The Optoelectronics Research Centre leads again on global recognition
The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), one of the world's leading institutes, can now claim to have the highest number of Optica (formerly OSA) Fellows of all UK Universities.
The recent election of Professor Robert Eason to the world's leading global forum for light science and technology, Optica, (formerly OSA), has revealed that the University of Southampton not only is one of the best institutes for photonics research, but also holds the highest number of Fellows in the UK, possibly in Europe as well.
"The Optoelectronics Research Centre has for many decades led work that has changed the world in radical ways - from our key contributions to the global optical internet where we have invented many key components, to our current work that seeks to reduce energy consumption and improve the efficiency of data centres.Our hollow-core fibre work makes financial trading faster, as well as allowing new sensors for pollution monitoring and more efficient manufacturing, while our work at the cutting edge of new physics prepares the path for the next generation of devices capable of imaging at the scale of a virus. Devices invented at Southampton navigate airliners, manufacture your smart phone and can be found on the moon, Mars and in the space station," said Professor Sir David Payne, Director of the ORC/Zepler Institute
Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America) announced its 2022 new fellows in November 2021, awarding fellowship status to 106 members from 24 countries, chosen from a field of 262 nominations submitted by current fellows. In the UK, fellowships were awarded to four members at the Universities of Aston, Oxford, Southampton and Sussex. Fellows are selected based on several factors including distinguished contributions to education, research, engineering, business and serving the community.
"Our work has received a great deal of global recognition through prizes, awards and elections to prestigious learned societies - for example five elections to the Royal Society. We have 19 Fellows of Optica - more than any other UK university - emphasising the University of Southampton global leadership in photonics," added Sir David.
The fellowship awardee at the University of Southampton was Rob Eason, Professor of Optoelectronics in the ORC. The nomination was 'For pioneering work focused on how to control matter with light', which reflected his contributions over nearly 40 years to manipulation of the properties of nonlinear optical materials, laser-material interactions, the growth and characterization of optical thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition, optical waveguides, femtosecond laser technology and applications, direct laser printing and AI applied to laser materials machining. His nomination also cited his being a founder and Director of a recent University spinout, Highfield Diagnostics, which is developing smart paper-based point-of-care diagnostic devices which have been fabricated using laser technology to provide next generation rapid diagnostic tests. Rob joins a group of colleagues in the ORC who are existing OSA fellows, but from 2022, there is a new abbreviation of OpticaF or Optica Fellow, which replaces the former, and shorter, FOSA title.
Optica is the leading organisation for scientists, engineers and business professionals interested in the science of light.
The 2021 President Connie Chang-Hasnain from the University of California, Berkeley, USA said: "Congratulations to the 2022 Optica Fellows. These members exemplify what it means to be a leader in optics and photonics."