Ranjith Rajasekharan Unnithan

I am a Research Group Leader and Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I am also Director of Sensor research at Hort-Eye Pty Ltd, Topical Editor of Optics Letters (Optica/OSA Group), Lead Scientific Advisor of KDH Design Co Ltd and Director of Teaching (EEE).

My career started as Scientist/Engineer at Indian Space Research Organization, Bangalore. I was involved in India’s first mission to moon “Chandrayaan -1”. I was awarded with Young Scientist award by His Excellency, The President of India in 2007 for my contributions.

During my PhD in Electrical Engineering at Cambridge University, I developed a voltage reconfigurable nanophotonic phase modulator technology with more than one million phase modulating elements in silicon. After finishing my PhD, I worked at Cambridge for a Samsung project. I joined the University of Melbourne as a lecturer in 2014.

I received the Dean’s Research Excellence Award in 2019, in recognition of my contributions to sensor research and also impactful delivery on funded projects. I also received EMI Emerging Leader Award in 2020 for my research leadership.

SELECTED INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Co-founder, Hort-Eye Pty Ltd, precision agriculture drone sensing company founded by a team from the University of Melbourne and aligned in partnership with XM2, a major drone equipment and services company.

Patents (including US patents), invention disclosures and trade secret: 13

Won the Transurban Innovation Competition 2017

Won two innovation competitions from Cambridge University Entrepreneurs in 2011, which were reported in Cambridge Elevator news as ‘25 Cambridge technologies that could change the world’.

Awarded with CambridgeSens innovation awards both in 2009 and 2010.

My research is on Sensor Engineering, which spans image and spectral sensors, machine learning on sensors, augmented reality (AR) displays, drone based sensor applications, electronic sensors for biomedical applications, new thermal spectral cameras and nanophotonic engineering.

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