Aston University academics made fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Professor Sergei Turitsyn and Dawn Bonfield MBE to be made fellows 
  • Fellows are nominated by their peers based on their engineering accomplishments
  • They will formally be admitted to the Academy on 8 November. 

Two Aston University senior academics have been made fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

Professor Sergei Turitsyn, director of Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), and Dawn Bonfield MBE, Aston University’s Royal Academy of Engineering visiting professor of inclusive engineering, will formally be admitted to the Academy on 8 November 2022.

Fellows are nominated by their peers based on their engineering accomplishments. The Academy’s fellows are chosen from the leading businesspeople, entrepreneurs, innovators and academics in engineering and technology. 

Professor Turitsyn is a world-renowned expert and the originator of several key concepts in the fields of nonlinear photonics, optical fibre communications and fibre lasers. His work lies at the interface between fundamental nonlinear science and engineering applications of photonics. 

Aston University academics made fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering

He joined Aston University in 1998 and in 2012 he established, and has since led, AIPT. The institute is an internationally-leading centre in photonic technology and engineering applications, ranging from high-speed optical communications, lasers and optical sensing to bio-medical devices and machine learning in photonics. 

He was the recipient of a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2005 and was awarded the Lebedev medal by the Rozhdestvensky Optical Society in 2014. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and the Institute of Physics.

Professor Turitsyn said: 
“I am honoured and delighted to receive this high recognition. I am also grateful to all my research friends and colleagues who I have had the privilege to work with over many years. 

“I am looking forward to contribute to the Royal Academy of Engineering’s mission to deliver public benefit through engineering excellence and technology innovation.”

Dawn Bonfield MBE has an international reputation as an inspirational leader, championing diversity and inclusion, ethics and sustainable development in engineering. As Royal Academy of Engineering visiting professor at Aston University, she is an influential advocate for change, and has developed an emerging discipline of inclusive engineering, which limits bias and discrimination in engineering and uses engineering and technology to address inequality. 

She runs her own company, Towards Vision, to deliver change in both the education and corporate sectors. An aerospace materials engineer originally, she is former president and CEO of the Women’s Engineering Society.

Ms Bonfield said: 
“I’m honoured to be admitted to the Academy fellowship and delighted that the work that I have been championing at Aston University around inclusive outcomes to engineering is being recognised in this way. 

“It signifies the importance of inclusion to our work as engineers, where we acknowledge people as being at the heart of our engineering solutions, so as to create solutions that are accessible and equitable. 
“Aston University have played an important part in supporting and progressing this work, which is now being embedded into our engineering curricular.”

The Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the knowledge and experience of some of the best and brightest engineers, inventors and technologists in the UK and from around the world. 

Fellows represent a variety of engineering fields including civil, construction and environmental, chemical, manufacturing and design, and medical and bioengineering.

Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:
“I am delighted to welcome such an array of enormously talented people to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering. From industry and enterprise to education and government – both national and international – these are some of our most pioneering and distinguished engineers and technologists.

“In an uncertain world, one thing is certain – engineering skills, vision and leadership will play a crucial part in addressing the escalating domestic and global challenges that we face today. The combined connectivity, professionalism, experience and wisdom of the new fellows who join us today will greatly enrich the expertise and support we can provide to the government and to society in general.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long-established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7825 342091 or email:

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