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John C. Travers is announced the winner of the IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize

He has been recognised for his work on creating new sources of ultraviolet light using ultrafast pulses that are a million billionth of a second in duration.

Used in ultrafast laser systems, these new light sources could unlock far-reaching advances in science, healthcare and industry; for example, investigating new materials, developing new healthcare applications and innovating the manufacture of microchips used in computers and phones.

The technique John has pioneered involves converting infrared light into a high-performing form of bright ultraviolet light. This is achieved by pulsing the infrared light into glass tubes filled with gases. The process allows John and his team to customise the properties of the ultraviolet light beams – for example, their shape or duration – for use in different applications, such as laser machining.

With this year’s theme focusing on lasers and optoelectronics, the prestigious A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize is awarded to a world-leading engineer from the fields of medical, microwave and radar or laser/optoelectronic engineering to enable them to continue further research.

John hopes to use the prize money to shrink down the scale of his technology from tabletop-sized to pocket-sized systems, opening up many new applications for the technology.

He will present his work at a virtual keynote lecture, hosted by the IET, in March 2023. It will be broadcast live and followed by a Q&A session with IET President Professor Bob Cryan.

Find out more information about the award and John’s virtual lecture on our website