UK Photonics Experts Elected Fellows of the Royal Society

Two distinguished scientists from the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society for their outstanding contributions to science.

Newly-elected fellows of the Royal Society, Professors David Richardson (left) and Nikolay Zheludev, both deputy directors of the Optoelectronics Research Centre ORC, University of Southampton (Sources: U Soton / RSoc /

Professors David Richardson and Nikolay Zheludev are amongst fifty new fellows announced on Monday. The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science, and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. It is made up of the world’s most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists.

Richardson, deputy director of the ORC, is best known for his work on fiber optics and its applications. He has played a leading role in developing the data-carrying capacity of future optical communication networks to keep up with society’s insatiable demand for ever increasing internet bandwidth.

He has developed optical fibers of unprecedented performance and was one of the first to demonstrate the enormous and revolutionary potential of compact, flexible, pulsed fiber lasers. Over many years, he has extended the performance limits of fiber lasers and contributed to their enormous commercial success. In 2016, he was a recipient of the European Union H2020 Horizon Prize on “Breaking the Optical Transmission Barriers”.

Zheludev, deputy director of the ORC, and co-director of the Photonics Institute at Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore is one of the founding members of the closely interlinked fields of metamaterials and nanophotonics that emerged at the crossroads of optics and nanotechnology in the early 21st century.

His work has had a considerable impact on developing new concepts in which the optical properties of matter can be enhanced and radically changed through precise nanoscale structuring. These properties can then be controlled by external stimuli, or by light itself, through the deployment of nanoscale forces to give access to optical functionalities hitherto unavailable. His work has enabled observation and study of several new fundamental phenomena that are difficult or impossible to observe in natural media. Photonics metadevices and metasystems will be vital for improving performance in many applications that use light and lasers and will play a crucial role in solving key societal challenges such as reducing energy consumption. Zheludev was awarded the Thomas Young medal in 2015 for “global leadership and pioneering, seminal work in optical metamaterials and nanophotonics”.

Professor David Payne, director of the ORC, and Royal Society Fellow, said: “I would like to congratulate David and Nikolay on their election to this most prestigious fellowship. It is unprecedented to have two fellows elected from the same University of Southampton department in the same election cycle. I am delighted to receive this news in recognition of the extensive role that they have played in advancing the field of photonics research and enabling new light-based technologies.” (Source: U Soton)

Links: Optical Fibres Dept., Prof. David Richardson, Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of SouthamptonNanophotonics & Metamaterials Dept., Prof. Nikolay Zheludev, Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton


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