2016 Gabor Medal and prize of the Institute of Physics

Professor Martin Dawson, University of Strathclyde, for his vision and leadership in applied photonics, including pioneering contributions to optically pumped semiconductor lasers, diamond photonics and gallium nitride optical microsystems, and for fostering the international development and commercialisation of these technologies.

Picture of Martin Dawson

Professor Martin Dawson is a versatile, innovative and productive leader in the field of applied photonics.

His foresighted technical work and professional approach to knowledge exchange have made broad contributions to commercialisation of photonics technology, examples of which include ultrafast and optically-pumped lasers, diamond photonics, and semiconductor optoelectronics, especially including nitrides.

His research interests span semiconductor materials science and spectroscopy, micro-fabrication, lasers, optoelectronic device design and development, and extend to applications in optical microsystems, scientific instrumentation, bioscience and optical communications. He has regularly been able to identify significant emerging areas of photonics at an early stage and to initiate broad and collaborative programmes to open up these fields, often by assembling and leading multi-disciplinary partnerships.

Dawson has published more than 700 refereed journal and conference papers over the course of a 30-year career, and over the past 20 years has developed and sustained the University of Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics, at which he is now director of research. Further, he managed the creation of the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, hiring its staff and defining its strategic positioning and technical offering. Together, these organisations employ around 100 staff and students, have an annual research income from grants and contracts of more than £4 m, and currently collaborate with more than 50 companies.

Dawson was made a fellow of the IOP in 2000, of the Optical Society of America and the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2007, and of IEEE in 2009.