The University of Southampton

Boost your career with a PhD in high power visible lasers  

Supervisor: Professor Andy Clarkson, Professor of Optoelectronics, email address -

Duration: Typically 3.5 years, full-time

Funding: Full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of up to £21,000 tax-free per annum for up to three and a half years, which includes an additional industrial bursary. UK applicants are supported by an EPSRC CASE Studentship.


Why do a PhD at the Optoelectronics Research Centre?

  • Be part of a world leading research institute: The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton is one of the world’s leading research institutes in laser science and photonics.
  • Boost your career: A PhD here has enabled graduates to make successful careers in academia, in national scientific laboratories, and as scientists or business leaders in industry.
  • Make new and unique discoveries: ORC researchers have made pioneering advances in high power fibre lasers and solid-state lasers that currently have widespread use in industrial applications.

 What it’s like to do a PhD at the ORC


The High Power Lasers Opportunity

Scaling laser power in the visible band remains as one of the most significant challenges facing laser scientists, motivated by the needs of a growing number of applications in areas such laser processing of materials, medicine, sensing and defence.

Traditional methods for accessing this wavelength regime are not compatible with operation at high power levels and so a different approach is needed.


The High Power Visible Lasers Project

This project will investigate a new strategy for generating kilowatt-class laser power in the visible band by combining the power-scaling advantages of cladding-pumped fibre lasers in the near-infrared band with novel nonlinear frequency conversion schemes. The approach offers the prospect of unprecedented wavelength coverage across the entire visible wavelength band at very high power levels and with high overall efficiency.

The project will involve a detailed study into the physics of frequency-converted fibre lasers operated at very high power levels to establish a power scaling strategy and to determine the fundamental limits. The overall ambition of the project will be a new generation of visible lasers boasting levels of performance well beyond the current state-of-the-art for use in industrial laser processing.

The project will involve close collaboration with one of the world’s leading, UK-based manufacturers of high power fibre lasers for industrial manufacturing.


Your PhD experience in high power visible lasers

  • Attend a training programme in the first year in parallel with carrying out your research project. This will ensure a smooth transition to the more open-ended research that takes place in the following years under the guidance of your project supervisors.
  • Present your work on a global stage at international conferences and write papers in leading academic journals as your research progresses.
  • Emerge from the PhD with unique skills at the forefront of future laser and photonics research.


Why Southampton? 

  • Be surrounded with mind-blowing research, from optical fibres that power the internet to developing a vaccine against COVID-19. Get hands-on research experience and learn alongside the academics who are changing the world.  
  • Use amazing facilities including a £120m Cleanroom Complex with the most advanced set of capabilities of any UK university.
  • Study in a vibrant city, ranked the third best place to live and work in the UK, and just over an hour from London by train.  
  • Join a community of enthusiastic and supportive academics and students. 


How do I apply?

Please send your CV to PhD Supervisor, Professor Andy Clarkson at Professor Clarkson will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Entry requirements: First or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: Applications should be received no later than 15th January 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Start date: TBA


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