TRANSNET PI/Director elected to board of international optical society

During a meeting of OSA The Optical Society, at the '2019 Frontier in Optics + Laser Science' conference Polina Bayvel, professor in UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and TRANSNET PI was elected Director at Large of the Society. 

OSA is an international organisation that drives to share advances in the science of light. The society promotes and delivers scientific and technical information on optics and photonics worldwide through high-calibre publications, programmes and outreach activities.

Formerly the Optical Society of America, OSA recently changed its name to The Optical Society in recognition of its international impact and membership.

As Director at Large Professor Bayvel will actively participate in the leadership of the society, steering the direction and future developments of the OSA. The Board consists of 14 directors internationally, making Professor Bayvel's inclusion a celebrated accolade for herself and UCL. 

Speaking about the announcement, Professor Bayvel said:
"I feel deeply privileged to be able to contribute to the work of the OSA and be considered for the position as a Director at Large. The Optical Society is a natural, lifelong professional home for anyone working in optics, photonics and the science of light.For OSA to consolidate and enhance its position of leadership, jointly building on our strengths for the future.We must first and foremost attract new members, the future leaders in the fields of optics. I am passionately committed to career development of early-career scientists and engineers, and I believe that we can do more for them within OSA at different career stages. I would like to explore new activities to facilitate this. Specifically I would like to set up a graduate fellowship award program, for Ph.D. students in optics, paying attention to diversity of the student body."

Professor Bayvel is Professor of Optical Communications & Networks in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, within the department Professor Bayvel heads the Optical Networks research Group (ONG). Professor Bayvel founded the group in 1994, with the group celebrating its 25th anniversary this week.

Through Professor Bayvel's leadership, the ONG has become a leading group in optical communication systems & networks research with multiple accolades and awards. In 2016 the group set a world record for the fastest data rate over a single fibre, achieving a rate of 1.125 Tb/s. Polina also leads the £6.1 Million funded research programme TRANSNET which looks to transform optical networks for future society needs.

Professor Bayvel is dedicated to mentoring and developing early career researchers and was featured in Royal Society books: ‘Mothers in Science: 64 ways to have it all’, and ‘Parent, carer, scientist’, aimed at encouraging younger scientists to pursue research.

She has successfully supervised over 25 Ph.D. students and 30 research fellows, from leading research laboratories that span four continents. Most of her former students now work in top industry/university research laboratories and as faculty around the world. Most of her former students now work in top industry/university research laboratories around the world. Some 11 ONG students that have passed through Professor Bayvel's mentorship have received the IEEE Photonics Society Postgraduate Fellowship Prize for top Ph.D. students since this program was introduced in 1999.