Dr. Chris Creagh
PhD. Physics, Grad. Dip. Ed. Secondary Education

Senior lecturer

About me

Hi, My name is Chris Creagh, I am a senior lecturer in Physics and I have a PhD. from Murdoch University. The title of my thesis? “Analysis of the Auger Lineshape of Palladium and Tin using Auger Photoelectron Coincidence Spectroscopy”. In other words I can do physics but most of the time I find myself doing education, which is fine because I have a  Murdoch Grad. Dip. Ed. as well.

I started at Murdoch as an undergraduate student in 1991 at the age of 36 years old and progressed through the ranks to achieve the PhD and a position of Academic Chair of Physics and Nanotechnology, which I held for 5 years. I have recently stepped down from this position of service to my peers, so I can peruse my research interests in Physics Education and Surface Science.

Many years ago I was a diagnostic radiographer, WAIT (Curtin) graduate so Physics has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Physics just gives me a different way of thinking about the world, a bit quirky, a bit geeky and totally fascinating.

Teaching area

I am currently teaching
PEC152 Principles of Physics
PEC231 Modern Physics
PEC430 Advanced Topics in Physics & Nanotechnology: Theoretical
OUA SCI 19 Principles of Physics

Research areas

Physics Education: Methods of Engagement
Renewable Sustainable Energy: Devices, Development, Construction and Characterisation
General Education: Quality and Standards

Current projects

At the moment I am working full time on an Australian Office of Learning and Teaching Fellowship to produce learning materials for first year students taking a physics unit. Not many of these students will be physics students, most will be engineers, chemists, extractive metallurgy and secondary education students so a more generalist approach to physics needs to be taken. The following video is the first in a series about some of the things you need to know to be able to do physics well.

A Toolbox of Diagrams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0gVC_fg8bY

Other areas of research interest are
*Inquiry Orientated Learning
*Diagrams for Understanding
*Quality, Standards and Compliance in Physics Education
*Enhancing PV Efficiency

My PhD / Masters students are doing other cool things in Renewable Sustainable Energy and Surface Science and I lend a hand where I can.

Awards and grants

  • 2013 Australian Office of Learning and Teaching National Teaching Fellowship
  • 2009 Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2009 Marg Hughes Award for Previously Unrecognised Service to the Science Fiction Community over an Extended Period of Time.
  • 2006 Carrick (Australian Learning and Teaching Council) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning “For excellence and passion in establishing and maintaining an outstanding learning environment for her students”.
  • 2006 Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Enhancing Learning Award
  • 1999 Murdoch University Scholarship for PhD
  • 1993 Summer scholarship to test and assess motion sensing equipment purchased for use in the first year Physics core mechanics unit at Murdoch University

Events and speaking engagements

April 2012, SwanCon 37 Perth
Renewable Sustainable Energy
The Entropy Crisis
Apocalypse Now: Has the Apocalypse Begun?

February 2012, WA Astronomical Society

March 2012, WA Inventers Society
Towards a Low Carbon Future

Professional and community service

1999 – present Australian Institute of Physics Committee member
2009 – present Australian Institute of Physics Studentlink person
2011 – present Murdoch University SF/SF Foundation.
(We are trying to raise money to protect and make accessible a significant legacy of science fiction related material that is held in the basement of the Murdoch University Library)

Doctoral and masters supervisions

D. Gardner (Masters) – Renewable Energy and the SWIS 2 (generic title)
T. Prosin (PhD) – A New Way to Capture Sunlight (generic title)
M. Rahman (PhD) – Sunlight, Thin Films and Energy Production (generic title)
D. Lassett (PhD) – Renewable Energy and the SWIS 1 (generic title)

N. Radevski (Hons) “Glancing Angle Deposition for Improved Back Contact in Solar Cells”
R. Fisher (Hons) “Minority Carrier Lifetime Mapping of Solar Cells”
N. Wyatt (Hons) “A Study on the Effect of Substrate and Gold Catalyst Thickness on Characteristics of Silicon Nanowires Grown by PPECVD”
C. Duggan (ISC) “Fluid Dynamics as it Relates to Aeronautics”

C. Foote (ISC) “Light, Waves and Optics”
J Hannah (ISC) “Physics of Flight”
E. Alcantra (ISC) “Science Communication: Creation of Visual On-Line Material Aimed at Engaging External Students”

J. Marai (ISC) “Engaging Physics Students with the Interactive Whiteboard”



  • Thurgate, S., Jiang, Z., van, R., Creagh, C., (2004),Auger-Photoelectron Coincidence Spectroscopy Studies from Surfaces,In: Correlation Spectroscopy of Surfaces, Thin Films, and Nanostructures, Wiley-VCH, pages 197 to 204.


  • Bennett, D., Roberts, L., Creagh, C., (2016), Exploring possible selves in a first-year physics foundation class:Engaging students by establishing relevance, Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12, 1, pages DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.1 -.
  • Rahman, M., Jiang, Z., Yin, C., Chuah, L., Lee, H., Amri, A., Goh, B., Wood, B., Creagh, C., Mondinos, N., Altarawneh, M., Dlugogorski, B., (2016), Structural Thermal Stability of Graphene Oxide-doped Copper-cobalt Oxide Coatings as a Solar Selective Surface, Journal of Materials Science & Technology, 2016, 32, pages -.
  • Laslett, D., Creagh, C., Jennings, P., (2016), A Simple Hourly Wind Power Simulation for the South-West Region of Western Australia Using MERRA Data, Renewable Energy, 96, , pages 1003 - 1014.
  • Creagh, C., (2014), Work-It-Out: A Strategy for Teaching First Year University Students "Things They Should Already Know", International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 22, 6, pages 77 - 91.
  • Creagh, C., Parlevliet, D., (2014), Enhancing Student Engagement in Physics Using Inquiry Oriented Learning Activities, International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 22, 1, pages 43 - 56.
  • Laslett, D., Creagh, C., Jennings, P., (2014), A method for generating synthetic hourly solar radiation data for any location in the south west of Western Australia, in a world wide web page, Renewable Energy, 68, , pages 87 - 102.
  • Creagh, C., Parlevliet, D., (2014), Enhancing Student Engagement in Physics Using Inquiry Oriented Learning Activities, International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 22, 1, pages 43 - 56.
  • Jennings, P., Jiang, Z., Wyatt, N., Parlevliet, D., Creagh, C., Yin, C., Widjaja, H., Mondinos, N., (2013), Characterization of silicon nanowires grown on silicon,stainless steel and indium tin oxide substrates, Applied Physics A: materials science & processing, 113, , pages 723 - 728.
  • Creagh, C., (2008), Diagrams: Useful tools for investigating a student's understanding of buoyancy., Teaching Science, 54, 4, pages 48 - 50.
  • Jiang, Z., Wilkie, P., Thurgate, S., van, R., Creagh, C., (2003), The Ag M5 N45 N45 Auger photoelectron coincidence spectra of disordered Ag0.5Pd0.5 alloy, Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, 130, , pages 33 - 41.
  • Creagh, C., Thurgate, S., (2001), The use of Auger photoelectron coincidence spectroscopy to deconvolute the M45N45N45 AES of Palladium, Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, 114-116, 0, pages 69 - 74.
  • Creagh, C., (1999), Auger photoelectron coincidence spectroscopy of the 2p1/2 line in coincidence with the L3-M45M45 peak of copper, Surface Science, 432, , pages 297 - 304.


  • Creagh, C., Parlevliet, D., Lee, G., (2012),A CONSIDERATION OF QUALITY, STANDARDS AND COMPLIANCE,In: Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education.
  • Creagh, C., Parlevliet, D., (2011),Teaching External Physics Students,In: Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) (2011).
  • Creagh, C., (2008),Implementing A Focus On "Diagrams for Understanding" In a First Year Physics Unit,In: 18th Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) National Congress (2008).
  • Creagh, C., (2008),Do students' experiences of a service subject correspond to their expectations?,In: Symposium Presentation, UniServe Science Proceedings Visualisation 2009.
  • Creagh, C., (2007),You Teach Mine and I'll Teach Yours: A case study in collaborative teaching of Physics across Australia,In: Collaborating to Offer Small Courses/Subjects Forum (2007).