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Sergio G. Leon-Saval

Dr. Sergio G. Leon-Saval


Position: Associate Professor

Department: School of Physics

University/Institute/Company: University of Sydney


Biographical details

Sergio Leon-Saval is an Associate Professor at the School of Physics in the University of Sydney. He was awarded his PhD by the University of Bath, UK, in 2006. In 2007, he joined the University of Sydney where he is now Director of the Sydney Astrophotonics Instrumentation Laboratory (SAIL), and Deputy Director of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science (IPOS). A/Prof Leon-Saval has more than 16 years of experience in the research area of photonics. He has made breakthrough contributions in the field of specialty optical fibres, astrophotonics and optical instrumentation systems. He has published over 75 international refereed journals and more than 180 conference papers since 2004 with over 6600 citations, and a h-index of 40. A/Prof Leon-Saval has been a member of technical program and management committees on more than 10 international conferences. He is a Senior Member of the Optical Society of America (OSA), and member of the Australian Optical Society (AOS). He was the 2019 recipient of the AOS John Love Award, that recognizes innovations and technical advances in the field of optics.

Research interests

Optics, photonics, astrophotonics and space photonics, spectroscopy, astronomical instrumentation, optical fibres and optical fibre devices.

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Senior Experimental Physics Coordinator (2017-present)
  • Physics Fundamentals Waves and Oscillations, PHYS1002, University of Sydney (2016-present)
  • Physics Bridging Course, University of Sydney (2009-2011, 2013-2015)
  • Master of Photonics, Optical Materials and Methods, PHYS5022, University of Sydney (2010-2013)
  • Optics for Engineers, PHYS2213: Physics 2EE, University of Sydney (2013-present)
  • Lecturer, Summer School 2012 in Astronomical Instrumentation, University of Toronto (2012)
  • Lecturer, Summer School 2015 in Astrophotonics and Adaptive Optics, University of Durham (2015)

Supervision and Mentoring of University of Sydney Students (Only graduated students)

  • 5 PhD Students (2 Co-Supervisor, 3 Associate Supervisor)
  • 6 Honours Students (3 Supervisor, 3 Associate Supervisor)
  • 2 Masters Students (1 Supervisor, 1 Associate Supervisor)

Current projects

A/Prof Leon-Saval works in photonics, optical fibre devices and astronomical/space instrumentation. His major expertise is on optical fibre transitions for device applications. More recently his research has been focused on the development of photonic new concepts for astronomical instrumentation and spectroscopy, telecommunications and remote sensing.

International Memberships and Recognition

– President , Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP) (2016-2019)
– Vice-President and Founder Member, Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific (SRAP) (2014-2016)
– Member Optical Society of America (OSA) (2014-)
– IEEE member (2008-present)
– Institute of Physics (IOP) member (2008-present)
– Panel of Experts of the Spanish National Evaluation and Foresight Agency (ANEP) (2009-present)
– Visiting Fellow, University of New South Wales, Australia (2007-2010)
– Visiting Fellow, Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam (AIP), Germany (2010-2011)

Selected prizes, awards and honours

2019    Australian Optical Society- 2019 AOS John Love Award

2017    Selby Research Award

2016    Peter McGregor Prize, Astronomical Society of Australia

2016    Senior Member Optical Society of America (OSA)

2015    Invited Lecturer, Summer School 2015 in Astrophotonics and Adaptive Optics, University of Durham

2012    Invited Lecturer, Summer School 2012 in Astronomical Instrumentation, University of Toronto

2011    Plenary Speaker, 11th Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC), Canberra, Australia

2009    ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (2009-2012)

Grant Track Record (Since 2009, Total of $10.63M funding awarded)

  • $7.48M Australian Research Council (ARC) [ITTC17; DP18,DP10; LIEF2012,2014,2015,2016,2019]
  • $0.88M University of Sydney grants [DVC-R 2013; Faculty of Science 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018, SREI 2017]
  • $2.27M Industry/Private funding grants [Melbourne Water 2017, Horticulture Australia 2015, NSF/University of Maryland 2016-17, Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), 2018]

Disciplines: Education, Physics, Space Science

  • Physics: Experimental Physics, Optics
  • Space Science: Observational Astronomy

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