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The Australian National University

Dr W M (Steve) Lee

B.Eng- EE (NTU Singapore) , PhD - Optics (St Andrews UK)
Group Leader/Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
T: +61261256058

Areas of expertise

  • Photonics, Optoelectronics And Optical Communications 020504
  • Biomedical Engineering 0903
  • Biomedical Instrumentation 090303
  • Medical Biotechnology Diagnostics (Incl. Biosensors) 100402
  • Optical Physics 0205
  • Nanometrology 100710
  • Nanophotonics 100711
  • Soft Condensed Matter 020405

Research interests

Applied Optics LabGoogle Scholar , ORCID

  1. Optical Forces  Investigate optical forces at the nanoscale.
  2. Phase Manipulation and Novel Micro-Optics Develop novel optical elements along with computational and holographic methods for laser beam-shaping and imaging.
  3. Advanced In-vivo Imaging and Manipulation Combine advanced optics/software/optical instrumentation to deliver in-vivo microscopy systems.


Steve Lee completed his undergraduate training in Electronics Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and a PhD in Optics at Optical Trapping Group at the University of St Andrews (UK) . Prior to his PhD studies, Dr Lee has worked as an optical engineer/senior technical consultant for 3 years that focus on developing commerical laser scanning instruments (Einst Tech Pte Ltd). During his PhD with Prof Kishan Dholakia and Prof Ewan Wrighthe developed novel optical manipulation technologies. He performed the first conclusive nonlinear light measurements on artifical kerr medium and built a multimodality bioworkstation. In 2010, he left the UK to pursue a 2-year postdoctoral training at Wellman Photomedicine/Harvard Medical School (USA) with Prof S H Andy Yun, where he developed adaptive intravital endomicroscopy for live small animal imaging. That is followed by a short stint as a Vice Chancellor Fellow at UNSW on nanowire optical manipulation. In 2013, he started his own research group (Applied Optics Lab) at Research School of Engineering to develop novel optical techniques and instruments to harness light for application in biomedicine and nanotechnology, where he won the 2014 ANSTO Eureka Prize for developing low cost elastomer optics. In 2014, he joins ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging as an Associated Investigator to develop the next generation of intravital microscopy for in-vivo imaging. In 2015, he receive an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA). In 2016, he joins ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics as an Associated Investigator.

Available student projects


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  17 December 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers