Quantum Electronics and Photonics doctoral research prize

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 QEP Doctoral Research Prize has been awarded to Dr Daniel Whiting for his work on 'Nonlinear Optics in a Thermal Rb Vapour at High Magnetic Fields,' under supervision of Professor Ifan Hughes at the University of Durham. Dr Whiting's work has successfully lead to EPSRC funded research grants and has inspired new research students’ projects within his supervisors group.

Dr Whitting's doctoral work was focused in the area of quantum optics in atomic vapours subject to strong magnetic fields (the hyperfine Paschen Back regime). Previous work on multi-level effects with thermal vapours was severely hampered by the complexity arising from the large number of degenerate states that were not resolved with respect to the Doppler broadening.  This feature both made experiments difficult to optimise and prevented agreement with theoretical calculations.

His studies into optical phenomena, such as electromagnetically induced absorption (Whiting et al. Optics Letters (2015)), electromagnetically induced transmission (Whiting et al. Phys. Rev. A (2016)), and four wave mixing (Whiting et al. J. Mod. Opt (2018)), work far better in a thermal vapour in the presence of a sufficiently large magnetic field. 

He has shown that it is possible to realize archetypal textbook atomic energy level configurations. This has allowed for impressive quantitative agreement between theory and experiment, and enables optimization of devices such as optical isolators and Faraday filters.


The QEP Doctoral Research Prize recognizes students who have conducted work of an exceptional standard in the field of quantum electronics and photonics. The winning student receives an award of £250 and a certificate.

Subject areas may include:

  • Nonlinear Optics & Spectroscopy
  • Coherent and Incoherent Light Sources
  • Laser Cooling, Trapping & Manipulation
  • Microstructured Photonic Systems
  • Quantum Information Processing
  • Laser Science
  • Metamaterials
  • Quantum Optics
  • Nanophotonics & Plasmonics
  • Magneto-optics
  • Biophotonics


QEP Group Prize 2019 nominations

Nominations are now open for the QEP Group Prize for 2019. This prize recognizes students who have conducted work of an exceptional standard in the field of quantum electronics and photonics. The winning student receives an award of £250 and a certificate. Student members of the IOP completing their PhD examination, to the stage of an examiners' recommendation of at least a ‘pass with minor corrections’, since January 31 2018 calendar year are eligible.

Please submit a headshot of the student and chosen feature image to be added to the award news page if successful.

Supervisors are invited to submit nominations using the nomination form below.

Download the nomination form.

Nomination Deadline: 31 January 2019.

Past winners

2017Joint winner
Dr Dianmin Lin
"Flat Optics Based On Dielectric Gradient Metasurfaces"
Stanford University, USA
2017Joint winner
Dr Jamie Francis-Jones
"Active multiplexing of spectrally engineered heralded single photons in an integrated fibre architecture"
Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials, University of Bath, UK
2016Joshua Silverstone
"Entangled Light in Silicon Waveguides"
Centre for Quantum Photonics, University of Bristol
2015Jun Yu (Bruce) Ou
"Reconfigurable Photonic Metamaterials"
Nanophotonics and Metamaterials Group, University of Southampton
2014Tobias Herr
“Solitons and Dynamics of Frequency Comb Formation in Optical Microresonators”
K-Lab, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
2013Sebastian Weustner
“Gain and Plasmon Dynamics in Active Nanoplasmonic Metamaterials”
Condensed Matter Theory Group
, Imperial College London
2012Paul Siddons
“Faraday Rotation of Pulsed and Continuous-wave Light in Atomic Vapour”
Atomic and Molecular Physics Group
, Durham University
2011Eric Plum
“Chirality And Metamaterials”
Nanophotonics and Metamaterials Group
, University of Southampton

Nikitas Papasimakis
“Trapped-modes, Slow Light and Collective Resonances in Metamaterials”
Nanophotonics and Metamaterials Group
, University of Southampton

Kosmas Tsakmakidis
“Ultra-slow and stopped light in metamaterials”
Condensed Matter Theory Group, Imperial College London

2009Fernando Brandao, Imperial College London
2008Sarah Croke, Strathclyde University
2007Matthias Ediger, Heriot-Watt University
2006John Morton, Oxford University
2005Jörg Evers, Universität Freiburg
2004Hyunseok Jeong, Queen's University Belfast
Seán Martin O'Flaherty, Trinity College Dublin
2003Dimitris Angelakis, Imperial College London

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