UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Dr David Selviah

Dr David Selviah

Reader in Optical Devices Interconnects Algorithms and Systems

Dept of Electronic & Electrical Eng

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Jan 1987

Research summary

Dr David R. Selviah’s early research included design and fabrication of novel airfield landing lights, modelling fluid dynamic airflow over aircraft; control of antiproton accelerator; experimental particle physics data analysis; design, modelling, fabrication in clean rooms and characterization of novel surface acoustic wave, SAW, RF adaptive correlators, RF frequency filters, RF linear chirp pulse compression filters for pattern recognition and signal processing in pulse compression radar and secure communication systems; microlens clean room fabrication techniques; electrically tuneable focal length liquid crystal microlenses; electrically tuneable narrowband liquid crystal optical frequency filters; computer generated holographic optical elements; planar optical interconnect sub-systems; silicon microprism optical interconnect sub-systems; dense holographic storage techniques; high sensitivity coherent light detection techniques; backlights for liquid crystal displays, LCDs; pattern recognition; neural network analysis; real time optimization and neural network training on field programmable gate arrays, FPGAs.

His research is taught in basic textbooks such as Hariharan’s Basics of Holography, 5 Handbooks and 2 Encyclopaedias and his research group "Optical Devices and Systems Laboratory" is recognised as delivering world leading outstanding research and is listed as a UK Technology Centre of Excellence.


Much of his research is carried out in collaboration with industry and involves knowledge transfer to strengthen industry. He formed and led the £1.6 million EPSRC IeMRC Flagship Consortium of 3 universities and 8 companies on 10 Gb/s Optical waveguide Printed Circuit Board, OPCB, interconnects resulting in the Firstlight demonstrator switching system with 10 Gb/s waveguide interconnects and 80 Gb/s optical connectors. He was technical leader of the TSB consortium of 2 universities, 5 Art Galleries, fabric and wallpaper manufacturers and companies on high resolution panoramic imaging of artworks and fabrics. He is developing adaptive backlights for 3D autostereoscopic liquid crystal displays as part of a European Consortium of 6 universities and 2 companies. He is developing signal processing, image processing and pattern recognition using generalised correlation higher order neural network techniques which he invented as part of the £1.6 million TSB consortium on Fibre Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensors for use in oil and gas wells to enable full extraction of the UK’s remaining oil and gas reserves. He is developing high resolution artwork scanning technology in a TSB Smart project with one company. He is developing 3D image signal processing, image processing and pattern recognition techniques in a £1.6 million TSB project with 5 companies for use in highly secure cloud computer clusters. This project deals with “big data” Terabyte 3D image analysis and processing.


Trinity College Cambridge
PhD, Electronic Engineering with Optoelectronics | 2009
Trinity College Cambridge
MA, Physics and Theoretical Physics | 1983
Trinity College Cambridge
BA, Physics and Theoretical Physics | 1980


Dr David R. Selviah studied at Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK being awarded B.A. and M.A. degrees in physics and theoretical physics, specializing in mathematical modelling in 1980 and 1984 respectively and was awarded the Ph.D. degree in Engineering specializing in optical devices, interconnects, algorithms and systems in 2009. He served internships at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Texas Instruments-Geophysical Service International, and CERN, Geneva.

He researched for 3 years at the Plessey industrial telecommunications and radar company main research laboratories, the Allen Clark Research Centre, Plessey (Caswell), Ltd., Northamptonshire, U.K. (now Oclaro). He designed, modelled, fabricated in a clean room and characterised novel RF surface acoustic wave, SAW, correlators and frequency filters for pattern recognition and signal processing in pulse compression radar and secure communication systems.

He researched for 3 years at the Department of Engineering Science and Christchurch, Oxford University, Oxford, UK designing, modelling, fabricating in a clean room and characterising RF linear chirp pulse compression surface acoustic wave, SAW, frequency filters based on a novel technology for pattern recognition and signal processing in pulse compression radar systems and oversaw the transfer of the technology to a manufacturing company spun out of Plessey (Caswell) research laboratories.

In 1987 he joined the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, UCL where he currently holds the position of Reader in Optical Devices, Interconnects, Algorithms and Systems. He leads the Optical Devices and Systems Research Laboratory which is recognised as delivering world leading outstanding research and is listed as a UK Technology Centre of Excellence. At UCL he has researched for over 25 years in the fields of optics, pattern recognition, adaptive signal processing, image processing and acoustics leading to over 200 publications, patents, book chapters, invited and plenary international conference presentations. Dr Selviah’s research is often carried out in successful consortia collaborations with other research teams, institutions and companies. He has formed several consortia, led the bids, secured multi-million pound funding and then led the consortium research.

Dr. Selviah is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Institute of Physics, the Optical Society of America, and the European Optical Society. He served as chairman and programme committee member for several IEEE optical conferences and workshops. Dr Selviah serves UK industry as technical expert at British Standards Institute, BSi, setting standards for optical fibre, optical connector and optical circuit boards. He also represents the UK as technical expert on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards committees on optical fibres, optical connectors and optical circuit boards.