The University of Southampton

ORC Seminar Series

Lightwave Capacity Demand in a Twenty-Years Horizon and Optical Fiber Bandwidth « Finiteness »


Prof. Emmanuel Desurvire
Thales R&T France

Date: Wednesday 26 March
Time: 13:00
Venue: L/T B, Building 46


Ten to 20 years from now, optical networks will have to carry vastly increased amounts of Internet traffic. Today’s knowledge (2008) already points to ultimate technology limits in the physical layer, foretelling the end of the so-called “Optical Moore’s Law.” Such an observation is discordant with the generic, if not euphoric view of a “virtually infinite” optical fiber bandwidth combined with unlimited Internet-traffic growth. In order to meet long-term needs and challenges in global optical networks, therefore, basic research in wideband optical components and subsystems must be urgently revived today!


Emmanuel Desurvire has been involved in the field of optical communications for over 25 years. He obtained a M.S. degree (DEA) in Theoretical Physics in 1981 from the University of Paris (Pierre et Marie Curie) and a Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of Nice for a work on Raman fibre amplifiers. In 1998, he obtained from the same university the title of Sc.D. for his later work on erbium-doped fibre amplifiers (EDFA).

In 1984-1986, Emmanuel held a Post-Doc position at Stanford University, doing research on fibre-optic gyroscopes and the first amplified recirculating fibre loop. In 1986-1990, he was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he led the early research on EDFA. In 1990-1993, he was Associate Professor in Columbia University (NY). Since 1994, he has been with Alcatel (now Alcatel-Lucent), first leading a research group on solitons and all-optical 3R regeneration for ultra-long-haul WDM systems. He then became Global Project Manager for the pre-development of 40Gbit/s DWDM systems. In 2000, he joined the Corporate CTO staff as the Director of the Alcatel Technical Academy, a recognition program for R&D experts. In 2004-2005, he joined the Corporate Intellectual Property Group as Director in charge of technology & patents licensing. In 2006, he returned to the Optics Division as Senior Director in the WDM-metro product group, in charge of photonics technologies and innovation assessment. In 2007, he moved to Thales Research & Technology in Palaiseau (France) as the Director of the Physics Research Group.

Dr. Desurvire, who is IEEE Fellow and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs Fellow, has authored or co-authored over 200 technical publications and over 30 patents. He is the author and co-author of two reference books on EDFAs, two “Survival Guides” in Global Telecommunications, and an introductory book on Classical & Quantum Information Theory (in press). For his scientific contributions, Dr. Desurvire received several national and international recognitions, namely : the 1992-93 IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Award, the 1994 prize from the International Commission for Optics, the 1998 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Engineering (jointly with Prof. D.N.Payne), the 1998 General Ferrié Grand Prize in Electronics, the 2005 William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award, a 2006 nomination as Thomson-Scientific Laureate (jointly with Prof. D.N.Payne), the 2007 IEEE/LEOS John Tyndall Award, the 2007 France-Telecom Prize from the Académie des Sciences, and a 2007 “Engineer of the Year” Award from France’s National Council of Scientists and Engineers.

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