Dr Fiona J Beck

FERL Fellow
Senior Lecturer
Ian Ross (31), R220a
+61 2 619 70113

Dr Beck leads a research group focused on integrating nanophotonics and optoelectronic device design for applications in solar fuels and the next generation of photodetection technologies. She is also Convener of the Hydrogen Fuels Project in the Energy Change Institute's Zero-carbon energy for the Asia-Pacific ANU Grand Challenge

Dr Beck currently holds a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the ARC, as well as the Future Engineering Research Leader (FERL) Fellowship from the ANU. She joined the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University as a research fellow and lecturer in 2015. She spent the previous four years as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, employing plasmonics to enhance the performance of novel optoelectronic devices. She obtained a PhD from the ANU in 2011, with a thesis on designing plasmonic light trapping schemes for applications in solar cells. She has an MSci degree in Physics from The University of Glasgow, and was awarded the Eve and Ravenscroft prize for the most distinguished graduate from the Faculty of Physical Sciences.  

Dr Beck tweets about optoelectronics, nano-optics, and saving the world with renewable energy @Fiona_J_Beck

Research areas

  • Nanophotonic approaches to photochemistry 
  • Hot electron science and applications 
  • Solar (photoelectrochemical) hydrogen generation
  • The hydrogen economy and the energy transition

Academic history

2019-present: Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow, Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering, ANU

2015-2018: Lecturer and Research Fellow, Research School of Engineering, ANU

2011-2014: Postdoctral Researcher, ICFO- Institute of Photonic Science, Barcelona, Spain

2007-2010: PhD in Nanophotonics for light trapping, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University, Australia

2002-2006: First Class MSci in Physics, University of Glasgow, Scotland


2018: Zero-carbon energy for the Asia-Pacific, ANU Grand Challenges Scheme, Hydrogen Fuels Project Convenor, https://www.anu.edu.au/research/research-initiatives/zero-carbon-energy-for-the-asia-pacific

2018: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Research and Development Program Round 4: Renewable Hydrogen for Export, Low-Cost Perovskite/Silicon Semiconductors Integrated with Earth Abundant Catalysts for Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation KC007

2018: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Research School of Engineering, ANU, Plasmonic hot-electron technologies for nanoscale energy conversion, DE180100383

2016: ANU Major Equipment Committee Grant, Research School of Engineering, ANU, Photoelectrochemical Characterisation Facility

2014:  Future Engineering Research Leader Fellowship, Research School of Engineering, ANU, Nanostructured Optoelectronic Devices

2011-2013: Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship, European FP7 People Framework, ICFO - Institute of Photonic Science, Barcelona, Spain, Plasmonically enhanced collodial quantum dot photovoltaics, FP7-299517-PECQDPV

My research spans the boundary between nano-scale optics and photoelectrochemical/optoelectronic device design: harnessing an improved understanding of light-matter interactions to investigate new ways to convert light to other forms of energy.

Our research group brings together expertise in numerical simulations, device design and fabrication, and advanced characterisation to demonstrate proof-of-concept devices with the potential to impact a range of applications; including alternative energy production, and the next generation of photodetection technologies. 

For more info on what I do, and why, see:




Research areas

  • Nanophotonic approaches to photochemistry 
  • Hot electron science and applications 
  • Solar (photoelectrochemical) hydrogen generation
  • The hydrogen economy and the energy transition



**I am looking for PhD Candidates interested in Nanophotonic approaches to photochemistry to support through the August 2020 round**

Dr Reza Fazeli »

Grand Challenge Research Fellow

Ms Astha Sharma »

PhD student


2018: CECS Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, “For her impactful use of active learning technologies within her classes”, Individual award.

2018: CECS Dean’s Award for contributions to Programs that Enhance Student Learning: For their pioneering efforts in developing enhanced feedback mechanisms and grading mechanisms” Team award.

2018: World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Scientist. Each year, the World Economic Forum honours 50 extraordinary scientists under the age of 40 for their contributions to advancing the frontiers of science, engineering and technology.

2010: Selected as an author for the Australian Research Council Nanotechnology Network Book Project.

2010: Nominated for the JG Crawford Prize at The Australian National University for the graduate students in the faculties of Science, Medicine and Engineering most deserving of recognition for the quality of their graduate work.

2006: Ede & Ravenscroft Prize, awarded annually to the most distinguished graduate of the Physical Sciences Faculty at the University of Glasgow. 



2018 Women in Energy Committee

2018 CECS Diversity and Inclusion Committee

start 2018- present: Early Career Academic representative on the CECS Executive

start 2016- end 2017: Student Experience Coordinator for coursework students in RSE.

Student experience and engagement (SE) in the University context incorporates three main ideas: inspiring the active participation and interest of students in their academic studies; providing the services and opportunities necessary for students to fully integrate into college life; and facilitating the engagement of students with external organisations through outreach, internships and work experience in order to enrich their studies.



Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Webmaster