OSA | Living History

Polina Bayvel

OSA Awards & Distinctions

  • Fellow


Professor Polina Bayvel will serve as OSA Director at Large for a three year term, from 2020 to 2022.  She is Professor of Optical Communications & Networks in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, UCL (since 2002).  She is the Head of the Optical Networks Group (ONG), which she founded in 1994. The ONG is now an internationally leading group with a unique experimental laboratory for optical communication systems & networks research, recognised for its seminal work on optical network architectures and digital signal processing techniques for the mitigation of optical fibre nonlinearities. Polina Bayvel 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. More recently she has focused on the study of capacity limits in nonlinear optical networks and optical networks for the cloud. She has authored/co-authored more than 350 refereed journal and conference papers and has been active in the TPC of most leading conferences in the field of optical communications.

Polina Bayvel received her BSc (Eng) and PhD 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 (formerly USSR, now 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, Canada), where she worked on the design and planning of optical fibre transmission networks. During 1994-2004, she held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at UCL.

Professor Bayvel has been widely recognised for her achievements and impact on the field including as one of the RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) Fellows of the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.  Professor Bayvel is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), Optical Society of America (since 1998), Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers (FIEEE) and the UK Institute of Physics (IoP), 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 Colin Campbell Mitchell Award for 'pioneering contributions to optical communications technology'.  She was awarded CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2017 New Year's Honours List for services to engineering and appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the IET.

She is dedicated to the mentoring and developing early career researchers and was featured in Royal Society books: ‘Mothers in Science: 64 ways to have it all’, and ‘Parent, carer, scientist’, aimed at encouraging younger scientists to pursue research. She has successfully supervised over 25 PhD students and 30 research fellows (from leading research laboratories over 4 continents). Most now work in leading industry/university research laboratories and as Faculty around the world.  ONG students have received of IEEE Photonics Society Postgraduate Fellowship Prize for top PhD students in optics/photonics since the scheme was introduced in 1999.



Document Created: 22 Oct 2019
Last Updated: 23 Oct 2019