Published on 04/10/2021
RAEng Aston University


•     Professor Wladek Forysiak has been awarded a new joint industry–academia research partnership that will address some of the complex engineering challenges facing society.

•     The research chair in Highly Integrated Coherent optical fibre Communications was announced by The Academy today.

•     Professor Forysiak from Aston University will aim to establish a world-leading research group in the field.


Professor Wladek Forysiak from Aston University been awarded a fellowship by The Royal Academy of Engineering.

Professor Forysiak, a member of the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AiPT) which is one of the oldest and largest photonics research centres in the UK, will be establishing a research group into highly integrated coherent optical fibre communications so to develop new advances in photonic integration to increase the capacity of digital communications.

The fellowship for the research chair is one of five new industry–academia partnerships around the UK awarded by The Royal Academy of Engineering which aims to develop transformational technologies and address some of the most complex engineering challenges facing society.

With a focus on industry-relevant research across the full range of engineering disciplines, the Academy’s Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships scheme enhances the links between academia and businesses with each of the prestigious five-year positions co-sponsored by an industrial partner. Each awardee will establish a world-leading research group in their engineering field.

Professor Forysiak’s work will focus on developing new advances in photonic integration to increase the capacity of digital communications technology close to the user now there has been a rise in home-working and greater requirements for mobility via 5G and other access technologies.

His research aims to build on the ‘system-on-chip’ photonic integration technology developed by EFFECT Photonics to develop new transceivers, transceiver arrays, and entire multi-channel optical fibre transmission systems.

By reducing the cost and power requirements of these components, sub-systems, and systems, this project will contribute to a more sustainable society and a greener future by providing greater bandwidth, serving our ever-increasing reliance on remote communications for work, education, health and well-being, social life and entertainment.

Professor Forysiak said: “With this partnership we can build a research and innovation powerhouse that will push the envelope of very high bandwidth internet closer to the user for the benefit of all society.”

Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng FLSW, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University and Chair of the Academy’s Research Committee, said: “These awardees illustrate brilliantly how expert engineering researchers, when partnered with industry, underpin the success of UK engineering research and innovation. The kind of work we are seeing illustrates why government has demonstrated such confidence in the economic value of our sector through its Innovation Strategy.”

Last month it was also announced that Professor Patricia Thornley, the Director of the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute, which is based at the University joined the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Fellow.

She joined a total of 69 leading figures in the field of engineering and technology to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Professor Thornley said: “It is such an honour to be admitted to the Academy and be able to represent Aston University, EBRI and females within engineering, and I look forward to working with the Royal Academy of Engineering in the future.”


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 beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.


Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. The University also has TEF Gold status in the Teaching Excellence Framework. 


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