Prestigious 1.7 million euro award to advance future fibre laser technologies

Prof Sergei Turitsyn
Prof Sergei Turitsyn

A €1.7m research grant has been awarded to an Aston University engineering professor in recognition of his current and continued advancement of nonlinear photonic technologies. Professor Sergei Turitsyn has received the highly prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator Grant for the development of new generations of fibre lasers. 

The ERC Advance Grant supports pioneering frontier research projects. They are awarded to exceptional and established research leaders in the fields of science, engineering and scholarship to pursue frontier research of their choice. Applicants are expected to have a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years and wish to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk research that opens new directions in their respective research fields or other domains.

Work on random fibre lasers led by Professor Turitsyn was named by Optics & Photonics News magazine as one of two top world achievements in laser science in 2010. Professor Turitsyn also led a team which created the world’s longest laser at 270km in 2009.

The €1.7m award will fund new research posts and PhD opportunities in the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies to increasingly push ultra-long fibre and random laser technologies. Research will focus on the development of foundations for new generation fibre lasers for telecommunication and sensing applications and new approaches to secure communications.

Professor Turitsyn said: “Despite extraordinary advances in laser science, only recently have the fundamental limits of lasers become an area of exploration. I’m delighted and honoured to have received this funding, which will truly help to develop a radical new outlook for ‘next generation’ photonics. Random fibre lasers offer a new platform for laser devices and applications. We believe that new fundamental science as well as new applications and technologies, in particular for long-haul telecommunications and sensing, will emerge from the further development of the concept.”

Professor Turitsyn’s latest success follows on from his Marie Curie funding award through the International Research Staff Exchange scheme under the Framework Seven Programme (FP7). This will involve Aston researchers working alongside research centres of excellence in Germany, Finland, Russia, Belgium and Ukraine.