Sir David Payne Delivers OSA Light the Future Keynote at Photonics India 2016

Visionary and Inventor of the Erbium-doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) to Discuss Photonics Advances in Telecommunications


osa, Photonics India 2016

The Optical Society (OSA), the leading global professional association in optics and photonics, will host its final centennial Light the Future speaker series on Monday, 5 December, 17:30 – 18:00 (IST) during the Photonics India 2016 Conference in Kanpur, India. OSA Fellow and Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, SoutShampton, United Kingdom, Sir David Payne CBE FRS FREng, will give the special keynote presentation.

sir-david-payne, Photonics India 2016, Kanpur, OSO

“The Optical Society is delighted to have the distinguished Sir David Payne speaking at our centennial celebration with the eighth presentation of the Light the Future speaker series,” said Alan Willner, President of The Optical Society. “Sir David Payne has contributed enormously to the field of optics with his research of fiber fabrication and fiber amplifiers, giving our community the foundation for future impactful advances and applications of optics.”

Much of Payne’s research has led to breakthroughs in both the telecommunications and fiber laser industries. In the 1980s, Payne and his colleagues invented the erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA). The erbium amplifier is used on optical repeaters, which work to amplify a modulated laser beam directly without the need of optoelectronic and electro-optical conversion. The development of the EDFA has become the framework for today’s faster internet transmission speeds and has led to the major deployment and cost-effectiveness of optical fiber networks.

With over 650 published conference and journal papers, founding SPI Lasers plc, now a subsidiary of Trumpf Corporation, Ditzingen, Germany, and leading 11 photonics companies around the Southampton area, Payne is an accomplished entrepreneur and academic. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), a fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2004.

The Light the Future speaker series kicked off in February of this year in Washington, D.C. with Ira Flatow, host of Science Friday, and has toured eight international cities as part of The Optical Society’s Centennial program. The series has featured Mary Lou Jepsen at OFC 2016; Ray Kurzweil and fomer U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at CLEO 2016, and world renowned futurist and theoreotical physicist Michio Kaku.

You may stay up to date with the Light the Future program by visiting All sessions are free and open to the public and media. RSVP at Additional information can be found by following #OSA100LTF and @OpticalSociety on Twitter.

Most Light the Future presentations will be recorded and available at: or on The Optical Society’s (OSA) YouTube channel.

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