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Lasers & Sources

Alastair Wilson: Photonics clusters and technology transfer in the United Kingdom

The goal of the UK Technology Strategy Board's Photonics group is to support the leveraging effect and to bring together diverse technologies to grow the photonics market.
1 August 2012, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201207.04

AlastairWilson is Director of Photonics for the Electronics, Sensors, Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network in the United Kingdom. He has been involved in UK photonics for over 35 years, operating in both the private and public sectors. Following a B.Sc in Physics and an M.Sc in Optoelectronics from Queen's University, Belfast, he started his industry career in Barr and Stroud Ltd, subsequently Thales Optronics, as a laser physicist and held managerial positions in project management and marketing.

In 1989 he joined Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's principal economic development agency, and was Head of Optoelectronics for several years. During this time he founded the Scottish Optoelectronics Association and was involved in establishing the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde. In 2001 he was appointed as Business Development Manager of Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global Ltd, a foundry for compound semiconductor devices and was a key figure in growing the company's global customer base.

In December 2006, Alastair was appointed Director of the Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network in the UK. The network, sponsored by the Technology Strategy Board, is responsible for generating activities and initiatives that promote the exchange of knowledge and the stimulation of innovation in UK photonics. As of July 2010, Alastair became Director of Photonics for the Electronics, Sensors and Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network.