Dr Niraj (Nij) Lal is a physicist, presenter and author who really digs science. His science videos with the ABC have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and his scientific publications have been cited more than 500 times. He currently works as a presenter with the ABC, Physics Consultant to the ARC Centre of Excellence for Exciton Science, Renewable Energy public servant in the Victorian Government, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University, and Director of First Principles. In 2012 Niraj ('nir-ridge' or Nij for short) graduated as a Gates Scholar with a PhD in physics from the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and in 2016 he was named one of the ABC's Top 5 Scientists Under 40. He has appeared on telly a bunch of times, written two children's books about science, spoken as an invited speaker at international conferences and taught science at levels ranging from pre-school to post-graduate. In addition to science things, Niraj is the Founder and CEO of TheKnews.org - a global wisdom-sharing website, noisevssignal.orgfor digital protest against mass surveillance, and has played sax and samba drums at events ranging from UK Music Festivals to the Sydney Mardi Gras. He lives in Melbourne with his partner Sally, and their two kids Ash and Ella.
Niraj's children's book Henry The Emu That Could Fly will be published in 2020.
More info can be found at his website here
All of his shows receive high praise from students and teachers – and in terms of social justice are essential. The students to whom he has presented for us do not receive opportunities such as these and Nij’s enthusiasm and commitment to the importance of his work as a scientist show through in his engaging sessions – as evidenced in the written surveys we collect from each student who attends them.
Australian National University Division of Student Life Access and Inclusion
Nij is amazing at outreach… he makes even hardcore physics sound like fun!
University of Cambridge
Nij's ability to communicate science is outstanding
Todd Sampson's Life on the Line Series, ABC TV
A fresh, powerful, entertaining and relevant take on the science of solar
I thoroughly enjoyed both shows myself. But what amazed me was the way you engaged the Year 10 students. It was so lovely to see them all switched on and interested. They haven't been an easy year to teach because as an entire group they are very disengaged from their learning. I have even had a couple of students in year 10 approach me about switching into a science course for year 11 next year - which they hadn't considered doing previously. Your outreach is incredibly valuable, to watch you inspire those young minds was great.
Narooma High School