The AILU Award was established in 1997 to honour 'an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the industrial use of lasers in the UK'.
The 2010 winner of the AILU Award is Professor David Payne FRS, CBE, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Southampton University. The Award recognises the major contribution that David has made in the development of industrial laser materials processing in the UK, both in his inventions in the field of fibre lasers and also for his role in the establishment of SPI Lasers in 2000 to exploit the technology developed by the ORC.
David Payne (left) being presented with the AILU Award by Stewart Williams. AILU President
David is an internationally-distinguished photonics researcher and fibre optic pioneer in the field of fibre optoelectronics and fibre telecommunications, the backbone of modern high speed data transmission. Of the many and major advances developed by his research group, the best known is the invention of the erbium-doped fibre amplifier (EDFA), which is a key technology for fibre telecommunications systems.
A graduate of the University of Southampton He earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical power engineering in 1967 and was the university's first graduate student in the new optoelectronics research program. His work helped establish the Optoelectronics Research Centre as one of the leading fibre optic research facilities in the world and he joined the faculty as a professor of photonics, a position he has held for 40 years. He became Director of the ORC in 1995.
As a leading University entrepreneur, David's activities led to a photonics cluster of companies surrounding the ORC. With colleagues, he founded SPI Lasers plc in 2000, the company now a leading supplier of high power fibre lasers.
The 2010 AILU Award