John graduated from ANU with a Master's degree in Physics in 1966 followed by a PhD in hypersonics and magnetohydrodynamics in 1974.
The instrumentation required for this work kindled a continuing interest in electronic engineering. Subsequently he was appointed to the then new Canberra College of Advanced Education with the task of establishing the major in electronics for the degree course in applied physics.
Subsequently he was involved with the planning and development of the degree course in electronics and its later evolution into a BE course in Electronics and Communications Engineering. He was previously the Head of the School of Electronics Engineering and Applied Physics and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Canberra. Until his recent retirement, he was the Chair of the Academic Board of the University of Canberra and the Head of the School of Information Sciences and Engineering.
His interests include innovative teaching and learning in physics and engineering, including computer based learning, and professional development programmes for science teachers. He was formerly the Chief Examiner for the International Physics Olympiads.
He is currently engaged in the design and delivery of an online course for high school science teachers who are qualified in areas other than physics that equips them to teach physics through to HSC level. He also co-teaches, through CPAS, an innovative bridging course in science for students wishing to study science at university level but who lack the formal background.