Professor Malin Premaratne

Professor Malin Premaratne

Professor and Vice President, Academic Board
Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering
Room 114, 20 Research Way, Clayton Campus

Professor Malin Premaratne is an electrical engineer with diverse interests in physics, mathematics and computer science. He specializes in theory, modeling and simulation of light propagation through different media such as optical fibers, active semiconductors and biological media. These interests have naturally led him to investigate the emerging state of the art technology areas such as surface plasmons polaritons that result from light interacting with metals and artificial material composites (metamaterials) with extraordinary ability to control light. He has pioneered many novel techniques in theory, modeling and simulation of light interaction with guided and scattering media and published over 300 research papers (200+ Journals) and one book. Malin has won over $3.5 million direct funding, over $4.0 million students` scholarship funding, and about $750,000 on computer resources and time from competitive grants agencies, including the Australian Research Council (ARC) for this work.

Professor Malin Premaratne received a BSc degree in mathematics, a BE degree in electrical and electronics engineering (with first-class honors), and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in 1995, 1995, and 1998, respectively. From 1998 to 2000, he was with the Photonics Research Laboratory, a division of the Australian Photonics Cooperative Research Center (APCRC), University of Melbourne, where he was the Co project Leader of the APCRC Optical Amplifier Project and was also associated with Telstra, Australia, and Hewlett Packard, USA. From 2001 to 2003, he worked as a consultant to several companies, including Cisco, Lucent Technologies, Ericsson, Siemens, VPISystems, Telcordia Technologies, Ciena, and Tellium. Since 2004, he guided the research program in high-performance computing applications to complex systems simulations at the Advanced Computing and Simulation Laboratory (AχL), Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia, where he is currently the Research Director. He is also a Visiting Researcher with the University of Melbourne, Australian National University, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Rochester, New York, Oxford University and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is a Fellow, Institute of Engineers Australia (FIEAust) and Fellow of the Optical Society of America (FOSA).


  • PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Photonics/Optics, The University of Melbourne
  • BE - Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, The University of Melbourne
  • BSc - Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, The University of Melbourne
  • GradCertHE - Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Monash University Clayton


Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Electrodynamics, Numerical Software, Computational Biology, Electrical Engineering, Optical Physics, Functional Materials, NanoOptics, NanoMaterials, BioOptics.

Professional Association

  • Fellow Optical Society of America (FOSA).
  • Fellow, Institution of Engineers Australia (FIEAust).
  • Chairman, IEEE Photonics Society Victoria Australia.
  • Executive Member Institution of Engineers IT/EE College Victoria Australia.


  • Associate Editor OSA Advances in Optics and Photonics.
  • Associate Editor IEEE Photonics Journal.
  • Associate Editor IEEE Photonics Technology Letters.

External positions

  • Visiting Researcher, Australian National University
  • Visiting Researcher, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Visiting Researcher, The University of Melbourne
  • Visiting Researcher, University of California
  • Visiting Researcher , University of Oxford
  • Visiting Researcher, University of Rochester

Research Interests

Professor Malin Premaratne’s research interest are in the following areas, Optics, BioOptics, Numerical Analysis, Numerical Software, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Electrodynamics, Modeling and Simulation, Semiconductor Theory and Devices, Optics of Nano devices, Plasmonics, Software Engineering, Mathematics, Probability Theory, Computer Graphics

Research Projects

Current projects

Innovating Smaller, Stronger, Faster Nanoscale Light Sources: SPASERs

The SPASER is a new type of nano-size amplifier which is analogous to a transistor in modern electronics but operates more like a laser. It will be possible to build ultrafast processors of information with SPASERs replacing transistors or can be used in nanosensing, nanoimaging and many other fields. In this project, we assemble a world-class team consisting of one researcher who first pioneered the concept of SPASER and others who developed design and analysis techniques in the context of semiconductor lasers and detectors to engineer SPASER design. Our aim is to make robust, fast and efficient SPASERs which resembles the features of current lasers for use in circuits in the smallest possible size that consume lowest possible energy.

Past projects

Empowering Optical Metamaterials with Gain

Man-made material composites called optical metamaterials which constitute a new, 21st century area of engineering science. They can be engineered in such a way that both electrical and magnetic components have stronger interaction with the metamaterials structure, unrevealing many extraordinary properties such as magnetic behaviour in glass type substances and ability to bend light in any direction. In this project, we enhance the usability of metamaterials by strengthening their interaction with light by reducing losses through novel designs. The creation of these new generation materials and engineering their properties to suit novel applications will sure to underpin the growth in many industrial and economic activities in Australia.

Design and Experimental Demonstration of Ultrabroadband Silicon Optical Amplifiers

Silicon is a material where the extraordinary is made ordinary. Silicon continues to dominate the microelectronics industry because of its wide availability and remarkable chemical, thermal and mechanical properties that enable easy processing to vastly alter its properties. Siliconized optics (or silicon-based optics) provides a new platform for the monolithic integration of optics and microelectronics. In this project, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of pioneers of nonlinear optics and siliconized photonics build a next-generation broadband silicon optical amplifier which can open the door to a new hybrid technology enabling the realisation of low-power, wide-bandwidth, high-speed and ultra-small optoelectronic devices.

Finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulation of light scattering from tissue containing glucose.

Collection, Sharing, Visualisation and Analysis of locally gathered information from geographically remote areas vulnerable to tidal waves

This project will set up a virtual organisation for tsunami related data analysis using grid technology. Due to geologically remote areas/countries involved the sharing of seismic, tidal and other locally gathered tsunami related information is critical to issuing a warning. In collaboration with Australian and International partners, this project will explore: new avenues of tsunami-related data collection, which are currently not available; new data fusion methods; data sharing strategies; visualisation and analysis methods, and develop sensing methods to gather data on animal behaviours often reported as a possible way of identifying similar disasters.

Research articles, papers & publications

See Malin’s research contributions through published book chapters, articles, journal papers and in the media.

Last modified: 28/08/2020