PROF Ampalavanapillai Nirmalathas

PROF Ampalavanapillai Nirmalathas


  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Communications,Internet, Broadband Access Networks, Optical networks, Transmission systems (Optical communications, Photonics, Microwave photonics, Terahertz photonics)
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation



  • Professor Thas (Ampalavanapillai) Nirmalathas

    Thas Nirmalathas is a Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is also the Head of Electronic and Photonic Systems Research Group at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Melbourne.

    Prof Nirmalathas obtained his BEng and PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Melbourne in 1993 and 1998 respectively. Between 2000 and 2004, he was the Director of Photonics Research Laboratory (Melbourne Node of Australian Photonics CRC) and also the Program Leader of Telecommunications Technologies Program. From 2004 to 2006, he was the Program Leader for the Network Technologies Research Program in NICTA. He was also the acting Lab Director of VRL in 2007. Between 2006 and 2008, He was the Research Group Manager of the Networked Systems Group of Victoria Research Laboratory (VRL) at the National ICT Australia (NICTA), a premier Australian research centre of excellence in ICT. Between 2010 and 2012, he was the Head, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne. In  2012, he co-founded the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP to support the entrepreneurial activities of the University Community through business acceleration methodologies and was the director of MAP until 2015. He was the Director of Networked Society Institute between 2014 and 2019 and provided leadership to the institute. Networked Society Institute was a catalyst in supporting interdisciplinary research tackling societal challenges through exploration of connectivity between people, places and things. 

    His research interests include microwave photonics, optical-wireless network integration, broadband networks, and scalability of telecom and Internet services.

    He has serviced as chair of steering committees of Asia Pacific Microwave Photonics and IEEE Topical Meeting on Microwa   


Member of

  • Optical Society of America (OSA). Member 2006 -
  • IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. SMIEEE 2003 -
  • Communications Society. Member 2001 -
  • IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS). Member 2001 -
  • Standards Activities Society (SA). Member 2001 -
  • Telecommunications Society of Australia. Member 2001 -
  • IEAUST - The Institution of Engineers Australia. Member and Fellow 2000 -
  • IEEE Microwave Techniques and Theory Society (MTTS). Life Member 2000 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information




Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1998
  • BEng (Hons), University of Melbourne 1993

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Australia, 2007



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am engaged in the following exciting research projects and seeking highly motivated and talented students interested in undertaking research higher degree studies at both Masters and PhD levels. (1) energy efficient of telecommunications and Internet networks and services (2) scalable and energy efficient content delivery networks (3) optical and wireless network integration including wireless backhaul, network optimisation and radio over fibre transmission schemes (4) electro-optic sampling and instrumentation towards applications in telecommunications, medicine and defence (5) ultra broadband interconnects and short-range communications technologies based on optical wireless transmission (6) ultra-broadband devices and systems extending in to the Tera-Hertz frequency bands by exploiting hybrid electronic and photonic systems. (7) Broadband networks and future GRID (8) Internet of Things and Future Broadband Mobile Networks