Exceptional funding success in 2020

Undeterred by a global pandemic, TRANSNET members have been awarded more than £4 million in grants and fellowships this year. From modelling fibre propagation to designing date centres of the future, discover more about the cutting-edge research projects these awards will fund, below. 

Project: Novel tunable dissipative optical frequency combs: from visible to mid-infrared
Funder: The Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship
Recipient: Dr Auro Perego (Aston University)
Summary: Auro will investigate new methods to generate optical frequency combs, “multicolour” coherent light sources which act as ultraprecise optical rulers, with tunable properties in optical resonators.

Project: Modelling of ultra-wide band transmission
Funder: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship
Recipient: Dr Anastasiia Vasylchenkova (UCL from October, previously Aston University)
Summary: Anastasiia will advance models of fibre propagation over very large bandwidths, and apply the results to the development of next generation of optical communication systems. 

Project: OptoCloud: Ultra-fast optically interconnected heterogeneous Data Centres
Funder: EPSRC Fellowship
Recipient: Dr Georgios Zervas (UCL)
Summary: This project will design heterogeneous, disaggregated and sustainable Data Center and HPC systems, enabled by energy efficient, scalable, single hop, and nanosecond speed optical circuit switched network technologies.

Project: Massive spatial parallelism in optical fibres for expanding Internet capacity
Funder: UKRI Future Leaders Fellow
Recipient: Dr Filipe Ferreira (UCL)
Summary: Filipe will put together a multidisciplinary team to develop a new photonic processor that merges photonic integrated circuits and machine learning so that large-scale spatial parallelism can be achieved within every optical fibre.

Project: Advanced Signal Generation and Detection System for Next-generation Ultra-wideband Communication Networks
Funder: EPSRC Strategic Equipment
Recipient: Professor Polina Bayvel (UCL)
Summary: This project will create an advanced, world leading signal generation and detection test-bed for advanced communications systems research.

Project: All-Raman optical amplification for next Generation ultra-wideband Optical Networks 
Funder: EPSRC Standard Research
Recipient: Professor Wladek Forysiak (Aston University)
Summary: The aim of this proposed research is to address the modelling, design, demonstration and potential applications of ultra-wide-band optical fibre amplifiers based on the Raman effect, induced by high power laser pumping of specially designed optical fibre, for future applications in optical fibre communication networks, ranging from inter-data-centre connections to metro/regional networks.

Project: Space division multiplexed optical networks: When, where and how
Funder: EPSRC & BT
Recipient: Dr Georgios Zervas (UCL)
Summary: This project will use space division multiplexing (SDM) technologies in metropolitan and core networks in order to solve the internet capacity crunch.

Project: Optics for Distributed Learning
Funder: Microsoft
Recipient: Dr Georgios Zervas (UCL)
Summary: This project will develop large scale distributed learning computing systems, using new topologies, partitioning and scheduling strategies over optical networks.


This is an outstanding list of grants and fellowships, and clearly demonstrates the talent and determination of our researchers, along with their commitment to advancing the field of optical networks through discovery and innovation. Congratulations to all involved in securing these awards!