David Payne is Professor and Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton (UK). His research career has spanned many diverse areas of photonics, from telecommunications and optical sensors to nanophotonics and optical materials. Of the many major advances developed by Payne's research group, the best known is the invention of the erbium-doped fibre amplifier. His current main research interest is high-power fiber lasers.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) awarded him the 2007 Photonics Award, and he has also received the UK Rank Prize for Optics and the prestigious US Tyndall Award. He is a Franklin Laureate (USA) and, most recently, an Eduard Rhein Laureate (Europe). Prof Payne is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2006 he was elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences, one of only 240 foreign members.
In addition to his academic achievements, David is a leading University entrepreneur. He has been a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and his activities have led to a photonics cluster of 9 companies surrounding the ORC, creating jobs and wealth in the local community. As a result, the University has benefited from 3 companies situated in the Chilworth Science Park, namely Sensa, Fibercore and Southampton Photonics Inc (SPI).