UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering



The ONG group at UCL is a world-renowned research team led by Professor Polina Bayvel. Learn more about our team.

Academic Staff

Prof Polina Bayvel - Head of the Optical Networks Group / Prof of Optical Communications

Professor Polina Bayvel Head of the Optical Networks Group


Professor Polina Bayvel is the Head of the Optical Networks Group at UCL which she also set up in 1994. Her research interests are in the area of optical communications and include wavelength-routed optical networks, high-speed optical transmission, and the study and mitigation of fibre nonlinearities. She was one of the first to show the feasibility of using the wavelength domain for routing in optical networks, and designed wavelength-selective devices needed for their characterisation and implementation. More recently she has focused on the study of capacity limits in nonlinear optical networks and optical networks for the cloud. She has authored or co-authored more than 350 refereed journal and conference papers.

Polina Bayvel received her BSc (Eng) and PhD degrees in Electronic & Electrical Engineering from University of London, UK, in 1986 and 1990, respectively. In 1990, she was with the Fiber Optics Laboratory, General Physics Institute, Moscow (formerly USSR, now Russian Academy of Sciences), under the Royal Society Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship. She was a Principal Systems Engineer with STC Submarine Systems Ltd, London, UK, and Nortel Networks (Harlow, UK, and Ottawa, ON, Canada), where she was involved in the design and planning of optical fibre transmission networks. During 1994-2004, she held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at University College London (UCL), and in 2002, she was appointed to a Chair in Optical Communications and Networks.

Professor Bayvel is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), Optical Society of America (FOSA), Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers (FIEEE), the UK Institute of Physics (IoP), and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). She was the recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2007-2012), 2013 IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award, 2014 Royal Society Clifford Patterson Prize Lecture and Medal and in 2015 together with 5 members of her group, received the Royal Academy of Engineering Colin Campbell Mitchell Award for 'pioneering contributions to optical communications technology'. She was the PI of the UK EPSRC Programme Grant UNLOC (2012-2018), focused on unlocking - and maximising - the capacity of optical communications., and now leads the TRANSNET Programme Grant (2018-2024).

She was awarded CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2017 New Year's Honours List for services to engineering.  

Dr Lidia Galdino - Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow / Proleptic Lecturer

Lidia Galdino
Dr Lidia Galdino received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Campinas, Brazil, in 2008 and 2013, respectively. 

Dr Galdino commenced a lectureship and a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in September 2018 on the topic of "Capacity-approaching, Ultra-Wideband Nonlinear optical Fibre Transmission System", and is a co-investigator on the EPSRC TRANSNET Programme grant. She previously worked as a Senior Research Associate on the EPSRC UNLOC programme grant.

She is part of the Technical Programme Committee for the Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), the Optical Fibre Communication Conference (OFC), the IEEE Photonic Conference (IPC), and the Advanced Photonics Conference (NETWORKS meeting). She served as Associate Vice President of IEEE's Women in Photonics (2018-2020) and has been elected to the Board of Governors of the IEEE Photonics Society (2021-2023).

Dr Galdino was a co-recipient of the RAEng Colin Campbell Mitchell Award in 2015 for pioneering contributions to optical communications technology and named as one of the 2017 “Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35” by The Telegraph and Women in Engineering Society which features the UK’s top rising female stars of engineering.

Publication Data:
Google scholar 
UCL Iris 

Awards and Fundings:
•    Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship (2018-2023)
•    Top 50 Women in Engineers under 35, which “features the UK’s top rising female stars of engineering” (2017)
•    Co-recipient of Royal Academy of Engineering Colin Campbell Mitchell Award for “our pioneering contributions to optical communications technology” (2015)
•    Brazilian Science without Borders Fellowship to join the Optical Networks Group (ONG) at University College London (2013)
•    Ph.D. studentship funded by National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) 
•    Master’s degree funded by Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). 

Contact email:

Professor Robert Killey - Professor in Optical Communications

Robert Killey
Robert Killey received his B.Eng. degree in Electronic and Communications Engineering from the University of Bristol, U.K., in 1992 and the M.Sc. degree in Microwaves and Optoelectronics from UCL, U.K., in 1994.

He received the D.Phil. degree from the University of Oxford, U.K., in 1998. His doctoral work was on InGaAsP Fabry–Perot optical modulators and their applications in soliton communications.

He has been a member of the academic staff at UCL since 2000 and is currently a co-investigator on the EPSRC TRANSNET project; a multidisciplinary research programme investigating intelligent resource allocation in dynamic optical networks

Dr Killey is an Associate Editor of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology and the IEEE Photonics journal, and has served on the Technical Programme Committees of OFC and ECOC. He was a recipient of the 2015 Royal Academy of Engineering 2015 Colin Campbell Award, and is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Current research interests:

  • Modelling and experimental investigations of the effects of fibre nonlinearity on high bit-rate WDM data transmission
  • Simplified direct detection and coherent optical transceivers and the applications of digital signal processing for transmission impairment mitigation in high capacity optical communication systems

Contact email: 

Dr Zhixin Liu - Lecturer in Optical Communications and Networks

Zhixin Liu
Zhixin Liu received the Ph.D. degree in Information Engineering from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in 2012. Upon Ph.D. graduation, he received the Hong Kong Creative Fund and cofounded a start-up company. In 2013, he joined the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton in the UK and became a Senior Research Fellow in 2015.

In 2016, he joined the Optical Networks Group at the department of electronics and electrical engineering at UCL. Dr Liu is a senior member IEEE and senior member OSA. He receives OSA Outstanding Reviewer Award in 2018.

Zhixin is currently a co-investigator on the EPSRC TRANSNET project; a multidisciplinary research programme investigating intelligent resource allocation in dynamic optical networks

Dr Zhixin Liu has published more than 70 papers in internationally-leading journals and conferences, with several high-profile papers including Nat. Comm., Invited papers in Journal of Lightwave Technology and highly prestigious post-deadline papers in top conference of the field (Optical Fiber Communication Conference, OFC, European Conference of Optical Communications, ECOC). Being knowledgeable in both software (digital signal processing) and hardware technologies (optoelectronic devices and systems), Dr Liu endeavours to overcome fundamental limitations in signal generation, processing and detection. 

Research interests: 
  • Optical transmitters for short and medium reach optical communication systems using optical signal processing and photonic integration; 
  • Laser dynamics for generation of high-fidelity signals; 
  • Digital and analog signal processing for low latency and power-aware optical communications. 

Dr Liu’s research is funded by EPSRC, Royal Society, and industry partners including Microsoft, Eblana Photonics and Huawei Inc. For more information please visit www.zhixinliu.net 

Contact email: 

Dr Georgios Zervas - Associate Professor of Optical Networked Systems, EPSRC Fellow

Georgios Zervas

George Zervas is currently an Associate Professor of optical networked systems in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University College London. He received his MEng degree in Electronic and Telecommunication Systems Engineering with distinction and PhD degree in optical networks from University of Essex in 2003 and 2009 respectively. Following this, George held the positions of Research Associate and subsequently Research Fellow and Lecturer as a member of High Performance Networks group at University of Essex where he investigated multi-granular optical switching. 

In 2012-16 He was appointed Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at University of Bristol where he led the research activities on optical networked systems with emphasis on optical switching, flexible and space division multiplexed networking, programmable electronic and optical hardware as well as data centre systems. Also held the position of visiting Associate Professor at Keio University, Tokyo. He is the recipient of the prestigious 5-year Fellowship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) within Information and Communications Technology in the U.K. 

He is the author and co-author of over 275 international peer-reviewed journal and conference papers including numerous prestigious post-deadline papers at ECOC/OFC as well as best paper awards. He has also given over 40 invited talks at several international conferences. His research interests lie in the fields of optical networked systems for data centres, high performance computing and telecoms with particular focus on optical switched interconnects, topologies, control, architectures and compute & network co-design. 

George has been involved in several current and past EC and EPSRC and industrial funded projects as principal and co- investigator. He has been acting as a TPC member on international conferences such as OFC, ICC, Globecom, ONDM, ACP, among others. He is associate editor of IEEE Networking Letters and has been serving as guest associate editor on IEEE JOCN. Dr. Zervas has been involved in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Open Grid Forum (OGF) standardization fora. George is a member of EPSRC Peer Review Associate College and has served as expert reviewer in other non-UK national funding bodies.

George is currently an EPSRC Fellow (OptoCloud) and co-investigator on the TRANSNET programme grant. His research has been funded and supported by industry such as Microsoft, Huber+Suhner Polatis, British Telecom, Sumitomo Electric, II-VI, Xilinx, Micron.

For more information please visit my personal website 

Contact email: g.zervas@ucl.ac.uk

Google Scholar 

Dr Alejandra Beghelli - Lecturer in Optical Communications and Networks

photo of Alejandra Beghelli
Alejandra Beghelli received her B.Eng degree, professional title and M.Sc. degree in electronic engineering from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria, Chile, in 1994, 1996 and 2001, respectively. Later, she received her PhD degree in electronic engineering from University College London, UK, in 2006. 

From 1997 to 2012, Dr Beghelli held different academic and management positions at Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María. In 2012 she was a Visiting Scholar to Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy. During the period 2008-2016, she was an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, UK.

From 2013 to 2020 she was an Associate Professor at Universidad Adolfo Ibañez and from 2019-2020 she spent a sabbatical year working as a lecturer at the Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London and a Visiting Scholar at City, University of London. Since August 2020, she is a Lecturer in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, UK. 

Dr Beghelli has been the recipient of several academic excellence and teaching awards as well as scholarships, being the most important the IEEE LEOS Graduate Fellowship by the IEEE Photonics Society, the MH Joseph Prize by the British Federation of Women Graduates, Presidente de la República Scholarship by the Chilean government and the Outstanding Teacher Award by UTFSM.

Her current research topics include research allocation in optical networks, reinforcement learning applied to optical networking and creativity in engineering. 

Dr Alfonso Ruocco - Lecturer in Optical Communications and Networks

Alfonso Ruocco is currently a Lecturer in Optical Communications and Networks in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University College London. He received his MEng in Electronic Engineering from the Federico II University of Naples in 2011 and his PhD in Photonics Engineering from the University of Ghent/IMEC in 2016, where he explored novel high complexity integrated photonic circuits.

He was subsequently appointed as a Postdoctoral Associate within the Research Laboratory of Electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he investigated novel CMOS-compatible integrated photonics systems for metrology and communication systems. Following this, Alfonso held the position of Research Associate and Senior Research Associate within the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge, where he investigated novel hybrid nanomaterials/CMOS-compatible photonic platforms for communication systems and ultrafast photonics.

Alfonso’s current research interests include integrated photonic systems implemented on high index contrast platforms, photonic transceivers, ultrafast and quantum photonics.

Contact email: a.ruocco@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Filipe M. Ferreira - UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

Filipe M. Ferreira received the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Coimbra, Portugal, in 2014 for his work on high capacity optical transmission systems based on mode division multiplexing.

During this time, he worked as a Research Engineer for the optical networks research & technology division of Coriant (former Nokia Siemens Networks), leading activities in the EU-FP7 research project MODEGAP, including: few-mode fibres nonlinear modelling and profile design, advanced optical links design and simulation. 

In 2015 he was awarded a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship to carry out research on space division multiplexing. During this fellowship, he investigated the linear and nonlinear coupling mechanisms in fibres for spatial division multiplexing, and the opportunities for digital back-propagation.

Filipe joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as a Senior Research Fellow in October 2019 to work on the EPSRC TRANSNET project. He is currently developing intelligent transceivers aiming at better approaching the nonlinear Shannon limit in typical optical fibre networks.

Contact email:


Research team: Post-docs  

Dr Kari Clark

Kari Clark
Kari Clark received his B.Sc M.Phys degree in Physics from the University of Warwick, Coventry, U.K. in 2013, with 1st class honours.  His final year project focussed on using Schlieren imaging to photograph ultrasound.  In the year following the completion of his undergraduate degree, he completed two internships in industrial electronic engineering research.

He joined the Optical Networks Group at University College London (UCL) in 2014 to pursue the Ph.D. in optical communications.  His doctoral research focusses on using central optical synchronisation to achieve sub-nanosecond clock and data recovery times in future optically switched data centre networks.  

In 2016, he completed a 9-month internship at Microsoft Research Cambridge, applying his research in an industrial context.  In 2018, he was lead author on a post-deadline research paper at ECOC on sub-nanosecond clock and data recovery, and was judged the overall winner of the EPSRC Connected Nation Pioneers, a national competition for PhD students.

Research Interests:
•    Central synchronisation for optically switched data centre networks.
•    Optical clock distribution schemes.
•    Thermal sensitivity of delay of optical fibre and implications for synchronisation.
•    Multi-gigabit FPGA serial transceivers.

Project Title:
Source Synchronous Protocols for Future Low Energy and Latency Integrated Photonic Transceivers

Dr Zhixin Liu (previously Dr Philip Watts)

Kari is funded by Microsoft Research and Inphi Corporation.

Contact email:

Dr Ruijie Luo

Ruijie Luo
Ruijie Luo received his PhD degree from Tsinghua University, China, in 2019 for his work in synchronised control mechanisms for optical networks and their applications.

After graduation, he continued his research at Tsinghua University aiming at improving optical network dynamics by reducing lightpath setup latencies.
Ruijie joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as a Research Fellow in December 2019 to work on the EPSRC TRANSNET project. He is currently developing intelligent optical network architectures and seeking the general rules of network capacity, latency etc. under the nonlinear fibre optic regimes.  

Research interests:
•    Intelligent optical networks
•    Network modelling and optimization
•    Synchronized control mechanism for optical networks

Contact email:

Dr Eric Sillekens

Eric Silikens
Eric is a Postdoctoral researcher in the optical networks group at University College London (UCL), supervised by Dr. R. Killey and a Research Associate for the EPSRC TRANSNET Programme.

Eric is working to holistically optimise long-haul fibre transmission systems, where his interest is in coded modulation and machine learning. He has designed modulation formats with a trade off between fibre nonlinearity and shaping gain.

Eric received his BSc and MSc in electrical engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2012 and 2015 respectively, with his research focussed on advanced coded modulation for optical fibre transmission systems.

Research interests: 

  • Coded modulation
  • Transceiver digital signal processing
  • Machine learning


  • Sillekens et al., “An Experimental Comparison of Coded Modulation Strategies for 100 Gbit/s Transceivers”, Journal of Lightwave Technology (2016)
  • Sillekens et al., “A Simple Nonlinearity-Tailored Probabilistic Shaping Distribution for Square QAM”, Optical Fiber Communication Conference (2018)
  • Sillekens et al., “Experimental Demonstration of Geometrically-Shaped Constellations Tailored to the Nonlinear Fibre Channel”, European Conference on Optical Communication (2018)

Contact email: 

Dr Anastasiia Vasylchenkova - Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow

Photo of Anastasiia Vasylchenkova
Anastasiia Vasylchenkova is currently a Leverhulme Trust Research, running a project on the analytical modelling of ultrawideband optical communication. She received her BSc and MSc degrees in nuclear physics from Kharkiv National University, Ukraine in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Anastasiia was awarded her PhD degree from Aston University, Birmingham in 2020 for her research within the nonlinear Fourier transform approach for optical communications. Her research interests include fibre optics, nonlinearity mitigation, analytical modelling and transmission system design.

Anastasiia is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the UK representative of the International Physicists' Tournament. She has extensive experience delivering outreach activities across STEM and photonics communities, including engagement through SPIE, IEEE, and OSA. She is a Committee Member of the IEEE Photonics UK and Ireland Photonics Chapter, serving as the Publicity Officer. Anastasiia is also chair-elect of the OSA Optical Communication Technical Group.

Google Scholar

Contact email: a.vasylchenkova@ucl.ac.uk


Research team: PhD students  

Hadi Alkharsan

photo of Hadi Alkharsan
Hadi Alkharsan graduated with first-class Honours in Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications (BEng) from Queen Mary University of London in 2015. He then pursued a Telecommunications MSc here at UCL and graduated with a Distinction. After this, Hadi worked for British Telecommunications (BT) as a Network Designer and Tester within the Global MPLS and Mobile IP networks.

From there, he received funding from the University of Cambridge and UCL Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) for a 4-year PhD programme in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems. Hadi joined the Optical Networks Group in October 2020 and is supervised by Dr George Zervas. He will be investigating Artificial Intelligence techniques and algorithms to optimise optical switching and networking techniques for high-performance computing applications.

Contact email: 
Henrique Buglia

Further information coming soon

Callum Deakin 

Callum Deakin was awarded an MSc in Physics from Imperial College London in 2017 and joined the UCL-Cambridge IPES CDT soon after, completing his MRes in 2018. Research projects during his MRes included the development of perovskite-GaN hybrid materials for photonic applications and a study into the potential of beam steering switches for multicore fibres.

In October 2018 he joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as a MPhil/PhD student. He is currently working on optical transceivers for data centre interconnections under the supervision of Dr Zhixin Liu.

Research interests: 

  • Analogue optical signal
  • Optical frequency combs and their
  • Transceivers for data centre interconnections

Contact: callum.deakin.17@ucl.ac.uk 

Hubert Dziecol

Hubert Dziecol
Hubert Dzieciol graduated from Northumbria University in June 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

His work focuses on investigating whether ultra-fast optical switching in combination with coherent detection and simplified digital signal processing will be an enabling technology for the continued scaling of data center network bandwidth.

Hubert’s PhD is part of the TRANSNET programme in collaboration with Microsoft Research in Cambridge. 

Contact email: 
Robin Matzner

Robin was awarded a Meng of Electronic Engineering from the University of Exeter in 2019. Whilst studying at the University of Exeter he undertook a bachelors dissertation looking into damage detection using vibration feature extraction and Mahalanobis distances to classify faults in vibration data, as well as a masters dissertation working on a hardware and software platform viable for intelligent swarm robotics. 

Whilst studying at the University of Exeter, Robin also worked as a Junior Electronic Engineer at Dashboard LTD, an AI and IoT start up service provider, where he worked on vibration sensing, data extraction, as well as wireless communications for wind turbine condition monitoring.

Robin joined the ONG group as an MPhil/PhD student in October 2019, where he will look into the possibilities of increasing throughput of physically modelled optical networks via ML and AI methodologies. 

Research Interests:

•    Physical modelling of optical channels within networks models

•    AI and ML methodologies for complex optimization problems

Contact email: 


Xun Mu

Xun Mu graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China as a BEng in Optoelectronic Information Engineering in 2015.

Xun Mu

Afterwards she obtained the MSc degree in Nanophotonics from University of Strasbourg in France. In 2017, she joined UCL to pursue the MRes degree in Integrated Photonic and Electronic System. 

From October 2018, Xun has been a part of the Optical Networks Group at UCL as a PhD candidate, under the supervision of Dr Georgios Zervas.

Research interests:
  • Scalable and Intelligent Optical Network Systems
  • Designing and modelling of scalable space division multiplexed technologies
  • Specialty SDM fibres and switches with Artificial Intelligence methods 

Contact email: 

Luka Mustafa

Image and info coming soon. 

Alessandro Ottino

Alessandro joined University College London (UCL) in 2016 for a BEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, completed in 2019 with outstanding academic achievement. While being a second year student he joined ONG as summer research assistant, under the supervision of Dr. Georgios Zervas, developing algorithms to optimize FPGA controlled electro-optical transceivers jointly. The research lead to an accepted paper to the OFC conference of the following year. During his final year of studying he continued working with the ONG, collaboration that lead him to win the first UCL Cullen Prize for best undergraduate poster presentation and UCL IEEE Best Final Year Project in Telecommunications.
In 2019, he was awarded a Microsoft Research PhD studentship in ONG under the supervision of Dr. Georgios Zervas and industrial supervision of Dr. Paolo Costa (Microsoft Research). He is working on datacentre topologies and technologies for Distributed Machine Learning.

Research Interests:
•    Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
•    Distributed Learning
•    Disaggregated Datacenter
•    SDM networks and characterization
•    Optimization Algorithms

Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Programme, Optics for the Cloud.

Research Studentship Title:
Optical Fabric for Zero-latency memory disaggregation at Pb/s cluster-scale network

Contact email:

Christopher Parsonson

Chris Parsonson
Christopher graduated with a first-class honours in Materials Science and Engineering (MEng) from Imperial College London in 2018. During this time Christopher completed research internships at a range of start-up and global technology companies, including Dyson, Ubisense, Polygelco and Cambridge Nanosystems. 
Christopher then went on to study a Masters in Integrated Photonic & Electronic Systems engineering at the University of Cambridge, graduating with a distinction. At Cambridge and in collaboration with start-up VividQ, his research focused on using computer-generated 3D holography to develop next-generation augmented and virtual reality displays. 

Christopher joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as a PhD student in October 2019 with EPSRC funding as part of the IPES Centre for Doctoral Training. He is currently developing optimisation algorithms to enable ultra-fast and scalable optical switching and networking techniques for cloud and high performance computing applications.

Contact email: 

Zak Shabka

Zak Shabka earned his BSc in Physics from King's College London (with First Class Honors) in 2018. In his second year, he was awarded the Gordon Rogers Scholarship. During this time, he undertook a research project in the 'Theory and Simulation of Condensed Matter' group as an undergraduate research fellow. Zak also spent one year studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

After graduating, Zak joined the UCL-Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems (IPES). His research project at Cambridge was to develop a novel quality metric for 3D holographic images. At UCL, his research project looked into methods of optimising semiconductor optical amplifiers for ultra-high-speed optical switching. 

In October 2019, Zak joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL under the supervision of Georgios Zervas.

Contact email: 

Ronit Sohanpal 

Ronit Sohanpal was awarded an MSci degree in Physics at UCL in 2018, with his final project investigating multi-mode fibre applications in optical tweezers. After graduation he joined the UCL-Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems (IPES), completing his MRes degree in 2019. His research projects during the MRes include thermal sensitivity characterisation of multi-core fibre for data centre interconnections and the evaluation of coherent transmission technologies for 100Gbps passive optical networks.

In October 2019 he joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as a MPhil/PhD student under the supervision of Dr Zhixin Liu. He is currently working on high performance frequency combs for RF signal processing and data centre interconnections.

Research interests:

•    Optical transceivers for data centre interconnections

•    Parametric frequency comb generation

•    Optical signal processing

Contact email:


Jiaqian Yang

Jiaqian Yang was awarded an MSc from Tsinghua University in 2018 with a thesis project entitled ‘Investigating broadband photonic analogue-to-digital converter and microwave photonic radar systems’.

After graduation, Jiaqian joined the UCL-Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems. His first mini project focused on the high-speed optical transceiver supervised by Prof. Robert Killey and the second on machine learning based on optical processor in collaboration with Optalysys Ltd.

Jiaqian joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as an MPhil/PhD student in October 2019. He is currently developing nonlinear models and compensation algorithms supervised by Prof. Robert Killey and will investigate ultrawide band optical transmission systems.

  • Research interests:
  • Nonlinear fibre optics
  • High speed optical transceiver design
  • Application of machine learning to nonlinear compensation

Contact email:

Wenting Yi

Wenting Yi
Wenting Yi received the BEng degree in Electronic Information Engineering from Nanjing Forestry University, China, in 2017. The following September, she joined UCL to pursue an MSc in Wireless and Optical Communications. For her thesis, she worked with Dr Robert Killey on low-complexity heterodyne optical coherent transceivers. 

In September 2018, Wenting joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as a PhD candidate. Under the supervision of Dr Robert Killey and Prof Polina Bayvel, she is currently working on coherent and direct detection optical transceivers for long-haul and short-reach links, focusing on advanced signal formats and digital signal processing. 

Research interests:

  • Coherent and direct detection optical receivers
  • Advanced optical signal formats
  • Optical signal propagation in dispersive nonlinear fibres
  • Long- and ultra-long-haul links, and short reach, metro, access and data-centre links
  • Digital signal processing algorithms, e.g. Kramers-Kronig scheme, digital back propagation, constellation shaping, machine learning

Project title:
Low-complexity high-throughput optical fibre transmission systems

Dr Robert Killey and Prof Polina Bayvel

Huawei Technologies

Contact email: 

Zichuan Zhou

Zichuan Zhou cropped
Zichuan Zhou received his BEng degree (with First Class Honors) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from University College London (UCL) in 2018. He was awarded Clinton Prize as the top graduating student in the BEng program. He is also one of the Dean's listed students graduating in 2018. 

After graduation, he joined UCL-Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems (IPES), and completed his MRes degree in 2019. His research project at Cambridge focus on the design of semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) based optical switch. 

In October 2019, Zichuan joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL as MPhil/PhD student, under the supervision of Dr Zhixin Liu. 

Research interests:

  • Directly-modulated laser
  • Optical transceivers for data centre interconnections
  • Laser dynamics

Contact e-mail:


Visiting and honorary staff

Dr Tianhua Xu

Honorary Lecturer, University of Warwick School of Engineering

Dr Benn Thomsen

Honorary Reader, Microsoft Research

Dr Domaniç Lavery

Honorary Researcher, Royal Academy of Engineering