholson Honours Scholarship


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Updated:  22 September 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers