Denis Hall has been Professor of Photonics at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh since 1987, conducting research on laser device physics and applications. His group pioneered ultra-compact high power planar waveguide lasers, exploiting concurrent research in RF discharge physics and optical waveguides to develop new laser concepts based on 2-D laser power scaling and novel laser resonators. Such lasers are now successful industrial products for several global companies. Recent research concentrated on high power planar solid state lasers, high power diode laser optics and laser fabrication of micro-optics. This work, part of a general industrial orientation involving partnership in many industry/university collaborative research projects, has produced a series of commercial laser products and industrial laser-based systems. He has co-founded three successful start-up companies producing lasers and photonic systems.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the IEEE, the European Physical Society, IoP, IEE, and OSA. He was UK IoP-QE Group Chairman (1990-93), and EPS QEOD Chairman (1998-2000), and from 1998-2007 he was Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer) at HWU. He was Main Board Director of CSIR (S Africa) and Director of the EPSRC/Industry-funded IMRC at Heriot Watt University.
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Profesor Denis Hall talks about the impact of some of his earlier research, showing the difference that academic collaboration can have on industrial processes.