Optical & wireless communications innovator 

Thas Nirmalathas FTSE

Thas Nirmalathas, New Fellow 2022

Credit: Tony Zara Photography


Deputy Dean (Research), Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Melbourne (VIC) 

Professor Thas Nirmalathas is an expert in communications technologies and networking for optical distribution of broadband wireless signals. 

He is academic lead at the Wireless Innovation Lab, an industry-university collaboration vehicle aiming to improve accessibility of ultra-fast wireless communications throughout Australia via next-generation wireless solutions. 

Thas co-founded the Melbourne Accelerator Program, the first university-aligned Australian startup accelerator. It has assisted more than 200 startups. He also helped establish Translating Research at Melbourne (TRaM). These initiatives gave rise to the Melbourne Entrepreneurship Centre. 

Thas’s work foreshadowed advanced broadband mobile networks like 5G and 6G. It also inspired the development of optical wireless transmission using emerging nano-optical fabrication technologies, creating systems compatible with future virtual reality interfaces.