Dr Paul Harper

Postal address:
The Aston Lab for Intelligent Collectives Engineering
Aston University
B4 7ET
United Kingdom

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I started my research career at Aston in 1994 as a PhD student studying high speed optical telecommunications in the early days of what would become the world renowned Photonics Research Group.

After graduating in 1997 I continued this work at Aston as a Post Doc. In May 2002 along with co-workers, I left the university to form a spin-out project Marconi-Solstis to commercialise our research work.

I was a Senior Development Engineer on this project working on system design, test and field installation. Following the first field deployment of our 1.6Tb/s 3000km system I continued with Marconi as Photonic System Test Manager.

I missed life in the research lab though, so in March 2005 came back to Aston as a Lecturer and resumed my research career in optical communications & nonlinear optics.

I teach a range of subjects at different levels: Introductory Physics &  Digital Media at undergraduate level & Optical Communications at MSc level. I also supervise a number of PhD students working in our research labs.

Research interests

High Speed Optical Communications

Nonlinear Optics

Teaching Activity

Foundations of Physics & Engineering (SE0PSF)

Digital Media Science (EE1MED)

Optical Communications Systems (EE3OCS/EE402A)


  • PhD (Long Distance Dispersion Managed Soliton Transmission Experiments), Aston University, 1997

  • MSc (with distinction), University of St. Andrews, 1993

  • BSc (First Class Honours), University of Glasgow, 1992


  • 2005 – present: Lecturer then Reader, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

  • 2000 – 2003: Senior Development Engineer/Manager Photonic System Test, Marconi Systems (Solstis)

  • 1997 – 2001: Post Doctoral Research Assistant, Aston University

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Engineering & Applied Science

Organisational unit: School

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