Professor Keith Blow

Keith Blow

Head of Adaptive Communications Research Group

Phone number
0121 204 4973


Room number


I studied at Cambridge University where I was awarded a BA in Physics and Theoretical Physics in 1978. I then joined the Theory of Condensed Matter Group of the Cavendish Laboratory and received a Ph.D. for studies on Deep Impurities in Semiconductors in 1981. 

I joined the optics division of BT Labs in 1981 and worked on the theory of non-linear optical propagation effects in fibres, principally solitons . This work developed into optical switching and the first demonstration of soliton switching in non-linear optical loop mirrors. In 1990 I set up a group working on quantum optical properties and non-linear spatial optics as well as continuing work on all-optical processing which is currently concerned with ways of using and manipulating the information that can be sent over the enormous bandwidth of optical fibres. 

In 1999 I moved here to the Photonics Research Group at Aston to continue working on optical networks and optical computation.

In 2003 I formed the Adaptive Networks Communications Research Group to study ad-hoc sensor networks, applications of dynamic hardware and mobile systems.

Qualifications & Education  

  • BA with First Class Honours in Physics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, 1978

  • PhD in Solid State Physics, Cambridge University, 1981


  • 1981 – 1999: BT Research Laboratories

  • 1999 – date  Professor In Electronic Engineering, Aston University

Teaching activity

Research interests 

  • Photonics Research Group

  • Optical Networks

  • Optical processing

  • Adaptive Communications Networks Research Group

  • Ad-hoc Sensor Networks

  • Energy aware communication protocols

  • Internet Traffic Modelling

Recent research funding 


  • Applications of Photonic Crystal Fibres (EPSRC)

  • Undersea Transmission Systems (Azea)

  • WDM systems (Marconi)

  • Adaptive Hardware (BT)

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Fellow, Institute of Physics
External responsibilities
  • Hon Sec, Signal Processing, Electronics and Communications group, Institute of Physics
External engagement
  • I represent Aston in the MAPNET (Masters in Photonic Networks) consortium involving: Scuola Sant'Anna Superiore, Pisa; Technical University of Berlin; Osaka University; Aston University.

  • Editorial board member, Journal of Modern Optics.

  • Programme sub-committee chair, Nonlinear Photonics 2012 (USA)

  • Member of technical programme committee, NeoFusion 2012 (Australia)

Selected publications

Detailed list of publications >>

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research