Optoelectronics

Six world-leading engineers shortlisted for £350,000 research prize

30th June 2022
Sheryl Miles

Six world-leading researchers have been announced as shortlisted nominees for the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) prestigious A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize worth £350,000.

The prize is awarded annually in recognition of an outstanding achievement in engineering research in the fields of medical, microwave and radar or laser/optoelectronic engineering, with the prize fund awarded to support further research led by the recipient.

This year’s theme is lasers and optoelectronics. 

Included in the 2022 shortlist are:

  • Coskun Kocabas is Professor in 2D Device Materials at the University of Manchester and National Graphene Institute. His research interests include optoelectronic applications of graphene and other 2D materials. Kocabas has made significant contributions for controlling light with graphene-based devices over a broad spectral range from visible to microwave.
  • James Durrantis is Professor of Photochemistry in the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London and Sêr Cymru Solar Professor, College of Engineering, University of Swansea. His research focuses on the use of transient laser spectroscopy and optoelectronic techniques to investigate the function of new materials for sustainable energy conversion, including materials for artificial photosynthesis, solar cells and electrolysis.
  • John C. Travers is Professor of Physics at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh and director of the Laboratory of Ultrafast Physics and Optics. He creates new light sources with tailored properties and has made multiple significant contributions to ultrafast nonlinear optics. He is recognised as a pioneer in using gas-filled hollow waveguides for ultrafast frequency conversion, pulse compression and supercontinuum generation.
  • Joyce Poon is the Managing Director at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, and an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin. She currently serves as a director-at-large for Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America, OSA). She and her team specialise in integrated photonics on silicon.
  • Koji Sugioka is a Team Leader of Advanced Laser Processing Research Team at RIKEN Centre for Advanced Photonics. He is internationally renowned for his works on laser micro and nanofabrication, and ultrafast laser processing. He is a Vice President of the International Academy of Photonics and Laser Engineering, and a Fellow of the International Society for Optics and Photonics, Optica (formerly OSA) and the Japan Society of Applied Physics.
  • Laura Na Liu is a Professor at the University of Stuttgart and became the Director of the 2. Physics Institute. Her research interest is multi-disciplinary; she works at the interface between nanophotonics, biology, and chemistry. She has obtained many prestigious awards, including the Rising Researcher Award (SPIE) (2019), Adolph Lomb Medal (2019), The Nano Letters Young Investigator Lectureship Award (ACS) (2019) and the EU-40 Materials Prize (E-MRS) (2019).

Sir John O’Reilly, Chair of the IET’s Search and Selection Panel for the Prize, said: “The A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize recognises the outstanding research achievements of the recipient, from anywhere in the world, who is identified through a search and selection process conducted by a panel of international experts from around the globe.

“We are incredibly proud, through the generous legacy from the late Dr A F Harvey, to be able to recognise and support the furtherance of pioneering engineering research in these fields and thereby their subsequent impact in advancing the world around us. I’d like to congratulate our six finalists.”

The IET’s A F Harvey prize is named after Dr A F Harvey who bequeathed a generous sum of money to the IET for a trust fund to be set up in his name to further research in the specified fields.

The prize winner will be chosen from the shortlisted candidates and announced in December 2022. The winning researcher will deliver a keynote lecture on their research in spring 2023.

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