A Quarter-Century of Optical Network Research

Stewart Wills

A pioneering research group in optical communications celebrates its 25th anniversary—and looks at the road ahead.

figureBayvel talks with Domanic Lavery—then a Ph.D. student, and now an ONG research fellow and lecturer—in the lab. In the background is former ONG postdoc Robert Maher, now with Infinera. [Courtesy of P. Bayvel]

Twenty-five years ago, the Optical Networks Group (ONG)—a path-breaking research effort at University College London (UCL) under the leadership of OSA Fellow and 2020–22 Board member Polina Bayvel—first opened its doors. In the ensuing two and one-half decades, the group has taken on a wide swath of problems in optical communications, ranging from foundational work in wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) to the ultimate capacity of nonlinear fiber channels and the current drive for “intelligent” networks and transceivers.

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