The University of Southampton

Silicon first for Southampton

Published: 14 November 2013

Scientists at Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have hosted the first Silicon Photonics conference at the University of Southampton by the ORC’s Silicon Photonics group.

Professor Graham Reed and his team moved to the University of Southampton in April 2012 and the UK Silicon Photonics conference is the first event on their specialist research area to be delivered by Graham’s team and it has been hailed a great success.

The conference, held on November 12th, was associated with a large EPSRC grant entitled “UK Silicon Photonics” (UKSP), led by Graham at Southampton and based around a consortium including the Universities of St Andrews, Leeds, Warwick, Heriot Watt and McMaster (Canada), as well as industry partner PLX. Key speakers included Professor Lionel Kimerling from MIT, Professor Roel Baets from Gent, Professor Mike Wale from Oclaro, Mark Thomson from Bristol and Professor David Richardson of the ORC, as well as consortium speakers. The conference was attended by some 120 delegates from high profile academic and industry partners.

Graham commented: “I have been inundated by positive comments about the event. We had an excellent set of presentations from renowned international experts, as well as an opportunity to showcase some of the results of the UKSP project, and to show the delegates working silicon photonics devices and a high speed silicon photonics transmission link in our laboratories.

“Moving my group to Southampton has enabled us to be extremely productive because we have excellent fabrication facilities on site, and this was key in enabling us to achieve so much within the project. My feeling is that we have integrated extremely well with our new colleagues, and have demonstrated both the strength of the Silicon Photonics Group, as well as the excellent opportunities that working at Southampton offers.”

Graham Reed was recently awarded the Crompton Medal for Energy at this year’s IET Achievement Awards. His pioneering research spans over a 25 year period and he is responsible for initiating research in the field of Silicon Photonics within the UK.

Graham’s student, Dr Andrew Rickman, founded Bookham Technology Plc (now Oclaro), and worked on Reed’s ideas of establishing a Silicon guided wave technology, subsequently adopted as the core business of Bookham, the first Silicon Photonics company in the world.

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