• School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Personal profile


    Lin Zhang gained her Ph.D at Sussex University, UK, in 1990, continued there as a post-doc for 3 years, joined the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (previous Photonics Research Group) at Aston University in 1994, was appointed to a Chair Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University in 2005.

    Since joining Aston University, she has been a principal- and co-investigator of about 25 research projects funded by EU 7th Framework and Horizon 2020, UK Royal Society, EPSRC and MoD, and US Airforce Research Lab. Her research interests are primarily in the field of advanced photonic devices, techniques and applications. She is well recognised by the international photonics community for her leading role in the R&D of optical fibre grating devices and applications in optical communications, sensing, microwave photonics, fibre lasers, and biophotonics. Her research outputs so far include ~450 research papers published in peer-review journals and international conferences, and co-authorship of two special technical books and five book chapters with a total over 12500 citations and H-index 58 by the Google Scholar.

    Lin Zhang has continuously and actively served the international photonics community as frequently invited to referee research papers for many high-standard journals, including Nature Communications, Optics Express, Optics Letters, IEEE Lightwave Technology, etc.andgiving invited talks to international conferences, workshops and research institutes. Since 2000, she has been serving as the programme committee member and chair for several major international conferences and topic meetings, including OFC, BGPP, APOS, ICMAT, ICOCN, PHOTOPTICS, WSOF. She has acted as Ph.D external examiner for the Universities in the UK, Sweden, Portugal, Canada, HK, Singapore and China. She has Guest Professorship with 5 top research Universities in China, and she has Membership with IET, IoP and IEEE, Senior Membership of OSA and Senior Fellowship of HEA.

    Lin Zhang is also a successful photonics educator as nurtured 25 research students to successfully gaining Ph.D qualification and supervised 13 post-docs. For the last seven years, she has been awarded by the European Commission as the Scientist-in-charge for 6 Marie Curie Fellows. 

    Research Interests

    • Fibre and guidewave optics
    • Interferometric optics
    • Fibre grating devices and applications 
    • Fibre lasers
    • Optical sensors and sensing technologies
    • Femtosecond laser technology
    • Micro/nano photonic structures and devices
    • Biophotonics

    Teaching Activity

    • First Year Undergraduate Module on Physical Principles, Electric Circuits, Optics and Waves
    • Final Year Undergraduate Module on Optoelectronics
    • MEng Module on Optoelectronics
    • Final Year and MSc projects
    • Personal and Year Tutor


    • 2005 – to date: Professor of Photonics, School of Engineering & Applied Science,  Aston University. 
    • 2001 – 2005: Lecturer, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University. 
    • 1997 – 2001: Senior Research Fellow, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University. 
    • 1994 – 1997: Research Fellow, Photonics Research Group, Aston University
    • 1990 – 1994: Postdoc Research Fellow, Department of Physics, Sussex University
    • 1979 – 1986: Lecturer, Physics Department, Suzhou University, China


    • BA in Physics, Suzhou University, China, 1978
    • PhD in Physics, Sussex University, UK, 1990

    Membership of Professional Bodies


    Funding Applications and Awards

    1)       UK Royal Society Advanced newton Fellowship project NAF\R1\191072, “ Advanced laser heterodyne feedback and fiber SPR technology for bio-sensing applications “, 2019-2021, £109500.00 (Principal Investigator)

    2)       EU Marie Curie Individual Fellowship H2020-MSCA-IF-2019,NanoIP-BioS, 2020-2022, €224933.76  (Principal Investigator)

    3)       EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)-2019, 872049 (IPN-Bio), €1,002,800 (Aston €69,000), 2020-2024, (Co-investigator) 

    4)       EU Marie Curie Individual Fellowship H2020-MSCA-IF-2018, MCFPAD-3DSLs, 2019-2021, €224933.76  (Principal Investigator)

    5)       UK EPSRC EP/M009092/1 “Towards Manufacturing of  Massive WDM Metro (T0M3)”, 2015-2020, £1.54 million, (Co-investigator)

    6)       UK EPSRC Programme Grant EP/J017582/1,  UNLOCKING THE CAPACITY OF OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS (UNLOC), 2012-2017, £2.1 million, co-investigator (Co-Investigator)

    7)       UK TSB 33822-241174, Distributed UV and Near Infra-red and Fluorescence sensing system for real time monitoring of food quality and contamination and process control,2014-2016, £184,000 (Principal Investigator)

    8)       EU Marie Curie Individual Fellowship H2020-MSCA-IF-2014, FOMBIST, 2015-2017, €200,049.60,  (Principal Investigator)

    9)       EU Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IIF, Advanced plasmonic-on-fibre devices for optical communication and sensing applications Plasm-on-fibre,  2014-2016, €200,049.60,  (Principal Investigator)

    10)   EU Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IIF, Knowledge Transfer of Smart Optical Fibre Sensor Technologies  SOFST, 2014-2016, €200,049.60,  (Principal Investigator)

    11)   EU Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IIF: Knowledge Transfer of Novel Mid-IR Fibre Lasers (MIDFIL), 2013-2015, €200,049.60,  (Principal Investigator)

    12)   EU Regional Development Fund ERDF: Demonstrators and knowledge transfer of fibre-optic laser and sensing technologies for West Midlands, 2009-2012, £600000 (Co-investigator)

    13)   UK EPSRC Platform: Photonic Device and System Research; £800000; 1/7/2007-30/6/2011; Principal Investigator (Principal Investigator)

    14)   US Air Force/EOARD/Boeing:  High function in-fibre polarisers and polarization devices for high power fibre laser and amplifier and coherence combining systems, $200000, 2007- 2012, (Principal Investigator)

    15)   UK SRIF: Advanced Photonic/nano Biosensor Laboratory, £362000, 6/2009-5/2012, Principal Investigator

    16)   UK EPSRC CASE Project, £85000, 10/2010-3/2014

    17)   UK EPSRC: Exploitation of Advanced Photonic Boisensors (EAPho-Bio- A new tool for fast and ultrasensitive detection of biochemical and biomolecular interactions); 01/01/2006-30/04/2007; £100885, Principal Investigator

    18)   UK DTI/EPSRC: Laser processing of materials for photonic waveguides and circuits (LASEWAVE); 01/05/2003-30/04/2006; £284333, (Co-Investigator)

    19)   GR/R40272/01 EMbedded Photonic InfrastructuRE (EMPIRE); 01/09/2001-31/08/2004; £194302, (Principal Investigator)

    20)   GR/M86774/01 Advanced optical fibre sensing using novel fibre grating structures; 01/01/2000-31/12/2002; £52423, (Co-Investigator)

    21)   GR/N63970/01 Optical fibre sensors for transverse strain & bend measurement; 01/01/2001-30/06/2004; £179425, (Co-Investigator)

    22)   UK Local Government: UV Inscription in Novel Materials, £150000, 2001-2002, (Co-Investigator)

    23)   EU FP4 ITN: Optical Devices Using Photosensitivity For Their Elaboration, 1/10/2002 – 30/9/2005, £120000, (Principal Investigator)

    Management Role

    • 2011 – 2019: Deputy Director of Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies
    • 1/9/2013 –31/8/2017:  Head of  Electrical, Electronic and Power Engineering Department
    • 3/2008 – 7/2013: Director of Research Degrees, School of Engineering & Applied Science
    • 3/2008 – 7/2013: Member of Research and Strategy Committee, School of Engineering & Applied Science
    • 3/2008 – 7/2013: Member of Aston Graduate School Management Committee

    PhD Supervision

    Supervised to completion of 25 Ph.D students and 14 Post-Docs since 1998 and currently supervising 3 PhD students.

    Professional/editorial offices

    • Member of Editorial Board for International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials (ISSN: 1947-5411)
    • Member of Editorial Board for Photonics Sensors (ISSN 1674-9251)

    Visiting Appointments

    Guest Professorships:

    • Institute of Optical Communication Engineering, Nanjing University, China
    • Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
    • Nanjing University of Telecommunications and Posts, China
    • Tianjin University, China
    • Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

    External Connections and Partnerships

    External Ph.D examiner role

    • Technological University Dublin
    • Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden
    • Optics Research Centre (ORC), Southampton University UK
    • Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    • University of Porto, Portugal
    • McGill University, Canada
    • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    • Cranfield University UK
    • City University London UK
    • Heriot-Watt University UK
    • Strathclyde University UK
    • Nanjing University, China

    External Assessor on academic promotion panel

    • Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden
    • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    • Polytechnic University Hong Kong
    • Institute National Polytechnique De Toulouse, France
    • Strathclyde University, UK
    • Heriot-Watt University, UK
    • Bangor University, UK

    Chair and member for international conferences

    • Sub-progamme committee Member of Internal Conference on Optic Fiber Communications (OFC) 2011, 2012, 2013
    • Programme Chair of International Topic Meeting on Bragg Gratings, Photosensitivity and Poling in Glass Waveguides (BGPP), 2012
    • Progamme committee Chair and Member of Internal Topic Meeting on Bragg Gratings, Photosensitivity and Poling in Glass Waveguides (BGPP), 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010
    • Programme committee member of APOS, ICMAT, ICOCN, PHOTOPTICS, WSOF since 2009

    Contact Details

    Phone number: 0121 204 3548
    Email: [email protected]


    • QC Physics


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