My Journey from Academia to Industry: Senior Optical Fibre Engineer at Lumenisity

We spoke to our colleague about his time in academia and his decision to move into industry when joining Lumenisity as an Optical Fibre Engineer.

Tell us about your background in Academia

My 15 years in academia (2002- 2017) is something I am very proud of, having been awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) and Master of Engineering (MEng) degrees in Telecommunication Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Microstructured Optical Fibres. I built a strong and deep understanding in fields of Electromagnetism and Electrodynamics, Electronics, and Radio Frequency Communications among others, during the early part of my academic life. I also had the opportunity to get hands on with optical fibres and their manufacturing process since my MEng course.

I completed my PhD and enjoyed a few years working in an extremely fruitful academic R&D role at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton, alongside extremely talented people and prominent figures in the field of optical fibres. I developed a number of fibre testing and characterisation techniques enabling our team to achieve record breaking results in the field of hollowcore fibres, which paved the way to establish Lumenisity Limited.

I have always been passionate and enthusiastic about transforming my research and findings to a real-world product useful to humanity. Our successful first hollowcore fibre cable demonstration secured the funding we needed to establish Lumenisity in early 2017 and offered the perfect opportunity for me to follow my passion.

What made you decide to move into Industry?

Despite pursuing an academic career, which seemed a straightforward and obvious choice with my background, in 2018 I joined Lumenisity to help transform our research grade long-length low-loss hollowcore fibres and interconnections into commercial high quality and unique solutions and improve their performance much further. It is an exciting prospect to push the boundaries of technology, generate jobs, and improve humanity’s quality of life. At Lumenisity, I have employed my academic experience and knowledge to improve fibre and cable design and increase our product yield. These high-level objectives rely on many smaller projects that require deep understanding of the optical behaviour of fibres and cables and the capability to measure and characterise their parameters. Besides, there is a lot to be excited about, to learn and improve on for me in various subjects including commerce, finance, safety, legal, people and project management.

Industry values high level of discipline and hard work and realises efforts that lead to tangible results. I am sure many people with the right attitude and understanding of the company’s common goals and values will find it rewarding as there are excellent opportunities for personal and career development.