The University of Southampton

Optoelectronics leader conferred with honorary degree by NTU Singapore

Published: 25 July 2016

Professor Sir David Payne has been presented an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Engineering, from  Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore for his revolutionary work in optoelectronics.

A world-renowned scientist from the University of Southampton and the Director of the university’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), Professor Payne and his team pioneered a new form of optical amplifier in the 1980's which enabled the rapid development of the Internet as we know it today.

Professor Payne is a visiting professor at NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He proposed the setting up of the Research Centre of Excellence in Advanced Photonics Technologies. His efforts in galvanising the participation of various agencies and in securing funding were instrumental in the establishment of South-east Asia’s first high-tech fibre optic research manufacturing facility at NTU.

Professor Payne played a pivotal role in building Singapore’s capabilities in photonics and optics research, working closely with NTU faculty to set up the Photonics Institute (TPI) and Centre for Optical Fibre Technology (COFT). His involvement has helped to raise awareness of the centres' work and attracted the interest of international collaborators.

Professor Payne said, “Working with NTU, the leading young university in Asia, is a rewarding and breath-taking experience. Receiving the honorary doctorate is a delight because this honour is a reflection of all those in the Photonics Institute who have helped create a global institute in such a short time. Photonics in Singapore is now truly on the map. Moving on, NTU strives to do even better and if I can assist in developing its global influence, it will be an even greater privilege.”

The degree has been presented today (25th July 2016) as part of NTU's 25th anniversary since it was inaugurated as a university in 1991.

NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said, “This year’s Convocation is particularly special as NTU celebrates its 25th Anniversary and the Class of 2016 is our 25th cohort of graduates. NTU is celebrating its silver jubilee in service to Singapore.

“From a teaching university in 1991, NTU has rapidly progressed to become a globally recognised research-intensive university today, ranking 13th internationally and first among the world’s young universities.”

Prof Andersson paid tribute to NTU’s predecessor institutions, Nanyang University and Nanyang Technological Institute and the contributions the graduates have made to NTU and Singapore. Today, NTU has more than 200,000 alumni.

Read the full story on NTU's news page.

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