The University of Southampton

Research Impact

Research at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) has been making a life-changing impact on society for some 50 years: many of the major developments in today’s technology have come as a result of our innovation.

Our world-leading research teams are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing modern society to help create a better future. Our work impacts the lives of people world-wide, providing global communication via the internet and revolutionising the manufacturing industry. 

Transforming research into practical and financially viable solutions to real world problems produces collaboration opportunities, enhances quality of life, creates jobs, boosts the economy and helps make our world an easier and more rewarding place to live. 

Feedback from UOA13: Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials following REF 2014 (Research Excellence Framework) noted that the case studies from the ORC were judged to be 'outstanding'.

Below we feature just some of the highlights of our research, including extracts from those entered under REF 2014. We discover ways that research continues to make an impact on our lives.

Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre’s research into distributed optical fibre sensing has had a significant economic and environmental impact within the oil and gas industries.

Our research into microstructured optical fibres (MOFs) has had a significant impact on the economy, creating hundreds of jobs worldwide and a multimillion dollar global market. The pioneering work has also led to the development of a range of new diagnostic and medical technologies.

Ultra-precise Bragg grating writing-technology invented at the University of Southampton is having an important impact on a wide range of areas from security and safety, to the detection of biohazards and high power laser use in clean energy generation.

High power fibre lasers were ‘born’ out of Southampton research and have led to the development of highly efficient and highly practical fibre laser technology. Today these fibre lasers are widely used in telecommunications, manufacturing, medicine and science.

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