Department of Engineering / Profiles / Prof. Ian White

Department of Engineering

Prof. Ian White


Ian White


Academic Division: Electrical Engineering

Research group: Photonics (Head of Group)

Telephone: +44 1223 7 48340



Research interests

Professor White's research interests include high-speed communication systems; transmission, routing and energy efficiency; optical datacommunications; optoelectronic interconnects; femtosecond laser diode sources; superradiance; RF over fibre systems; and RFID tag detection and location.

Strategic themes

Complex, resilient and intelligent systems

EPSRC INTERNET Programme Grant is associated with the EPSRC Global Uncertainties Programme.

Research projects


  • EP/K018116/1 - SwiTching And tRansmission (STAR)
  • EP/K00042X/1 - Ultra-parallel visible light communications (UP-VLC)
  • EP/J013544/1 - Digital Distributed Antenna System (DDAS)
  • EP/H022384/1 - Complex Photonic Systems II (COPOS II)
  • EP/H040536/1 - INTelligent Energy awaRe NETworks (INTERNET)
  • Doctoral Training Centre (led by UCL) on Photonic Systems Development


  • Paradigm, FP7-ICT-2009-5, Project ref. 257210, Photonic Advanced Research and Development for Integrated Generic Manufacturing.
  • IPHOS, FP7 ICT-5-3.9, Integrated photonic transceivers at sub-terahertz wave range for ultra-wideband wireless communications.
  • Tucan, Tunable CPE for Access Networks


  • Passive RFID Real Time Locating System (RTLS), The Boeing Company
  • The Avago-Cambridge Research partnership, Avago
  • OIC Futures, Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics

Teaching activity

  • 3B6 Photonic Technology
  • First Year Exposition
  • Final Year Project Supervision

Other positions

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Van Eck Professor of Engineering
  • Master of Jesus College


Prof Ian White is currently Master of Jesus College, van Eck Professor of Engineering, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of Photonics Research at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge.

He gained his BA and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge, in 1980 and 1984.  He was then appointed a Research Fellow and Assistant Lecturer at the University of Cambridge before becoming Professor of Physics at the University of Bath in 1990.  In 1996 he moved to the University of Bristol as Professor of Optical Communications and became Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1998, before returning to the University of Cambridge in October 2001.  In 2005 he became Head of the School of Technology and subsequently Chair, leaving the School of Technology to take up the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs in 2010.

Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is an Editor-in-Chief of Electronics Letters, has published in excess of 250 journal papers, and received the Aron Kressel Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2011. He is a co-founder of Zinwave Ltd and PervasID Ltd.