Outstanding PhD student is EPSRC UK ICT Pioneers 2015 category winner


Callum Littlejohns receives his award from Philip Nelson, CEO, EPSRC (Image courtesy of EPSRC)

Callum Littlejohns, from Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), has won first prize for the Information Overload category in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC’s) UK ICT Pioneers competition.

Fifteen finalists showcased their research to industry judges and sponsors of the competition at the prestigious event held in London late last week. Winners of each category then pitched their projects in a 'Dragon's Den' style panel interview. Awards are given for winners of each of the four categories: technology everywhere, information overload, transforming society, and future ICT, with each category winner being awarded £2,000.  

Callum’s winning pitch entitled, ‘The future is bright – Silicon photonics’, is based on his development of a new technique to fabricate a high quality silicon-germanium modulator, potentially revolutionising the silicon-photonics industry.


"I'm very proud to receive this prestigious award", said Callum. "It was a fantastic opportunity to share my research with a wider audience. I am very grateful to both of my supervisors for their support throughout my PhD".

Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC, who presented the prizes, said: ICT Pioneers is our regular competition that we use to showcase the best work produced by UK PhD students. It's awarded to students who can demonstrate the excellence and commercial potential of their ICT related research.

Supervisor to Callum, Dr Frederic Gardes, who attended the competition, observed, “Callum has been an exceptional PhD student from day one and his hard work, commitment to excellence and innovative thinking have now been acknowledged at a national level. I am very proud of his achievements and it has been a privilege to be his supervisor.”

Professor Graham Reed, Head of the Silicon Photonics Group at the ORC said, "It was a fantastic performance from Callum. It’s very rare to see both high quality publications and multiple patents emerging from a PhD project. He should be very proud."

Following his graduation this year from the ORC, Callum has joined Nanyang Technical University (NTU), Singapore as a Research Fellow. He continues his work on mid-IR silicon photonics applications in partnership with his ORC group members.

Find out more about Callum’s work.

Learn more about the work of the EPSRC.

Watch the video presentation that Callum made for the competition.

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