Professor Bowen is recognised both nationally and internationally for quantum optomechanics, precision measurement, and the translation of quantum technologies. He has made important contributions to the field, including the first demonstrations of quantum enhanced precision and resolution in biological measurements, the concept of cavity opto-electromechanics, photon pair generation from an atomic ensemble, two-dimensional beam positioning below the quantum limit, and strong coupling between a single atom and an integrated microcavity. He has been involved in major international efforts such as the US Air Force Biophysics Program, and the DARPA Quantum Assisted Sensing and Readout (QuASAR) and Optical Radiation Cooling and Heating in Integrated Devices (ORCHID) Programs.

Major funding support

Since 2010, Professor Bowen has been lead Chief Investigator on three ARC Discovery Project grants and one ARC Linkage grant, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems. He has attracted competitive international funding from the US Defence Advanced Re- search Projects Agency (DARPA), the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Australian Coal Industry Research Program (ACARP), and the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD). In total, this has brought >$7M to his lab.

Mentoring and research training

Professor Bowen established the Queensland Quantum Optics Laboratory in 2008 with a vision of creating a world-leading research program in quantum optomechanics in Australia. The Laboratory now has eight PhD students and eight postdocs, one of whom will take up a faculty position at Oxford in July. Professor Bowen has been primary supervisor of 19 postgraduate students, whose recognition includes a Fulbright Scholarship, an Australian Youth Science Ambassadorship, and a Springer PhD theses prize, the current Queensland nomination for the AIP Bragg Medal, the Australian Optical Society Postgraduate Student Prize and UQ Graduate of the Year. If you are interested in working or studying with Professor Bowen, please contact him.

PhD, Australian National University, Australia (2004)
BSc (Hons), Otago University, New Zealand (1999)
Quantum Optomechanics

Grand challenge: Realise new capabilities through the development of a comprehensive and flexible quantum control toolkit.

Grand challenge: Realise sub-cellular, in vivo, imaging in real time with microsecond time-resolution using biocompatible nanoparticles and spin manipulation.

In quantum optomechanics optical fields are used to control and manipulate the quantum behaviour of a micro- or nano-mechanical oscillator. Such research has prospects for not only fundamental tests of quantum mechanics at size scales inaccessible to other approaches, but allow applications in precision sensing, metrology, and information technology. In 2014, we have made significant progress in this direction. 

The opto- and nanomechanics program seeks to:

  • Cool mechanical oscillators to their ground state
  • Develop and apply new quantum control techniques that enable non-classical states of mechanical oscillators to be generated.
  • Develop optomechanical systems with very high light-mechanics coupling strengths
  • Apply quantum control to enhance sensing applications of micromechanical systems
  • Interface optomechanics with other quantum systems including atoms and NV centres
  • Study quantum and classical phenomena in arrays of optically coupled micromechanical oscillators
Current Supervision

Doctor Philosophy - Associate Advisor

Other advisors:

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Optomechanical refrigeration of electronic circuits

ARC Linkage Projects (2015 to 2018)

Australian Research Council Future Fellowship


Optomechanical metrology: pushing optical sensing to its limit

ARC Future Fellowships (2014 to 2018)

Quantum microrheology

Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (2014 to 2015)

Visiting Fellowship for internationally prominent scientists, JILA/NIST, USA


Ultraprecise sensing with microcavity optomechanics

ARC Discovery Projects (2013 to 2016)

Phononic Circuits

Lockheed Martin Corporation (2013 to 2015)

Achieving high sensitivity in cavity optomechanical magnetometry

Department Defence - Defence Science & Technology (2012 to 2015)

Quantum Control of Mechanical Systems: A New Paradigm for Fundamental Science, Sensing, and Metrology

UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards - DVC(R) Funding (2010 to 2011)

The University of Queensland Foundation Research Excellence Award

Last reviewed 21 July 2015

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Major funding support

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