The University of Southampton

Two prestigious fellowships awarded to Southampton researcher

Published: 10 July 2009

Dr Francesco Poletti, a research fellow at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), Southampton, has recently been awarded two prestigious fellowships from the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The 5 year fellowships were offered to Francesco to fund his work on a novel platform of extreme fibre laser sources. Combining the technologies of micro structured optical fibres and fibre lasers, originally developed at the ORC, Francesco will work to create a novel platform of extreme laser sources, which will target operation at wavelengths, pulse durations and peak intensities currently not achievable with conventional technology.

Key to this project will be the design and development of microstructured fibres with tailored micrometre holes, which will be filled with gases, liquids and semiconductors, to manipulate the properties of light emitted by conventional fibre lasers through exploitation of waveguided nonlinear effects in unprecedented regimes.

The results could see integrated fibre laser devices being used in industrial manufacturing, laser surgery, molecular imaging, metrology, optical coherence tomography, EUV nanolithography and attosecond science.

Competition for these prestigious awards is fierce with over 600 applications for the 30 Royal Society Fellowships and 100 applications for the 10 -12 Royal Academy of Engineering AE fellowships this year alone.

Unable to accept two fellowships at the same time, Francesco has chosen to accept the Royal Society Fellowship.

On receiving the news Francesco said: “The award of two such prestigious fellowships is a tremendous honour to me, and it will give me the freedom and independence to follow my own research ideas and continue working in such an inspiring and multidisciplinary research institution. The award comes, I believe, in recognition of the world-leading role the ORC has always had in the development of fibre optics-based technologies and of the outstanding quality of the ongoing research.”

These latest awards once again highlight the ORC’s excellent track record in receiving recognition and support from leading organisations, there have now been eight fellowships awarded by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering since 2000.


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