Dr Paul Harper

Reader, Director of Undergraduate Electronic Engineering Programmes

Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT)

Dr Paul Harper

Room:  NW523
Phone:  0121 204 3525
Email:  p.harper@aston.ac.uk

I started my research career at Aston in 1994 as a PhD student studying high speed optical telecommunications in the early days of what would become the world renowned Photonics Research Group. 

After graduating in 1997 I continued this work at Aston as a Post Doc. In May 2002 along with co-workers, I left the university to form a spin-out project Marconi-Solstis to commercialise our research work.  I was a Senior Development Engineer on this project working on system design, test and field installation. Following the first field deployment of our 1.6Tb/s 3000km system I continued with Marconi as Photonic System Test Manager.

I missed life in the research lab though, so in March 2005 came back to Aston as a Lecturer and resumed my research career in optical communications & nonlinear optics.

I teach a range of subjects at different levels: Introductory Physics &  Digital Media at undergraduate level & Optical Communications at MSc level. I also supervise a number of PhD students working in our research labs.

  • PhD (Long Distance Dispersion Managed Soliton Transmission Experiments), Aston University, 1997

  • MSc (with distinction), University of St. Andrews, 1993

  • BSc (First Class Honours), University of Glasgow, 1992

  • 2005 – present: Lecturer then Reader, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

  • 2000 – 2003: Senior Development Engineer/Manager Photonic System Test, Marconi Systems (Solstis)

  • 1997 – 2001: Post Doctoral Research Assistant, Aston University

  • Foundations of Physics & Engineering (SE0PSF)
  • Digital Media Science (EE1MED)
  • Optical Communications Systems (EE3OCS/EE402A)


  • High Speed Optical Communications
  • Nonlinear Optics


  • EPSRC/Azea CASE: Adaptive dispersion compensation.

  • EPSRC Grant 2007 - 2010: Applications of ultra-long Raman lasers in Photonics.

  • EPSRC/Xtera CASE: Phase Regeneration for high speed optical communications

  • Vassilis Karelekas: Ultra-long Raman fibre lasers

  • Lee Barker: Adaptive dispersion compensation for 40Gb/s optical communications

  • Mercedes Alcon-Camas: Applications of quasi-lossless Raman amplified systems.

  • Hua Wang: Generation & application of advanced nonlinear optical pulses

  • Neil Murray: Phase regeneration for high speed optical communications