Science outreach

Niraj Lal
BSc (ANU), PhD (Cambridge)
Director, First Principles ABN 26 158 474 104
Physics of solar cells, Renewable Energy, and Science Communication

YouTube channel here, ABC broadcasts here,
Presenter of ABC SCIENCEY.
Producer of primary school science shows for Newcastle Museum Express.
How Solar Cells Work article for ABC Science Online.

Clients include
Screentime Australia for ABC Television, Cambridge University Office of External Affairs, ABC Television, Fredbird Entertainment for The Discovery Channel, ABC Splash for Kids, Questacon, ANU Energy Change Institute, Newcastle Museum.


"A fresh, powerful, entertaining and relevant take on the science of solar" - Fenella Kernebone, Curator of TEDxSydney

"Nij's ability to communicate science is outstanding" - Jeff Siberry, Director, Todd Sampson's Life on the Line Series, ABC TV

"Nij is amazing at outreach… he makes even hardcore physics sound like fun!" - Sue Long, Outreach Officer, University of Cambridge

"fantastic! and pitched at the right level for everyone" Dr Helen West, Head of Science, Cambridge Regional College

I'm one of the students in year 9 from Tumut High School who watched your presentation. I'd just like to say that it was very interesting, and you presented it with incredibly awesome skills. Just thought I'd mention it. :) I've never really realised how amazing and complex science really is. You inspired me to try the best I possibly can in Science, since I'm not very good or interested in it. But I suppose things change. Thanks for coming to our school. :) I'm more of an artist (so everyone tells me) than an expert in year 9 science. But I'll give it a go. Thanks again. :D“
- Shanade Aylett, Yr 9 Tumut High School

"Extremely well-structured and thought-provoking, excellent use of props, highly relevant to today's energy-conscious world, Nij's enthusiasm was fantastic. It was obvious that Nij was having a great fun time, and in turn our students were thoroughly engaged.
- Andrew Trost, Maths Teacher and Teacher Representative, Narrabundah College

"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.
- Bronwyn Rutherford, Head Science Teacher, Narooma High School

"Inspiring, fascinating and really applicable... Nij is a great speaker" - Helen Blackman, Science Teacher, Swavesey Village High School, East Anglia, UK

"You were mad, your show made me pay attention to science. And you were funny which made it more exciting."
- Ally, Yr 10 Narooma High School

"Their faces said it all... Usually our children are somewhat shy and reserved with visitors but Nij ignited a learning fuse where their number of questions showed how much they were engaged... Nij really connected with our children."
- Robert Pastor, Principal of Jervis Bay Primary School

"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."
- Dr Nerilee Flint, Education Adviser, Australian National University Division of Student Life Access and Inclusion

“Niraj is the best show teller about science in the world." - Ryannon Lawson, age7, Bluff Point Primary School, Western Australia.

Science Communication Gigs/Awards

Presenter, ABC SCIENCEY, 2017
Guest Physicist, Todd Samson's Life on the Line, ABC TV, 2017
Physicist, Dr Karl's Outrageous Acts of Science, Discovery Channel, 2017
Australia Falling Walls Lab Speaker, Australian Academy of Science 2016
TEDx Sydney Salon Speaker, 2016
ABC RN Top 5 Scientist Under 40, 2016
ACT Ambassador for National Science Week, 2016
Australian Academy of Science nominee for the Lindau Nobel Meeting, 2015
Aust. Institute of Physics delegate to "Science Meets Parliament" 2014
AIPS Young Tall Poppy of the Year ACT 2013
Australian National University Medal for the Young Tall Poppy of the Year ACT 2013
Oxford Famelab Wildcard, 2012;
Winner IET Present Around the World Competition, Cambridge UK 2010
National Science Week ACT Grant 2014
National Science Week ACT Grant 2013
Australian Academy of Science symposium Early Career Representative of the ANU Energy Change Institute
Cambridge University Rising Stars Public Engagement Program Presentation Winner, 2011


2016 Guest Lecturer, Materials for Energy Technologies, Monash University Engineering Course, MTE5884
2015 Australian Defence Force Guest Lecturer on Energy
2015 Contracted to the Newcastle Museum to produce science shows for 'Museum Express', sponsored by Orica
2014-15 Lecturer in Renewable Energy, Australian National University
2013-14 Presenter at Primary and High-schools across SE Australia for National Science Week5
2010-12 Cambridge International Science Festival Presenter
2010-12 Cambridge University International Summer School Lecturer
2010 Cambridge University Rising Stars Public Participation Program Graduate
2009-12 Cambridge University Widening Participation Presenter
2008 Science Outreach Officer with Scitech


2016 TEDx Sydney Salon Speaker
2016 ABC Radio National Appearances as a Top 5 Under 40 Scientist
2015 National Science Week Shows to high-school students and the elderly across SE Australia
2015 City of Sydney Science Show at Ultimo Library
2015 ABC Radio 666 Panel appearances
2014 National Science Week Shows to primary and high-school across SE Australia
2014 National Youth Science Forum, Canberra ACT
2014 Hungry Science Beast Radio podcasts
2014 BiodegRadio Science Shows on 2XX FM, Canberra Community Radio
2013 ANU Kioloa Science Day for Batemans Bay, Moruya and Eden high-schools
2013 National Science Week Shows at Tumut High, Monaro High, Narrabundah College and Jervis Bay Primary School
2013 Questacon 100 degrees C Lecture, celebration of Canberran Scientists for the Centenary of Canberra
2013 Questacon Science Shows
2013 The Science of Electricity - University of the Third Age, Belconnen Current Affairs Group
2013 ANU Energy Change Masters Guest Lecture

Nij on YouTube

Niraj Lal youtube channel