Photonics Research

The ORC is a world leading research organisation with roots going back to the invention of the optical fibre in the 1960's. Many of the major developments in today’s global technology were pioneered by our researchers including the optical fibres and amplifiers that power the internet and the fibre laser which is used for a variety of applications ranging from manufacturing to defence. 

Today, led by leading figures in photonics, our vibrant research community is a constant hive of activity with over 200 staff and students working on cutting-edge research to provide innovative solutions for real life problems in health care, manufacturing, communication, technology, defence, renewable energy and the environment.  

Using a multidisciplinary approach to combine different science and engineering disciples our research centre provides an extremely fertile ground for discovery and as a result our research is continually evolving as new discoveries lead us in new directions.

Our Research Mission

To drive the basic science, technology and innovation to enable future revolutions. Pulling together some of the best talent in photonics, we can embody and enable leadership on many fronts. Our historic achievements must and will be matched by future discovery. 

Quality of Research

We are justifiably proud of the quality of our research which once again was illustrated through excellent ratings in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). 

Our research was submitted to the REF jointly with the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) and with the School of Physics and Astronomy (Physics). A total of 32 ORC staff returned their research, 23 with ECS and 9 with Physics. 

The research submitted by ECS ranked joint second in the country, with 85% of the research work either receiving the top 4* or 3* ratings and over half of the research submitted by the School of Physics and Astronomy was rated as World Leading (4*) or Internationally Excellent (3*), for the third REF (formerly RAE) running.

Citation impact

Between 2005 and 2010 the ORC’s citation impact was 1.45* times the world average for optics. The UK’s highest cited paper for photonics (from 2004-present) “Ytterbium-doped large-core fibre laser with 1.36 kW continuous output power; OPTICS EXPRESS (Dec ’04) with 235 cites (world no. 8)* is from the ORC. 

Annually our researchers publish over 250 papers, give 25 invited and plenary talks at conferences and file approx 20 patents.

*(Data provided by the EPSRC)


Copyright University of Southampton 2006