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Professor of Physics

Professor Stephen Sweeney obtained a BSc in Applied Physics and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from the University of Bath and a PhD in Semiconductor Laser Physics from the University of Surrey. Following his PhD and postdoctoral positions at Surrey, he joined Marconi Optical Components as a Scientist, becoming Lead Scientist of the Laser and Amplifier Technology group. In 2002, he returned to Surrey as a Lecturer, promoted to Chair in Physics in 2010. He led the photonics group based in the Advanced Technology Institute from 2010-2015 and was Head of the Department of Physics from 2015-2018. Working closely with industry, his research interests focus on developing new semiconductor systems for use in photonic devices such as lasers and photovoltaics and in the development of new photonic systems for use in communications, lighting, energy, biosciences, health and the emerging field of space-based photonics. His work has led to a large number of published and edited journal papers, book chapters and patents. In 2009 he was awarded a prestigious EPSRC Leadership Fellowship allowing him to focus on developing near- and mid-infrared laser technologies for applications in high efficiency optical communications, sensing and photonic integration.

In addition to his role at Surrey, he is the Chief Technology Officer for UK photonics start-up Zinir Ltd, he sits on the Editorial Boards of IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics, has guest edited IET Optoelectronics, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics and IoP Semiconductor Science and Technology. His other roles have included membership of the EPSRC III-V National Centre Steering Committee, the EPSRC and UKRI Colleges and the Institute of Physics Semiconductor Physics committee. He serves as an expert international advisor for the EU and several national funding agencies such as the Department of Energy (USA), National Science Foundation (USA), Singapore Research Agency, Enterprise Ireland, Leibnitz Foundation, FWO Belgium amongst others. He sits on the committees for a number of international conferences and has chaired several conferences in semiconductors and photonics. In 2015 he was President of the Physics and Astronomy section of the British Science Association. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of SPIE.

Stephen is passionate about science and the role it plays in the health and wealth of people. He enjoys engaging with people of all ages and regularly gives talks at schools, interviews for the national press and is an advocate for UK science and technology globally.

Research interests

Stephen’s primary research interests lie in the area of semiconductor materials for photonic devices. He has produced >300 journal papers and conference proceedings in this area including several invited papers. He has also published several book chaptersĀ in the field of photonics and semiconductor devices. He is also the inventor on a number of patents.