Dr Paul Harper


Phone number
+44 (0)121 204 3525


Room number
North Wing 523

I started my research career at Aston in 1994 as a PhD student studying high speed optical telecommunications in the early days of what would become the world renowned Photonics Research Group.

After graduating in 1997 I continued this work at Aston as a Post Doc. In May 2002 along with co-workers, I left the university to form a spin-out project Marconi-Solstis to commercialise our research work.

I was a Senior Development Engineer on this project working on system design, test and field installation. Following the first field deployment of our 1.6Tb/s 3000km system I continued with Marconi as Photonic System Test Manager.

I missed life in the research lab though, so in March 2005 came back to Aston as a Lecturer and resumed my research career in optical communications & nonlinear optics.

I teach a range of subjects at different levels: Introductory Physics &  Digital Media at undergraduate level & Optical Communications at MSc level. I also supervise a number of PhD students working in our research labs.

Qualifications & Education

  • PhD (Long Distance Dispersion Managed Soliton Transmission Experiments), Aston University, 1997

  • MSc (with distinction), University of St. Andrews, 1993

  • BSc (First Class Honours), University of Glasgow, 1992


  • 2005 – present: Lecturer then Reader, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

  • 2000 – 2003: Senior Development Engineer/Manager Photonic System Test, Marconi Systems (Solstis)

  • 1997 – 2001: Post Doctoral Research Assistant, Aston University

Teaching activity
Foundations of Physics & Engineering (SE0PSF)

Digital Media Science (EE1MED)

Optical Communications Systems (EE3OCS/EE402A)

Research interests
High Speed Optical Communications

Nonlinear Optics

Recent research funding

  • EPSRC/Azea CASE: Adaptive dispersion compensation.

  • EPSRC Grant 2007 - 2010: Applications of ultra-long Raman lasers in Photonics.

  • EPSRC/Xtera CASE: Phase Regeneration for high speed optical communications

PhD Supervision

  • Vassilis Karelekas: Ultra-long Raman fibre lasers

  • Lee Barker: Adaptive dispersion compensation for 40Gb/s optical communications

  • Mercedes Alcon-Camas: Applications of quasi-lossless Raman amplified systems.

  • Hua Wang: Generation & application of advanced nonlinear optical pulses

  • Neil Murray: Phase regeneration for high speed optical communications

Selected publications

Some or my recent conference papers

  • “5,745 km DWDM transcontinental field trial using 10 Gbit/s dispersion managed solitons and dynamic gain equalization”, OFC,  PD26-1-3, USA (2003).

  • “Propagation of High Power Chirped Pulse in Disperison Decreasing Tapered Fiber”, CLEO Europe, Munich, (2007).

  • “165 km Ultra-Long Raman Fibre Laser in the C-band" ECOC, Brussels (2008).

  • "High efficiency supercontinuum generation using ultra-long Raman fibre cavities " ECOC, Brussels (2008).

  • "True soliton transmission through ultra-long laser links" ECOC, Brussels (2008). 

Some of my recent journal publications 

  • “Performance optimization of ultra-long Raman laser cavities for quasi-lossless transmission links”, Optics Communications 277/1, pp. 214-218 (2006).

  • “Experimental Demonstration of Mode Structure in Ultra-Long Raman Fibre Lasers”, Optics Letters Vol. 32, No. 9, 1135-1137 (2006).

  • “Impact of Nonlinear Spectral Broadening in Ultra-Long Raman Fibre Lasers”, Optics Express, 15(25), 16690-16695 (2007).

  • “Turbulent Broadening of Optical Spectra In Ultra-Long Raman Fibre Lasers”,  Phys. Rev. A. 77 (2008).

  • “Simultaneous spatial and spectral transparency in ultra-long fiber lasers”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101(2008).

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