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Professor of Optical Communications & Networks, UCL

Polina Bayvel received her B.Sc. (Eng) and Ph.D. degrees in Electronic & Electrical Engineering from University of London, UK, in 1986 and 1990, respectively. In 1990, she was with the Fiber Optics Laboratory, General Physics Institute, Moscow (Russian Academy of Sciences), under the Royal Society Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship. She was a Principal Systems Engineer with STC Submarine Systems, Ltd., London, UK, and Nortel Networks (Harlow, UK, and Ottawa, ON, Canada), where she was involved in the design and planning of optical fibre transmission networks. During 1994-2004, she held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at University College London (UCL), and in 2002, she became a Chair in Optical Communications and Networks.

She is currently the Head of the Optical Networks Group, UCL which she also set up in 1994. She has authored or co-authored more than 350 refereed journal and conference papers. Her research interests include wavelength-routed optical networks, high-speed optical transmission, and the study and mitigation of fibre nonlinearities.She was one of the first to show the feasibility of using the wavelength domain for routing in optical networks, and designed wavelength-selective devices needed for their characterisation and implementation.

Prof. Bayvel is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng.), the Optical Society of America, the UK Institute of Physics, and the Institute of Engineering and Technology. She was the recipient of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2007-2012), 2013 IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award, 2014 Royal Society Clifford Patterson Prize Lecture and Medal [] and in 2015 together with 5 members of her group, received the Royal Academy of Engineering ColinCampbell Mitchell Award for 'pioneering contributions to optical communications technology'. She leads the UK EPSRC Programme Grant UNLOC (2012-2017) focused on unlocking the capacity of optical communications (


  • –present, UCL


FREng, DSc (Hon)