Stephen received his PhD (Physical Chemistry) from Griffith University in 1996. From there he moved into x-ray and then neutron scattering studies of surfaces and interface with Postdocs at the Australian Defence Force Acadamy and the Research School of Chemistry (Australian National University) in Canberra. In 1998 he was awarded an inaugural Australian Synchrotron Research Programme fellowship to study surfactant mediated crystallisation at air/liquid interfaces. Immediately prior to returning to Australia for a position at The Bragg Institute, ANSTO, he was an instrument scientist (neutron reflectometry) at the ISIS spallation neutron source in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.
Stephens research interests are related to the development of interfacial structure in soft condensed matter systems. In recent years this has focussed particularly on the assembly of proteins and protein lipid mixtures at interfaces both for functional and conformation studies and in the development of realistic model membranes.