Professor Derek Abbott

Professor Derek Abbott
 Position Professor
 Org Unit School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
 Telephone +61 8 8313 5748
 Location Floor/Room 3 47 ,  Ingkarni Wardli ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

  • Qualifications

    • 1982 BSc (Hons) in Physics, Loughborough University of Technology (LUT), UK
    • 1995 PhD in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Adelaide. Thesis: MESFET Photodetectors for Imaging Arrays, under Kamran Eshraghian and Bruce R. Davis
  • Teaching Interests

    Current teaching activity

    • Supervision of PhD students
    • Communications IV
    • Optical Communications Engineering

    Other teaching activity

    • 1998 Stephen Cole the Elder Prize
    • 2002 PGSA Supervisor of the Year Award
    • 2004 Member of DVCE’s working party on Recognition of Quality in Teaching
    • 2005 Member of SPIE (USA) International Scholarship Committee
    • 2013  Award for Excellence for Higher Degree by Research Supervision
  • Research Interests



    • Biomedical and bioinspired engineering
    • Optical/Infrared/mm-Wave/T-ray vision systems and sensors
    • Novel analog VLSI circuits
    • Game theory and information theory
    • Complex systems and quantum systems
    • Stochastic phenomena
    • Computational neuroscience
    • Forensic engineering
    • Forensic genealogy


    • 1977 General Electric Company (GEC) Bursary, UK
    • 1998 Stephen Cole the Elder Prize
    • 2002 PGSA Supervisor of the Year Award
    • 2003 SPIE Scholarship Award for Optical Science and Engineering, USA
    • 2004 Tall Poppy Award for Science, Australia
    • 2004 SA Great Award for Science & Technology, Australia
    • 2012 ARC Future Fellow (Level 3)
    • 2013  Award for Excellence for Higher Degree by Research Supervision
  • Publications


    • Mark D. McDonnell, Nigel G. Stocks, Charles E. M. Pearce, and Derek Abbott, Stochastic Resonance, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 9780521882620.
    • Derek Abbott, Paul C. W. Davies, and Arun K. Pati (Eds.), with Foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, Quantum Aspects of Life, Imperial College Press, 2008, ISBN 9781848162532.
    • Xiaoxia Yin, Brian W.-H. Ng, and Derek Abbott, Terahertz Imaging for Biomedical Applications, Springer-Verlag, 2012, ISBN 1461418208

    Selected journal publications

    • G. P. Harmer and D. Abbott, "Losing strategies can win by Parrondo's paradox," Nature (London), Vol. 402, No. 6764, p. 864, 1999.
    • J. M. R. Parrondo, G. P. Harmer and D. Abbott, "New paradoxical games based on Brownian ratchets," Physical Review Letters, Vol. 85, No. 24, pp. 5226-5229, 2000.
    • M. D. McDonnell, N. G. Stocks, and D. Abbott, "Optimal stimulus and noise distributions for information transmission via suprathreshold stochastic resonance," Phys. Rev. E, Vol. 75, No. 6, Art. No. 061105, 2007.
    • I. Jones, L. Ricciardi, L. Hall, H. Hansen, V. Varadan, C. Bertram, S. Maddocks, S. Enderling, D. Saint, S. Al-Sarawi, and D. Abbott, "Wireless RF communication in biomedical applications," Smart Materials and Structures, Vol. 17, Art. No. 015050, 2008.
    • W. Withayachumnankul, B. M. Fischer, and D. Abbott, "Material thickness optimization for transmission-mode terahertz time-domain spectroscopy," Optics Express, Vol. 16, No. 10, pp. 7382-7396, 2008.
    • A. P. Flitney and D. Abbott, "Quantum version of the Monty Hall problem," Physical Review A, Vol. 65, Art. No. 062318, 2002.
    • G. P. Harmer, B. R. Davis, and D. Abbott, "A review of stochastic resonance: circuits and measurement," IEEE Trans. Instrum. & Meas., Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 299-309, Apr. 2002.
    • M. Baumert, N. Wessel, A. Schirdewan, A. Voss, and D. Abbott, "Scaling characteristics of heart rate time series before the onset of ventricular tachycardia," Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 201-207, 2007.
    • D. Abbott, P. C. W. Davies, and C. R. Shalizi, "Order from disorder: the role of noise in creative processes," Fluctuation and Noise Letters, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. C1-C12, 2002.
    • D. Abbott and X. C. Zhang, "T-ray imaging, sensing, and retection," Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 95, No. 8, pp. 1509-1513, 2007.
    • L. T. Hall, H. J. Hansen, B. R. Davis, and D. Abbott, "Performance analysis of a series transformer for complex impedance matching," Microwave & Optical Technology Lett., Vol. 45, No. 6, pp. 491-494, 2005.
    • W. Withayachumnankul, B. M. Fischer, and D. Abbott, "Uncertainty in terahertz time-domain spectroscopy measurement," JOSB, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 1059-1072, 2008.
    • Y. Lee, A. Allison, D. Abbott, and H. E. Stanley, "Minimal Brownian ratchet: an exactly solvable model," Physical Review Letters, Vol. 91, No. 22, 220601, 2003.
    • A. P. Flitney, D. Abbott, and N. F. Johnson, "Quantum walks with history dependence," J. Phys. A: Math. Gen., Vol. 37, pp. 7581-7591, 2004.
    • P. Amengual, A. Allison, R. Toral, and D. Abbott, "Discrete-time ratchets, the Fokker-Planck equation and Parrondo's paradox," Proc. Royal Society London A, Vol. 460, pp. 2269–2284, 2004.
  • Professional Associations

    • Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), USA
    • Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP), UK
    • Fellow of Engineers Australia
    • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP)
  • Media Expertise

    CategoriesScience & Technology, Mathematics & Statistics
    ExpertiseT-rays; terahertz technology; lasers; biophtonics; biosensing; bioinformatics; platonism in science; nature of physics; quantum mechanics; game theory; puzzles; games of chance; probability; code cracking; authorship detection; what is scientific research?; problem solving; complex systems; biomedical engineering; vision systems; how to solve the world's energy needs?; order from randomness.

The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Entry last updated: Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

To link to this page, please use the following URL: