Professor Ampalavanapillai (Thas) Nirmalathas is currently the Head of Department of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Melbourne, Australia. He is also the Director of Melbourne Engineering Research Institute (MERIT) which brings the entire research activity of the Melbourne School of Engineering under one research institute. He also leads and directs the Melbourne Accelerator Program at the University of Melbourne aimed at promoting entrepreneurship on campus.
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.
He has written more than 200 technical articles and currently hold 2 active international patents. His research interests include microwave photonics, semiconductor lasers, fibre-radio systems, optical access networks, optical performance monitoring and WDM packet switched networks