DR Ranjith Rajasekharan Unnithan

DR Ranjith Rajasekharan Unnithan


  • Biomedical Devices (Miniscope, Lab-on-chip sensors)
  • Drone-based Systems (Autonomous Drones, Drone-based Sensing Technology, Sensor Electronics)
  • Multispectral images for aerial sensing
  • Photonics and Electronics
  • Sensors for Road Safety



  • I am a Research Group Leader and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University of Melbourne. My research areas span CMOS image sensors, drones based sensors and applications, electronic sensors for biomedical applications, thermal image cameras and nanophotonic engineering. 

    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, I developed a voltage reconfigurable nanophotonic phase modulator with more than one million phase modulating elements in a very small area in silicon. After finishing my PhD, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher and project manager in the Electrical Engineering Department at Cambridge for a Samsung project. I joined the University of Melbourne as a lecturer in 2014. 


    • Co-founder and Director of Sensor Research, 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. 

    • Won the Transurban Innovation Competition 2017 for research into a speed sensor with LED lights, which once attached to the road surface could provide real-time customised signals encouraging speeding drivers to slow down.

     • 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   


Member of

  • Australian Optical Society. MAOS 2019 -
  • Institute of Electrical and Elecronics Engineers. MIEEE 2019 -
  • Optical Society of America. MOSA 2019 -
  • Optical Society of India. MOSI 2019 -
  • The International Society for Optics and Photonics. MSPIE 2019 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information


    • Ranjith R Unnithan, Investigation and testing of a product label (TP705670), Digital Falcon Pty Ltd (2017)

    • Ranjith R Unnithan, Feasibility study of the development of multispectral image sensors for drones, Comcom, UoM Commercial Ltd (2017) 


    • Ranjith R Unnithan, Ken Crozier and Thas Nirmalathas, Near to Far infrared characterization microscope, MSE Strategic Investment Funds (2017)

    • Ranjith R Unnithan, Modified thermal image cameras: Industry Engagement Grant by The University of Melbourne (2016)

    • Ranjith R Unnithan, Development of submicron pixels, Start-up-grant, EEE, The University of Melbourne  (2014 - 2017)



Education and training

  • PhD (Electrical Engineering), University of Cambridge 2011

Awards and honors

  • MCN Tech Fellow Ambassador, 2019
  • Transurban Innovation Grant Competition, Transurban Pty Ltd, 2017
  • Merit Alocation Scheme, National Computational Infrastructure, 2013
  • Received $1275 to utilise the MCN for my proposed work, 'Submicron pixels with plasmonic filters'., UoM - MCN Merit Time Allocation, 2013
  • Won two awards for the proposals, "3D insect eye based endoscope" and "Do images really need pixels?", Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE), 2011
  • A grant of $3000 awarded for interdisciplinary research in nanotechnology and appointed as a NanoDTC Associate at the University of Cambridge., Nano Science And Technology Doctoral Training Centre (NanoDTC) Associate Grant Competition, 2010
  • A grant of GBP15,000 was awarded for the proposal to develop 'a flat nano 3D vision sensor' by the University of Cambridge., CamBridgeSens Network Grant Innovation Competition, University of Cambridge, 2010
  • A grant of GBP5,000 was awarded for the proposal to develop 'chemical nano-diodes (CNDs) and biochemical nano-photo diodes (BNPDs)., CambridgeSens Innovation Competition, 2009
  • UKIERI Scholarship - British Council, 2007
  • Cambridge Commonwealth Trust (CCT) Scholarship, 2007
  • Young Scientist Award from His Excellency the President of India, Indian Space Research Organization, Government of India, 2007



Available for supervision

  • Y