Institution of Engineering and Technology honours photonics research

Share this on social media:

Photonics research has been honoured by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Professor of physics at the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute, Alfred Adams, has been awarded an IET honorary fellowship. Adams is receiving the honour in recognition of his work on the strained quantum-well laser.  

In 1986 Adams proposed that the electronic band structure of quantum well lasers could be significantly improved by deliberately growing the active layer in a state of strain. It was found that this greatly improved almost all the laser’s properties and presently strained quantum-well devices dominate the semi-conductor laser market. They are used for the internet, DVDs, computer memories, metal cutting and welding.

Adams said: ’I am delighted and feel greatly honoured to receive this very prestigious award. However, I would like to acknowledge the considerable efforts of the many other engineers whose ingenuity has made it possible for strained-layer lasers to find such a myriad of applications.’

The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries. The fellowship is the IET’s highest honour. Doctors, Irwin Mark Jacobs and N F Chin are also being awarded honorary fellowships. Jacobs is the founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm. Chin is a consulting engineer and is being recognised for his work in promoting the IET in Hong Kong.