After high school and military service, he graduated from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and completed his physics degree with distinction. In 1972, he emigrated to Australia, and got married in 1979. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales in January 1978 after completing his Thesis on "dynamic mechanical properties of keratin fibres". As a scientist at the same university, he then developed the environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), after prior attempts by other workers to examine wet specimens under the electron beam. For the most part, he received financial support from the Australian Wool Corporation until 1986. In 2003, he received the Ernst Abbe Memorial Award from the New York Microscopical Society for his lifetime achievements.