The University of Southampton

Student innovator wins at the EPSRC’s UK ICT Pioneers competition

Published: 2 July 2014

David Wu, a fourth year PhD student from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) has won the Connected World category in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC’s) prestigious national competition for pioneering in Information and Communication Technology, the UK ICT Pioneers competition.

The winners were announced at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London early this week where the fifteen PhD student finalists showcased the commercial potential and business impact of their research in the three different categories at the EPSRC’s Research Exhibition and Awards Ceremony. David was one of three winners who were awarded cash prizes of £2,000 each in their respective categories.

David won the Connected World category for his work carried out during his PhD studies at the ORC at the University of Southampton, where he developed a technique for highly stable phase locking of semiconductor lasers to metrology-grade optical frequency combs and has demonstrated its application in arbitrary waveform generation. He said:

“My device can generate signals at a rate of 10 to 100 times faster than that achievable using devices that are currently based on electronics. I am very happy to have won in this category and would like to thank Professor David Richardson and Dr Radan Slavík, my supervisors, who have been tremendously supportive.”

Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC said: “These pioneering ICT researchers demonstrate why the UK is an excellent place to do research. Progress within ICT research will drive forward innovative technologies for the benefit of us all.”

The competition recognises the most exceptional UK PhD students in ICT-related subjects who are able to communicate and demonstrate the excellence and exploitation of their research. The 2014 competition is sponsored by EPSRC and industry sponsors: Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (Dstl); Hewlett Packard (HP); ARM Holdings; the British Computing Society (BCS); and BT.

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