Professor David Webb


Phone number
0121 204 3541


Room number

I joined Aston University as Reader in Photonics in May 2001 and was promoted to Professor in June 2012. Prior to joining Aston I had spent 10 years as a Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in the Physics Department at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

My higher education was obtained at the University of Oxford (BA in Physics at St. Catherine’s) and the University of Kent (PhD in Physics) and I have also spent time as a postdoc in the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford and in industry with GEC Research in Great Baddow, Chelmsford.

Qualifications & Education

  • BA in Physics, University of Oxford, 1982
  • PhD in Physics, University of Kent, 1988


  • 2001 – date: Reader then Professor in Photonics, Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, School of Engineering Science, Aston University
  • 2007 – date: Director, Astasense Ltd.
  • 1991 – 2001: Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Physics, University of Kent
  • 1988 – 1991: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University
  • 1989 – 1991: College Lecturer, Pembroke College, Oxford University
  • 1983 – 1985: Research Scientist, GEC Research, Marconi Research Centre, Gt. Baddow, Chelmsford

Teaching activity
I teach on modules EE1ESE and EE1DAE, which are integrated to form the core of the first year Electronic Engineering programmes.

I am interested in teaching innovations that have the potential to encourage greater student engagement. To this end I  introduced problem based learning in the second year analogue electronics course and together with my colleague Dr. Kate Sugden have transformed the teaching of electronics in the first year to a practical and project based activity, introducing students to electronic design at an early stage.

Research interests
A member of the Photonics Research Group, I have 30 years’ research experience in the field of photonics, working in the areas of non-linear optics and optical fibre sensors and devices. I have published well over 300 journal and conference papers on these subjects, as well as a research text book on photorefractive nonlinear optics and several other book chapters.

Recent funding success

  • Webb, “POGS,” €200k, EU FP7, 2012-2014 - in negotiation
  • Webb + partners, “SAFUEL,” €250k (Aston component), EU FP7, 2012-2015

Current PhD Supervision
Lutful KHAN, Suhrab SAIDI, Ada ABANG

Membership of Professional Bodies

Recent publications 

1.    Yuan W, Khan L, Webb DJ, Kalli K, Rasmussen HK, Stefani A, et al. Humidity insensitive TOPAS polymer fiber Bragg grating sensor. Optics Express. 2011;19(20):19731-9.

2.    Webb D. Research activities arising from the University of Kent. Photonics Sensors. 2011;1.

3.    Koutsides C, Kalli K, Webb DJ, Zhang L. Characterizing femtosecond laser inscribed Bragg grating spectra. Optics Express. 2011;19(1):342-52.

4.    Kalli K, Allsop T, Zhou K, Smith G, Komodromos M, Webb D, et al. Sensing Properties of Femtosecond Laser-Inscribed Long Period Gratings in Photonic Crystal Fiber. Photonic Sensors. 2011;1.

5.    Johnson IP, Yuan W, Stefani A, Nielsen K, Rasmussen HK, Khan L, et al. Optical fibre Bragg grating recorded in TOPAS cyclic olefin copolymer. Electronics Letters. 2011;47(4):271-2.

6.    Allsop T, Kalli K, Zhou K, Smith G, Komodromos M, Petrovic J, et al. Spectral characteristics and thermal evolution of long-period gratings in photonic crystal fibers fabricated with a near-IR radiation femtosecond laser using point-by-point inscription. Journal of the Optical Society of America B-Optical Physics. 2011;28(9):2105-14.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research