Photo of Sonia Boscolo

Sonia Boscolo

Dr

    • School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    20002020

    Research output per year

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    Personal profile

    General

    I studied at the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France where I was awarded the BSc and MSc degrees in Physics in 1998. I joined the Photonics Research Group in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University, Birmingham, UK, in 1999, and I received a PhD degree for studies on optical solitons and nonlinear solitary waves in 2002. Since 2002, I have been working with the Photonics Research Group (Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, AiPT, from 2012) and the Electrical, Electronic and Power Engineering (EEPE) Subject Group, where I have been a Senior Lecturer. I am currently working with AiPT as a Research Fellow.

    I have broad theoretical and modelling expertise in nonlinear optics and photonics, specialised in the exploration of fundamental theories of modern nonlinear science and their application in the context of fibre-optics communications and laser systems as well as in the design and modelling of novel nonlinear photonic systems and devices. I have published more than 60 papers in international peer-reviewed academic journals (6 invited and 1 editorial), 5 book chapters, and more than 130 papers in refereed international conference proceedings (38 invited conferences). I have produced 3 patents and co-edited a book on ‘Shaping Light in Nonlinear Optical Fibers’ published by Wiley. 

    I have been the Principal Investigator in 3 research projects funded by the EPSRC and The Leverhulme Trust, and 2 British-Council sponsored collaborative research projects with French and Italian institutions. I have led an Erasmus+ Mobility programme with the Russian Federation and have been the Aston’s coordinator of an Erasmus Mundus Partnership programme between European, Australian and New Zealand institutions, funded by the European Commission. I am currently the Aston’s coordinator of the European Commission-funded Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme EMIMEO (Erasmus Master on Innovative Microwave Electronics and Optics) and I have been the academic in charge of the Marie S.-Curie Fellowship project ProDelSys (Processing Systems with Optical Delay). I have brought 2 PhD students to successful completion of their studies as the main supervisor and managed and supervised the work of 2 Post-Doctoral Research Assistants employed on my research grants. 

    I have more than ten years experience of teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in electrical, electronic and communications engineering and physics. I have been the Programme Director for the BSc and MPhys degree programmes in Applied Physics at Aston University.

    Research Interests

    My areas of interest and expertise include:

    • Nonlinear wave theory and propagation of nonlinear waves in optical fibres
    • Nonlinear optical pulse shaping and waveform generation in fibre-based systems 
    • Optical signal processing fibre-optics transmisison lines and optical regeneration
    • Design and modelling of nonlinear optical devices for high-bit-rate optical communication systems
    • Fibre laser technologies, including design and modelling of fibre lasers and laser dynamics
    • Modelling of optical waveguides in nonlinear crystals
    • Application of machine-learning techniques in photonics
    • Theoretical design of improved optical phase conjugation devices for application in ultra-high capacity optical networks

    Teaching Activity

    I have a wide range of teaching experience across the portfolio of the EEPE Subject Group at both undergraduate and postgradualte levels. I have contributed to teaching on electrical and electronic and communications engineering and applied physics programmes at all stages of the programmes. 

    Currently, while I am working full time with AiPT as a researcher, I serve as the Coordinator and Director of the Erasmus Mundus Master Degree programme EMIMEO at Aston University.  

    Qualifications

    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2013
    • PhD in Engineering and Applied Science (“Mathematical and numerical modelling of dispersion-managed solitons, autosolitons and self-similar optical pulses”), Aston University, 2002
    • BSc and MSc with First Class Honours in Physics, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France, 1998

    Employment

    • 2020 - present: Senior Research Fellow, Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (former School of Engineering and Applied Science), Aston University.
    • 2009 – 2020: Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University.
    • 2002 – 2009: Research Fellow, then Senior Research Fellow, Photonics Research Group, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University.

    Research Projects/Collaborations

    Research, cooperation and mobility grants

    • “Erasmus Mundus on Innovative Microwave Electronics and Optics (EMIMEO)”. Erasmus+: Higher Education – Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (Call EAC-A05-2017) –Ref: 599060-EPP-1-2018-1-FR-EPPKA1-JMD-MOBMy role: Coordinator & Programme Director at Aston. Partners: Université de Limoges (Limoges, France); Università degli Studi di Brescia (Brescia, Italy); Aston University; University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU; Leioa, Spain). Funding body: European Commission. Value: €3,568,000 (total). Duration: 2019–2023
    • “Processing systems with optical delay (ProDelSys)”. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships (Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017)–Ref: 792421Supervisor: Dr. Sonia Boscolo. Funding body: European Commission. Value: €183,454.80. Duration: 2018–2020

    • “Europe-Asia-Pacific Exchange Programme in Nanophotonics (NANOPHI)”. Erasmus Mundus Action 2 – Erasmus Mundus Partnerships – Strand II (Call EACEA/18/13) – Ref: 552066-EM-1-2014-1-IT-ERA MUNDUS-EMA22. My role: Coordinator & Principal Investigator at Aston. Partners: Università degli Studi di Brescia (Brescia, Italy); Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7 (Paris, France); King’s College London (London, UK); Aston University; University of Crete (Heraklion, Greece); Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (Sofia, Bulgaria); Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Jena, Germany); Australian National University (Canberra, Australia); Massey University (Auckland, New Zealand). Funding body: European Commission. Value: £111,607.14 (Aston University). Duration: 2014–2018

    • Erasmus+ KA107, Mobility with partner countries – Ref: 2015-1-UK01-KA107-012618. Principal Investigator: Dr. Sonia Boscolo. Partner Country: The Russian Federation (Novosibirsk State University). Funding body: European Commission. Value: €72,940 (Aston University). Duration: Academic year 2015/16

    • “Nonlinear waveguide-based all-optical waveform generators”. Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant – Ref: RPG-278. Principal Investigator: Dr. Sonia Boscolo. Funding body: The Leverhulme Trust. Value: 221,415. Duration: 2011–2015
    • “Nonlinear pulse transformations in fibre optics”. Collaborative Research Grant – Alliance: Franco-British Research Partnership Programme – Ref: 10.002. My role: British Project Leader. Partners: Aston University, Université de Bourgogne (Dijon, France). Funding body: British Council (UK) & Ministère de la Recherche (France). Value: £4,400 (Aston University). Duration: 2010–2011

    •  “Modelling of carbon nanotube based nonlinear saturable absorbers for all-optical processing applications”. Collaborative Research Grant – British-Italian Partnership Programme for Early Career Researchers – Ref: PP10/15. My role: British Project Leader. Partners: Aston University, Università degli Studi Brescia (Italy). Funding body: British Council (UK) & Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (Italy). Value: £3,000 (Aston University). Duration: 2010

    • “Dissipative nonlinear structures for digital photonic technologies”. EPSRC First Grant – Ref: EP/F02956X/1. Principal Investigator: Dr. Sonia Boscolo. Funding body: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Value: £313,339 (EPSRC contribution). Duration: 2008–2011

    •  “Dissipative localized nonlinear optical structures”. Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship – Ref: ECF/2005/0400. Principal Investigator: Dr. Sonia Boscolo. Funding body: The Leverhulme Trust. Value: £40,383. Duration: 2005–2007

    Travel grants

    • Royal Society Conference Grant (2005)
    • Royal Society Conference Grant (2004)
    • Royal Academy of Engineering Travel Grant (2004)

    PhD Supervision

    Research students

    • PhD project on “Surface nanoscale axial photonics”. Student: Sajid Zaki. Supervisory role: Co-supervisor. Start date: 1 April 2019.

    • PhD project on “Femtosecond laser inscription of integrated optical devices for nonlinear optics”. Student: Teerawat Piromjitpong. Supervisory role: Main supervisor. Start date: 1 January 2016; Completion date: 31 July 2019.

    • PhD project on “Design and optimisation of micro-structured waveguides in nonlinear crystals” (Leverhulme Trust funded). Student: Huseyin Karakuzu. Supervisory role: Main supervisor. Start date: 1 October 2012; Completion date: 31 December 2016.

    • PhD project on “Numerical and statistical analysis of long-haul undersea optical communication systems”. Student: Terence Broderick. Supervisory role: Co-supervisor. Year of completion: 2009

    • Supervision/Co-supervision of Master projects in telecommunications, wireless communications and networking, and electrical and electronic engineering (15 since 2010).

    Research assistants

    • Supervision of the work of the Marie S. Curie Research Fellow deployed on the funded project on “Processing systems with optical delay (ProDelSys)”. Research fellow: Dr. Marina Zajnulina. Duration: 2018–2020

    • Supervision of the work of the PDRA deployed on the Leverhulme Trust funded project on “Nonlinear waveguide-based all-optical waveform generators”. Research assistant: Dr. Mykhaylo Dubov. Duration: 2011–2013

    • Supervision of the work of the PDRA deployed on the EPSRC funded project on “Dissipative nonlinear structures for digital photonic technologies”. Research assistant: Dr. Brandon Bale. Duration: 2008–2011

    Administrative Roles

    My current administrative roles include:

    • Project Coordinator and Programme Director for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme EMIMEO (2019-2020).

    Responsibilities

    The following are the leadership and management roles that I have had at Aston University:

    • REF Reviewer within EAS (2019).
    • Programme Director for the BSc (Hons) and fast-track MPhys (Hons) Degree Programmes Applied Physics in EAS (2013–2020).
    • Member of the EEPE Management Team (2018–2020).
    • Leader of the Applied Physics Working Team (2015–2020).
    • Member of the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AiPT) Management Team (from 2016).
    • Laboratory Manager for the AiPT labs on high repetition rate femtosecond laser inscription (2017–2019) and waveguide characterisation (2018-2019).
    • Member of the Athena Swan Self-assessment Team (2013/14).
    • President of the AiPT Women’s Chapter (from 2013).
    • Internal Examiner for two PhD theses (2013 & 2018). 

    My contributions to external engagement include:

    • Local Project Coordinator of an European Commission funded Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees Project involving academic institutions from France, Italy and Spain (2019-2023).
    • Local Project Leader of an European Commission funded Erasmus Mundus Action 2 – Partnerships Project involving academic institutions from Italy, France, Germany, UK, Bulgaria, Greece, Australia, and New Zealand (2014-2018).
    • Project Leader of an European Commission funded Erasmus+ KA107 – Mobility with partner countries Project with the Russian Federation (2015/16).
    • Symposium Organiser at the SIAM Conference on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures (2008 & 2014).
    • Technical Programme Committee Member of the OSA Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (2021), the OSA Nonlinear Optics Topical Meeting (2019), the OSA Nonlin- ear Photonics Conference (2012 & 2018), the Photonics North 2014 Conference (2014) and the International Conference on Photonics, Optics and Laser Technology (2018).
    • Technical session Chair at the Conference on Partial Differential Equations in Analysis and Mathematical Physics (2019), the 17th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks (2015), the 2014 Advanced Photonics Congress (2014) and the Conference on Lasers and Electro- Optics Europe (2011 & 2015).
    • Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Modern Optics (from 2019). 
    • Co-editor of a scientific book (contemporary overview of selected topics in fibre optics) published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd in April 2017.
    • Lead Guest Editor for a Special Issue of the International Journal of Optics (2012).
    • External PhD Examiner at the University of Alcala` (Spain; 2014 & 2020), the University of Aberdeen (2017), the University of Birmingham (2018 & 2019), and the University of Southampton (2019). 

    Contact Details

    Room:  NW318
    Phone:  0121 204 3495 
    Email:  s.a.boscolo@aston.ac.uk 

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