The University of Southampton

Future Photonics Leaders Awards: The Professor Sir David Payne Student Scholar Award Winner for 2022 - Panuwat Srisamran

Published: 15 May 2023
Panuwat receiving his award from Prof. Sir David Payne

High-performing Southampton PhD photonics students have been recognised for their excellence and achievements in the annual Professor Sir David Payne Student Scholar Award and Team ’96 Prizes. 

Two exceptional Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD students were selected by a panel of judges selected from the ORC senior staff for their outstanding efforts across their studies. The prestigious awards have been acknowledged by previous winners as opening doors for collaboration, boosting confidence, and enhancing their CVs.

Launched in 2016, the prize rewards the best-performing first-year PhD student. It was established using a generous donation by Dr KV Reddy, founder of Pritel Ltd and supporter of the ORC, to celebrate Sir David’s 70th birthday and more than 50 years at the University of Southampton. Sir David began his pioneering career in photonics studying for a PhD at Southampton and the fund creates a legacy that will reward excellence among ORC students for many years to come. The winner receives a cash prize of £3,000. 

The annual awards encourage PhD supervisors to nominate their best-performing student who has gone that extra mile – this could be recognising a range of attributes, activities and achievements that span academic endeavour, scientific excellence, and outreach and engagement. 

Sir David Payne, Director of the ORC, said: ’’I am so proud to recognise the outstanding performance of all our students, but especially Panuwat Srisamran and Tongjun Liu who have excelled.  Well done and I look forward to even greater achievements as your careers progress.”


Panuwat started his PhD in the early phases of an adventurous EPSRC-Healthcare- Technologies- 2050 project (lnlightenUs), developing ultrafast fibre lasers operating in the short-wave infrared region (SWIR, 1700nm-1900nm) for deep-penetration biomedical-imaging. The goal of the project is early disease detection and treatment using non-ionising laser radiation and targets UK healthcare needs in 2050.

Panuwats’s supervisor Dr Lin Xu says: ’’I am very pleased to see Panuwat receiving this student award which reflects his excellent talent and great work. Panuwat has been making great contributions to an adventurous EPSRC-Healthcare-Technologies-2050 project in terms of developing state-of-the-art mode-locked fibre lasers for a deep-penetration biomedical imaging application. I have been very impressed by Panuwat’s outstanding performance and commitment over the past years. He has demonstrated exceptional qualities for a young researcher: a great work ethic, strong motivation, close team working, excellent organisational and communication skills, a willingness to take the initiative, and exceptional intellectual abilities.”

Panuwat says: ’’It was a great honour to win this student award. This is the first solid achievement of my PhD journey. It has recognised my contribution over my first year as a PhD student. I hope I can make even bigger contributions to the scientific research community in the future. I would like to thank Professor Sir David Payne for this award. It has enhanced my motivation to pursue my PhD goals. I also would like to thank my supervisors Professor David Richardson and Dr Lin Xu for their training, oversight, and perspectives. Finally, I would like to pass my appreciation to pulsed fibre laser research group members for the friendly and supportive research environment.”

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