The University of Southampton

ORC Director named in Debrett's 500 most influential people

Published: 19 February 2015
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Professor Sir David Payne, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, has been listed in the Debrett's top 500 most influential people in Britain.

Announced on Sunday 25th January 2015 in The Sunday Times, the Debrett’s 500 recognises the most influential and inspiring people living and working in Britain today. ‘It acknowledges power, talent, hard work, brilliance, originality, persistence, courage and, occasionally, luck: in short, achievement.’

Sir David has been described in the list as 'a colossus in the science behind internet development' and listed among physicists and engineers such as: Sir Andre Geim at the University of Manchester, who was awarded a Nobel prize for his work on graphene; Dame Ann Dowling, president, Royal Academy of Engineering, who was honoured for her services to science in 2007; Bob Joyce, engineering director, Jaguar Land Rover, who led the engineering-fuelled renaissance at the company and Sir James Dyson, designer of the dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner who rejected 5,127 prototypes before he achieved success.

David said, “I was surprised and overjoyed to hear I had been listed in the Debrett's 500. It is one thing to be known for my work within the field of photonics, but quite another to be listed alongside such household names. It is doubly important to be able to influence, lead and inspire others outside of my environment, especially young people.”

David has made many key contributions in optical fibre communications and laser technology. His work in fibre fabrication in the 1970s resulted in most of the special fibres used today, including the revolutionary erbium-doped fibre amplifier (EDFA) that powers the internet and kilowatt-class fibre lasers for manufacturing and defence.

David has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including a knighthood in 2014 for services to Photonics Research and Applications. He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, the Optical Society of America, the UK IET, the UK IoP and Chairman of the Marconi Society.

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