David Payne
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Welcome from Professor Graham Reed - Director of the Optoelectronic Research Centre (ORC) and Professor Sir David Payne, former Director.

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, is one of the world’s leading institutes for photonics research and we are actively recruiting for a number of associate and professorial posts.

Over fifty years ago, the ORC received global recognition for developing one of the world’s first ultra- low loss optical fibres. From there, we were the first to announce another vital component that allows the internet to span the world, the optical fibre amplifier that periodically boosts the optical signals.

Today hundreds of millions of kilometres of optical fibre carry the signals on the internet. Our specialty optical fibre inventions now navigate airliners, cut steel and can be found on the moon, Mars and the International Space Station. These special fibres are capable not just of carrying internet data, but have many different applications such as in gyroscopes, high-powered lasers, and perhaps one day even propelling spacecraft through the universe. Despite 50 years of research, photonics today is still in its infancy. The next big challenge in photonics is how we make everything smaller, more complex, more functional, and cheaper. This requires the development of new materials which don’t exist in the natural world, such as metamaterials, and silicon itself for the development of miniature silicon optical chips. The Silicon Photonics Group and the metamaterials activity are recognised as world leading activities, having shaped their respective fields for several decades. Similarly, there are prominent activities in quantum photonics, non-linear optics, high power lasers and healthcare, across a range of material platforms

In the ORC we have over 100 academic and researcher staff, 80 postgraduate students and 15 administrative staff who support the research we undertake.

We have access to over 65 research laboratories and the state of the art Zepler cleanrooms, the latter being among the most advanced academic cleanrooms in Europe. These facilities are supported by over 40 technical and infrastructure support staff all with extensive and highly knowledgeable skills.

We have very strong links with local, national and international industries, and collaborate with numerous university groups as well as other departments within the University of Southampton. Colleagues are also encouraged to pursue industrial links and entrepreneurial activity. The ORC has produced many highly-successful spin-offs creating impact and contributing not only to scientific progress, but the wider economic success of the local economy.

About the University of Southampton

We are a top 100 global university (QS World University Rankings, 2022) and a founding member of the Russell Group, with over 150 years of history. Home to over 19,000 students from more than 130 countries, and around 6,000 members of staff, we are proud of our diverse, vibrant and welcoming community.

Our innovative thinking and pioneering research is making an impact on a global scale; we are finding solutions for some of the biggest challenges which our planet is facing. This is the place where fibre-optic research is creating a faster, smarter internet; where the immune system is leading the fight against cancer; where expertise is tackling the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance; and where resources are being secured for the world’s growing populations.

Working with Us

This is the place to explore your staff life beyond work. Discover more about where you’ll live, our beautiful campuses, our social life, and all the things you can do when you join our friendly, international community.

Friendly, walkable city

Cycle routes and Unilink buses make it easy to get around town.

Calm, green spaces

Our city is filled with parks and waterside walks. You’ll work and relax among the trees and gardens on our campuses.

One of the UK's sunniest cities

Our south coast location makes us one of the warmest and sunniest places to live in the UK.

Talented staff from around the world

We truly are international, our colleagues from around the world work together to create a positive global impact.


Contact us for further information about senior opportunities at the University of Southampton

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