Martijn de Sterke was bitten by the optics bug during a third-year undergraduate laboratory experiment at the University of Delft in the Netherlands, studying the aberrations of microscope objectives. He received B. Eng. and M. Eng. degrees from Delft, and his Ph.D. in optics from the University of Rochester (1987).
After postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto, he took up a faculty position at the University of Sydney in 1991, where he has been a Professor in Physics since 2003. He was Associate Dean for Research at Sydney from 2004-2006. He received the Pawsey Medal from the Australian Academy of Sciences in 1999, and was awarded an OSA Fellowship in 2003.
Martijn de Sterke has been associated with OSA since 1987, when, as a graduate student, he presented at the annual meeting held in Rochester, N.Y. More recently (2001-2006), he has been Associate Editor of Optics Express, and he was its Editor-in-Chief during 2007-2012, a time during which the yearly submissions to the journal nearly doubled to over 6,000. He was the first from outside North America to be appointed to be Editor-in-Chief of an OSA journal.
Since 2014 he has been Chair of OSA’s Board of Editors. He has been active in conference organization, most notably as a Program Chair of the 2011 CLEO Pacific Rim conference meeting held in Sydney, and also of the QELS conference when it was held in Munich in 2013. He has been an OSA Traveling lecturer for many years, most recently visiting India in 2015 and again earlier this year. From 2006-2007, he was a Council member of the Australian Optical Society (AOS).