Professor Ken Ostrikov

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Science and Engineering Faculty,
Chemistry, Physics, Mechanical Engineering,
Nanotechnology and Molecular Science

IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Science and Engineering Projects,
IHBI Chem Physics Mech Engineering – CDA

Summary of major contributions and recognition

Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov pioneered the field of Plasma Nanoscience and have led it to recognition as a distinctive research field and a major advance in physics. He has made groundbreaking advances in plasma processing of nano and bio materials, and achieved recognition in the broad disciplines of physics, chemistry, and biology.

His work developed a conceptual basis, theories, and experimental techniques for explaining the plasma effects in nanoscale synthesis and processing. This led to systematic approaches to produce functional nanomaterials with highly-desirable properties, and a significantly raised profile of plasma technologies in materials processing and device fabrication.

His solo paper [K. Ostrikov, Rev. Mod. Phys. 77, 489 (2005)] developed a conceptual basis to bridge the ‘unbridgeable’ processes of plasma generation in bulk and atomic processes on solid surfaces, which enabled effective plasma-specific controls of nanoscale growth and self-organisation processes. This led to the formulation of basic concepts of Plasma Nanoscience as a distinct research field, and its diverse applications across physical, chemical, biological and engineering disciplines.

In less than 8 years, Plasma Nanoscience was recognised as a major advance in physics as manifested by the comprehensive summary of the field’s concepts and knowledge base [K. Ostrikov, E. Neyts, M. Meyyappan, Adv. Phys. 62, 113 (2013)]. His first-authored paper [K. Ostrikov, A. Ng, F. Beg, Rev. Mod. Phys. 88, 011001 (2016)] heralds a new major direction in the field focusing on plasmas of nanometer dimensions which allows to achieve unprecedented energy densities. He is the only person to have 1 sole- and 2 first-authored papers in these highly-reputed journals in the last decade. Plasma Nanoscience helped develop new opportunities in several major scientific and technological fields including chemical catalysis [E. Neyts, K. Ostrikov, M. Sunkara, A. Bogaerts, Chem. Rev. 115, 13408 (2015)], sustainable carbon cycles in technology and environment [K. Bazaka, M. Jacob, K. Ostrikov, Chem. Rev. 116, 163 (2016)], cancer treatment [M. Ishaq, M. Evans, K. Ostrikov, Int. J. Cancer 134, 1517 (2014)] and some others.

Ostrikov co-developed fast, energy-efficient, environment-, and health-friendly, uniquely plasma-enabled approaches for the synthesis and processing of freestanding and oriented graphenes, carbon nanotubes, silicon nanocones, inorganic nanowires, quantum dots, and many other pure, composite and hybrid functional nanomaterials. The unique properties of many materials have been enabled for next-generation devices and systems for applications in renewable energy (e.g., solar cells, batteries, supercapacitors), the environment (e.g., gas sensing), medicine and health care (e.g., drug delivery, biosensing), and human nutrition (e.g., water purification).

Professor Ostrikov is the acknowledged leader of the field, recognised for research excellence, inspirational scientific leadership of his high-achieving group and network of collaborators, direction setting, engaging ability and science leadership in the large international community. An example of such recognition is his recent election to the prestigious Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea), with Plasma Nanoscience clearly listed as a research area in physical sciences and engineering. This effort has led to creation of the knowledge base of Plasma Nanoscience which is expanding by many monographs, edited books and special issues of leading journals. The knowledge is distributed across physical, chemical, biological, and engineering sciences thus heralding interdisciplinary recognition.

The significance, innovation, and impact of his work is recognized by the following Pawsey Medal citation of the Australian Academy of Sciences: “K. Ostrikov has achieved international repute through his contributions to diverse multidisciplinary fields, particularly in plasma nanoscience, where he is widely recognized as a pioneer and world leading authority. He has used innovative approaches to the creation and manipulation of atomic and nanoscale building blocks, the organization of nanomatter by plasma, and describing the interactions between plasma and solids. His research has created new ways to generate self-assembled nanomaterials, nanoelectronic and photonic structures, and devices for future computer chips, solar cells, communications systems and biosensors.”

As an established and recognised leader of a large international collaborative network, convenor of annual conferences, and lead editor of special issues in the field, he leads a large international multidisciplinary research and innovation community. He is the first recipient of the high-profile 2012 Building Future Award of Germany’s Ministry of Economics, Association of Electronic and Electrotechnical Industries, and the world’s largest Trade Fair Messe Frankfurt in recognition of outstanding achievements and innovations in scientific research that sets a landmark in sustainable development in our society. His achievements include the 3 most prestigious general-field (physics) medals of National Academies of Science of Australia and Ukraine and the Australian Institute of Physics (one of the only two researchers who have been awarded both of the two most prestigious medals in physics [AIP Walter Boas (2010) and AAS Pawsey (2008)] in Australia in last decade), 7 prestigious international fellowships and 12 full professor-level appointments in 6 countries.

His H-index of 64 has been achieved in only 19 career years, which is exceptional as it is 3 times higher than the accepted sign of success [Nature 436, 900 (2005)] and is higher than his physical age, more than 150 plenary, keynote, and invited talks at international conferences, research training of ~67 researchers with PhD and >95 research students, as well as more than $15M in competitive research funding and more than 250 coauthors/collaborators in last 6 years. Staff, postdocs, and students trained by Ostrikov are well-known and recognized nationally and internationally (e.g., prestigious fellowships, awards, publications, invitations, entrepreneurs, CEOs, etc.).

His research on nanoscale control of energy and matter for a sustainable future contributes to the solution of the grand challenge of directing energy and matter at the nanoscale, a challenge that is critical for renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies for a sustainable future. Ostrikov’s 2014 NSW Science and Engineering Award evidences recognition of his excellence across physical, chemical, and biological effects induced by plasmas and plasma-produced or modified materials.

Fields of scholarship

  • Plasma nanoscience
  • Nanotechnology, nanofabrication
  • Nanoscale synthesis and processing
  • Materials science
  • Functional nanomaterials and devices
  • Low-temperature plasma applications
  • Energy, environmental, health, and other industrial technologies
  • Nano-plasmas and plasmonics
  • Plasma health care and medicine
  • Plasma catalysis
  • Genetic modifications
  • Cleantech
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Advanced (e.g., additive) manufacturing


  • M.Sc. (Distinction), Kharkiv National University, Ukraine, 1989
  • Ph. D., Kharkiv National University, Ukraine 1992
  • Doctor of Sciences (D. Sc./Habilitation) 1996; Highest Certification Authority of Ukraine (awarded aged 29 – the youngest Doctor of Sciences in Ukraine at the time of award).
  • Graduate Diploma in Education (GDipEdu), The University of New England, NSW, Australia, 2006.

Brief career history

  • Full Professor of Nanotechnology and Molecular Science, School of Chemistry, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Future Environments, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, since 2014.
  • Founding Leader, CSIRO-QUT Joint Sustainable Processes and Devices Laboratory, CSIRO Manufacturing, Sydney, NSW, Australia, since 2015.
  • Founding Leader, Plasma Nanoscience Center Australia (PNCA), CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Lindfield, Sydney, NSW, Australia, since 2008.
  • CSIRO’s Chief Research Scientist – Plasma- and Nano- Technologies, 2012-2015. (Equivalent to Level F in Australian Universities – equivalent to the international category of Laureate/Distinguished Professors).
  • Australian Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Lindfield, Sydney NSW, Australia, 2011-2015
  • CEO Science Leader, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, then CSIRO Manufacturing, since 07/2008.
  • Associate Research Professor (Level D), Complex Systems Group, School of Physics, The University of Sydney, Sydney NSW, Australia, 01/2007 – 06/2008
  • Director, Center for Waves and Complex Systems, Univ. of Sydney, Australia (2006-2008)
  • Australian Queen Elizabeth II Fellow (Equiv. Australian Level C, then D) of the Australian Research Council, Complex Systems Group, School of Physics, The University of Sydney, Sydney NSW, Australia, then transferred to CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Lindfield, NSW, Australia, 05/2004 – 01/2010
  • Lee Kuan Yew Research Fellow (Equiv. Australian Level C), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2002-2005. The most prestigious mid-career research fellowship in Singapore, with only 2 fellowships awarded at that time annually, across all disciplines (extremely low success rate).
  • JSPS Professorial Fellow (Equiv. Australian Level D/E), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Nagoya University, Japan, 2000-2001
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (Equiv. Australian Level D), Ruhr-University, Germany, 1997-1999
  • Full Professor (Equiv. Australian Level E), Kharkiv National University, Ukraine, before 1997

Selected awards, prizes, honours, fellowships, and leadership roles

  • Elected a Foreign Member of the prestigious Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe, AE, 2015). Election is confirmed by the AE Council only after peer group nomination, scrutiny and confirmation as to the scholarship and eminence of the nominee in their field; special distinctions/achievements are required for the election as a Foreign Member. Amongst the AE’s members are about 60 Nobel Laureates, including K. Novoselov (Nobel Prize in Physics 2010) elected in the same round with me. Only 6 other Australians have been elected to the AE until now, and Ostrikov is the first Australian member of the Physics and Engineering Sciences section.
  • “Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry and Physics” NSW Science and Engineering Award (2014). Office of NSW Scientist & Engineer and NSW Trade & Investment of NSW Government. This award recognises my research excellence across physical, chemical, and biological sciences.
  • Walter Boas Medal, Australian Institute of Physics (2010). For original research that has made the most important contribution to physics in the last 5 years. One of the most prestigious awards in Physics in Australia.
  • Pawsey Medal of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2008). For the most outstanding research in physics by an Australian scientist under the age of 40. One of the most prestigious awards in Physics in Australia.
  • ARC Future Fellowship, Level 3, Full Professor (2011-2015). One of the most prestigious fellowships in Australia with no more than 30 fellowships of this level awarded nation-wide across all disciplines per year.
  • CEO Science Leader Fellowship and Award, CSIRO (2008-2017). CSIRO’s most prestigious fellowship; prestige and level of support comparable to ARC Federation Fellowship.
  • Australian Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Fellowship of the ARC (2004-2009). One of the most prestigious fellowships in Australia with no more than 15 QEII fellowships awarded nation-wide across all disciplines per year.
  • Lee Kuan Yew Research Fellowship, Singapore (2002). Most prestigious and competitive mid-career research fellowship in Singapore, with only 2 fellowships awarded at that time annually, across all disciplines.
  • CSIRO Chief’s Award for Science Excellence, Australia (2011). For outstanding multidisciplinary research.
  • National Top-End (short term) Visiting Professor Awards, China (2012-4, 2015-7). Highly-prestigious and competitive program to attract pre-eminent visiting professors who are internationally renowned in their fields.
  • More than 10 honorary, adjunct, and visiting full professor-level appointments in 5 countries, including the Prominent Researchers from Abroad Distinguished Visiting Professorship Award of the Ministry of Science of Slovenia (2008, 2012), the Foreign Visiting Professorship (FVP) of Peking University (PkU) and Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU), and “111 Project Master” of Zhejiang University, China (since 2015-2016).
    According to PkU, the FVP is awarded to pre-eminent world-class scientists whose original contributions pioneered new fields of research and have been widely recognized as ground-breaking and highly-innovative and promising for the future developments of science and technology.
  • Promoted to CSIRO’s Chief Research Scientist in Plasma- and Nano- Technologies (2012).
  • Convenor, iPlasmaNano International Conference Series (annually since 2009) and Leader, International Plasma Nanoscience Collaborative Research Network and Executive Committee, since 2008.
  • Distinguished Doctor of Sciences, Kharkiv National University, Ukraine (2009).
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Physics (since 2008).
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research (1997-1999) and Long-Term Cooperation (2002) Fellowships, Germany.
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Research Fellowship (2000-2001), Japan.
  • Royal Society Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (1997), UK.
  • Best Young Scientist of the Year Award, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (1997).