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CTO (2015 - 2019)


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Steven Prawer is Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne. He has a world wide reputation in advanced diamond science and technology with over 30 years of experience and over 390 scientific publications.

A particular focus has been the merging of the areas of nanoscience and neuroscience to push the boundaries of bionic devices. He has held numerous senior positions, including Director of the Melbourne Materials Institute, a multidisciplinary research initiative dedicated to using advanced materials science and technology to address problems of global significance (2008-2014), Node Director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computing Technology (2000-2002), and Inaugural Director of the Defence Science Institute (2011). In 2015-2016 he served as scientific advisor at the National Research Council of Canada, working on developing pathways to impact for early stage basic research. He has led numerous consortia bids, most recently championing attempts to establish an electric medicine initiative in Australia. In 2000 he spearheaded The University of Melbourne’s entry into the world of quantum computing and nanotechnology becoming the inaugural Director of the Melbourne node of the Special Research Centre for Quantum Computer Technology.

He has developed the technology for the fabrication for practical, diamond based quantum devices, such as single photon sources for secure communications, and room temperature read-out for spintronics for use in advanced quantum sensing. In 2005 he co-founded Quantum Communications Victoria, which produced the first prototype commercial single photon source, for use in quantum key distribution for ultra-secure communications.

In 2016 he co-founded a company, iBIONICS, to commercialize the diamond technology designed to enable the fabrication of high-density electrode arrays plus encapsulation capable of delivering a high acuity device designed to enable profoundly blind people to once again be able to recognize the faces of loved ones and read large print.

In 2018 he co-founded a company, Carbon Cybernetics, to commercialize a next-generation brain-machine interface based on carbon fibres and diamond technology.

Professor Prawer has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Lady Davis Visiting Professorship, The David Syme Research Prize, a Fulbright Senior visiting fellowship, visiting fellowship at Woolfson College in Oxford, and the Royal Society of Victoria Research medal. In 2010 he was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in recognition of his seminal contributions to diamond science and technology. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three of his seven children and in his spare time enjoys cycling, caravanning and camping in the Australian countryside.