The University of Southampton

Formed in 1989, as an interdisciplinary research centre, we are one of the world’s leading institutes for photonics research.

We have a vibrant community of PhD students and researchers, led by some of the leading figures in the field of photonics. We have contributed significantly to the remarkable growth of the photonics industry, including the optical telecommunication technology that underpins the internet as well as many solutions in medicine, biosciences sensing, security and manufacturing.

Professor Sir David Payne

Professor Sir David Payne

Professor Sir David Neil Payne CBE FRS FREng is a leading Professor at the University of Southampton and Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre. A world class pioneer of technology, his work has had a great impact on telecommunications and laser technology over the last forty years.


We have very strong links with local, national and international industries, and collaborate with many other university groups as well as other departments within the University of Southampton.

In 2016 the ORC opened The Photonics Institute with collaborators at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, further establishing the ORC as global leaders in the field. Closer to home, our staff are encouraged to pursue industrial links and entrepreneurial activity. To date the ORC has produced three highly-successful spin-offs contributing not only to scientific progress but the wider economic success of the local economy.


Our staff are working at the cutting-edge to deliver impact in the real world

Postgraduate MSc

Enhance your employability with our rigorous one-year MSc courses

Postgraduate PhD

Our PhD programme will give your career the best possible start.


We collaborate and forge partnerships with leading industry names

Key facts

More than 120 research, academic and technical staff

Nearly 100 full-time PhD students

Total research income for 2015/2016 was £12M

More than £50M of active RCUK research grants

Over 200 publications a year including articles in key journals, and contributions to international conferences

More than 10 spin-out companies that continue to collaborate extensively with the ORC

The ORC is part of the Zepler Institute

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