The University of Southampton

Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship awarded to outstanding researcher

Published: 9 May 2007

Dr Anna Peacock, a researcher from the Optoelectronics Research Centre, has received a five-year fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain’s leading national academy for engineering.

Fellowships from the Royal Academy of Engineering (in partnership with the EPSRC) are highly sought after and only given to outstanding engineers who can demonstrate their ability to generate high-quality research with significant commercial and scientific relevance. The Royal Academy of Engineering received in the region of 160 applications this year and offered only 14 fellowships.

This highly prized fellowship will allow Anna to develop significant new engineering concepts. Her research project is based on impregnating semiconductors into microstructured optical fibres, a technology pioneered by world-leading teams at the ORC and Pennsylvania State University, USA. Microstructured optical fibres are similar in size to a human hair, but have tiny holes running down their entire length into which the semiconductor material is deposited, giving them remarkable properties.

Using this technology Anna will design and develop a range of ‘all-fibre’ devices that will exploit both the data processing properties of semiconductors and the structural flexibility of optical fibres. The resulting fibres will then form the basis of a number of next-generation devices, including amplifiers, lasers and sensors, with applications in fields ranging from optical telecommunications to spectroscopy as well as biological and environmental sensing.

‘I was very excited when I found out that I had been awarded the fellowship,’ comments Anna. ‘It gives me even more freedom and independence to follow my own research interests. There are lots of great things going on at the ORC and so many opportunities making it the ideal environment in which to stay for another five years.’

‘This is a great credit to Anna’s work and reflects the increasing quality of our research’ comments Professor David Payne, Director of the ORC. ‘This fellowship will pave the way for Anna to excel in her career and offers opportunities for breaking new ground in the future.’

Anna is currently a member of the Photonic, Electronic and Plasmonic Microstructured Optical Fibre Group but this fellowship will eventually allow her to build an independent research group.

Posted by Marketing Officer on 9 May 2007

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