Ian H. White

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Ian White FREng (born 6 October 1959)[1] is a British engineer who is Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, van Eck Professor of Engineering, and Head of the Photonic Research Group, comprising CMMPE, Centre for Photonic Systems, and Photonics and Sensors, in the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge.


Ian White was educated at the Belfast Royal Academy and he gained his BA and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge, in 1980 and 1984. He was then appointed a Research Fellow and Assistant Lecturer at the University of Cambridge before becoming Professor of Physics at the University of Bath in 1990. In 1996 he moved to the University of Bristol and became Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1998, before returning to the University of Cambridge in October 2001.

Ian White has built up a substantial research activity in the field of optoelectronics and optical communications and his team numbers approximately 45 people publishing on average 60 papers a year. In terms of research output, the group is one of the largest in the field of optoelectronic systems in the UK. Highlights of his research have included: the development of the first all-optical laser diode flip-flop, the first negative chirp electroabsorption modulator and the invention of a technique for transmitting radio frequency signals over long distances of multimode optical fibre. Several of these advances have already made commercial impact, the offset launch technique for enhancing the bandwidth of optical fibre links having already been adopted within Gigabit Ethernet standard.

He chairs the channel model sub-task force of the IEEE 10 GbE LRM standard. The Institution of Electrical Engineers has awarded him the Blumlein-Browne-Willans Prize and the Ambrose Fleming Premium Award.

White is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is heavily involved in policy development and administration of research and sits on a number of International Conference Committees. He is a Member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Photonics Society and Editor-in-Chief of Electronics Letters. He has published over 800 journal and conference papers and 20 patents.


  1. ^ WHITE, Prof. Ian Hugh, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014

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Academic offices
Preceded by
Robert Mair
Master of Jesus College, Cambridge
Succeeded by