Plenary Speakers

Plenary speakers


Professor Alexandra Boltasseva, Purdue University, USA

Alexandra Boltasseva is a Professor at the School of Electrical&Computer Engineering at Purdue University. She received her PhD in electrical engineering at Technical University of Denmark, DTU in 2004. Boltasseva specializes in nanophotonics, nanofabrication, optical materials, plasmonics and metamaterials. She received the 2013 IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award, 2013 Materials Research Society (MRS) Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the MIT Technology Review Top Young Innovator (TR35), the Young Researcher Award in Advanced Optical Technologies from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, and the Young Elite-Researcher Award from the Danish Council for Independent Research. She is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and Fellow of SPIE. She served on MRS Board of Directors and is Editor-in-Chief for OSA’s Optical Materials Express.


Professor Kishan Dholakia, University of St Andrews, UK

Kishan Dholakia is Professor at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He works on fundamental and applied studies of photonics particularly using beam shaping. His work has impacted imaging for neuroscience and cancer diagnosis. He has also numerous world recognised achievements in optical manipulation including rotation of particles in vacuum, cited in the Guinness Book of Records 2015. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, OSA and SPIE. In 2016 he won the R.W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society, in 2017 he won the IOP Thomas Young Medal and Prize and is the 2018 recipient of the SPIE Dennis Gabor Award


Dr Anthony Laing, University of Bristol, UK

Dr Laing is a senior lecturer in physics at the University of Bristol in the UK, and holds a 5 year fellowship in quantum technologies from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. His group is focused on understanding how quantum technologies can be used to simulate microscopic physical systems that behave according to quantum mechanics, such as the dynamics of molecules. In parallel with these efforts, Laing’s group are investigating the limits of classical computers to perform these simulations. Dr Laing’s track record includes publications in the areas of integrated quantum photonics, boson sampling and quantum computing, and characterisation protocols for photonic circuits and solid state systems using machine learning algorithms. He invented the Reference Frame Independent Quantum Key Distribution protocol and patented its implementation with Nokia.


Dr Rachel Oliver, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr Rachel Oliver is a Reader in Materials Science at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Centre for Galllium Nitride. Her research interests focus on the characterization and exploitation of nanoscale structures in GaN-based materials with the aim of both improving the performance of current GaN-based optoelectronic devices and also developing and implementing novel device concepts. Rachel is also passionate about communication of science to the general public and about increasing participation of women in the physical sciences.


Professor Sir David Payne, University of Southampton, UK

Prof Sir David Payne is a Professor of Photonics and Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) and the Zepler Institute at the University of Southampton.  

Over the last forty years, he has made numerous key contributions in optical fibre communications and laser technology. His work in fibre fabrication in the 1970s resulted in most of the special fibres used today, including the revolutionary erbium-doped fibre amplifier (EDFA) and kilowatt-class fibre lasers for manufacturing and defence.

As an entrepreneur, he co-founded York Technologies, (now PK Technology Inc.), Fibercore, SENSA (now part of Schlumberger) and SPI Lasers plc (now part of the Trumpf Gruppe).


Professor Vahid Sandoghdar, Max Planck Society, Germany

Vahid Sandoghdar obtained his B.S. in physics from the University of California at Davis in 1987 and Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1993. After a postdoctoral stay at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris he moved to the University of Konstanz in Germany in 1995, where he started a new line of research to combine single molecule spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy and quantum optics. In 2001 he accepted a chair at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2011 he became director at the newly established Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. Sandoghdar is one of the founders of the field of Nano-Optics, which merges various methods and research areas to investigate fundamental issues in the interaction between light and matter at the nanometer scale. His current research ranges from quantum optics, plasmonics and ultrahigh resolution microscopy to nanobiophysics.


Professor Frank Vollmer, University of Exeter, UK

Frank Vollmer is a Professor of Biophysics at the Living Systems Institute at the University of Exeter. Prof Vollmer pioneers optical technology to study processes at the nanoscale. He held several appointments at leading US institutions including Rowland Fellow at Harvard University and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Before moving to the LSI in 2016, he held the position of Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (DE). In 2017 Prof Vollmer was awarded the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

Key dates

  • Abstract submission deadline (extended):
    6 April 2018
  • Early registration deadline:
    6 July 2018
  • Registration deadline:
    27 August 2018

Call for proposals Photon 2020