The University of Southampton

From glass to Google

Published: 3 October 2013

We were privileged to host Vint Cerf, Google's Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist as the Guest of Honour at the launch of the Zepler Institute on 12 September 2013. Vint joined researchers from across the Zepler Institute and Director Professor Sir David Payne as a speaker in the day's special programme of talks and lectures.

Opening the event, leading academics from each of the Zepler Institute's six core research groups joined together to showcase highlights from across the entire spectrum of the Institute's research; from fundamental physics to providing solutions to real world problems in healthcare, manufacturing, communications, defence, renewable energy and the environment. Guests were then treated to bespoke tours of the Zepler Institute Cleanroom Complex before returning to enjoy the evening's two exceptional lectures.

Vint, who is considered one of the ‘fathers’ of the Internet, was introduced by web pioneer Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Dean of Physical Sciences and Engineering. His lecture, 'The Unfolding of the Internet' documented the rapid evolution of telecommunications infrastructure and was followed by Professor Payne who presented '50 Years of Photonics at the University of Southampton' to mark the launch and his recent knighthood for services to photonics.

The uniting of these two eminent speakers was especially fitting as global access to the internet relies almost entirely on Professor Payne’s invention, the erbium-doped fibre amplifier which made possible the worldwide information superhighway and high-speed telecommunication networks.

To stream the video and download presentations from the day visit the Zepler Institute launch page:

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