Research Fellows Turned Entrepreneurs

Anyone who has ever built a complex precision instrument knows how much work is involved to make it run accurately and reliably. It can be heartbreaking to see a fine-tuned system disassembled at the conclusion of a research project. Open Instruments aims to save those unique, high-performance, advanced laboratory instruments by refining and commercialising them.

Open Instruments is managed by two UNSW Research Fellows with a combined 15 years of experience in experimental optical spectroscopy.

Dr. Henner Kampwerth

Dr. Henner Kampwerth


Henner is the founder and director of Open Instruments. His academic career includes 5 patents, 53 academic publications, the first ever “UNSW Student Inventor of the Year” award in 2010, leadership of several international research projects worth over $1m and the management of three laser laboratories for over 8 years.

He is passionate about elegant engineering solutions and always emphasises the importance of QUALITY, a word that, when spoken with his German accent, has been known to cause his students to giggle.

Dr. Michael Pollard

Dr. Michael Pollard

Research & Development

Mike is the R&D director of Open Instruments. His academic career includes one patent, 16 academic publications, the Sir William Siemens Medal and over 7 years of hands-on experience with optics and laser systems.

He is one of those immensely talented technical do-it-now people, who reads technical datasheets as bedtime literature.

Dr. Binesh Puthen Veettil

Dr. Binesh Puthen Veettil

External Academic Advisor

Binesh started building the first research version of the PDS system at UNSW-SPREE in 2014. His academic career includes 9 IP notifications, 74 academic articles and over 15 professional awards. Being the initiator of the PDS development at UNSW and his in-depth theoretical knowledge on it’s theory, he is a valuable advisor to Open Instruments.

His passion in solving theoretical problems and coming up with an endless stream of ideas have made him the “out-of-the-box thinking-man”. A side-effect are sleepless nights whenever a new & exciting idea is born.

Mr Nabi Genc

Mr Nabi Genc

Electrical Designer

Nabi takes care of our analog and digital electronic developments.
Mr Alejandro Bona

Mr Alejandro Bona

Industrial Designer

Alejandro looks after our enclosure and ergonomics of our creations.


Memberships and Research Collaborations

We have support from leading research institutions

Founders in Residence (FiR) at The University of New South Wales


Member of Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)

UNSW’s industrial partner in ‘Ultra-sensitive scientific absorption- spectrometers’, ACAP Round 3, RG123662LQ

Department of Industry Logo

UNSW’s industrial partner in Commercial prototyping of a Photothermal Deflection Spectrometer, TechVouchers NSW

Our Philosophy

We embrace the merits of the ‘open’ concept


Open Technical Drawings

We believe that you, as the customer, should be able to maintain, repair or modify the system yourself. Of course, you don’t have to, but some customers prefer this for reasons of timing and cost. We are happy to share the technical drawings with you to make this possible, free of charge.


Open to Industry Standards

We believe in the merits of following industry standards. This is important once you choose to maintain, repair or modify the system yourself. Components that follow industry standards will be widely available from various manufacturers, will be available for many years and available for a good price.
We see our business model in building great equipment, not in selling you overpriced generic components, such as light bulbs and lenses.

Of course, will we sell you parts that are unique to the system, but our aim is to keep prices reasonable.


Open to Mixing and Matching Hardware

You have the right to exchange the main building blocks of our systems for whatever seems suitable to you. To make this possible, we fully disclose information that will allow you to integrate components from other manufacturers.

For example, you might already have an advanced tunable laser, which would be the ideal light source for what you want to measure. You can do so with our PDS system, and we will advise you how to do it to the best of our ability. Of course, this also includes instructions on how to modify our software accordingly.

Disclaimer to Modifications
Please note that modifying the equipment might affect the warranty. The warranty of the PDS system will be voided if some of the precision alignment is modified. Any re-calibration of the optics by us will involve additional costs.

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Soon we will be launching our first prototype