Fraunhofer/RAEng Chair announced

New Chair

First joint RAEng/Fraunhofer Photonics Chair in the UK

Fraunhofer UK is proud to announce appointment of Professor Alan Kemp, at the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde, as the first Fraunhofer UK/RAEng research chair in the UK.

Professor Kemp's work will contribute to keeping the UK at the forefront of the global race for innovation in photonics, a technology related to the transmission and manipulation of light such as lasers and fibre optic cables. Photonics is a sector currently worth an annual £10bn in the UK and £250bn globally.

The collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, the Academy and Fraunhofer UK aims to ensure that photonics research will fulfill industrial needs and result in new applications, increasing its potential for commercial success. To this end, last year Fraunhofer UK established the Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP), a hub of excellence in photonics research at Strathclyde, which also hosts their UK headquarters.

The new chair will allow Professor Kemp to expand the 'Advanced Laser Group' at Strathclyde's Institute of Photonics and lead activity into novel areas such as the use of diamond in solid-state laser engineering and the development of compact ultra-short-pulse lasers for applications including biological imaging.

Professor Kemp, who has been a team leader at the University of Strathclyde's Institute of Photonics since 2009, said: "Lasers are an enabling technology - from advanced manufacturing, through biological imaging and to remote sensing. The new Centre for Applied Photonics will enhance the UK's industrial and academic leadership in this area by strengthening the interaction between universities and companies, making this an exciting time for the field. I am grateful for the opportunity this post will give me to work with our industrial partners, our academic partners, and with Fraunhofer UK, to help drive the development of new laser technology."

Professor Martin Dawson, Head of Fraunhofer UK's CAP and Director of Research at the University of Strathclyde's Institute of Photonics, said: "Alan Kemp is a noted researcher who is performing internationally leading work in solid state laser engineering, especially involving the use of synthetic diamond. This new chair offers Alan a much-deserved opportunity to maximise the impact of his research for UK industrial benefit and to interface closely to Fraunhofer UK. We sincerely thank the Royal Academy of Engineering for supporting the creation of this chair".

Sir John Parker GBE FREng, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering said: "The establishment of this new chair reflects the Academy's strong commitment to support world-class research to drive innovation.

"The appointment of Professor Kemp as the first joint Fraunhofer/Royal Academy of Engineering research chair in the UK further deepens the connections between British academia and the industrial world. These links are vital to support engineering driving economic growth and the nation's well-being.