Credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

UofG spinout company Vector Photonics wins prestigious engineering award

The new company, established just last year, has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Colin Campbell Mitchell Award.

University of Glasgow spinout Vector Photonics has been awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Colin Campbell Mitchell Award in a ceremony at the Academy’s Enterprise Showcase on 16 November. 

Named in honour of one of Scotland’s most accomplished marine engineers, Colin Campbell, who helped pioneer the steam catapult for use on aircraft carriers. The annual award is bestowed upon engineers or small teams of engineers who have made significant and outstanding contributions towards the advancement of any discipline of engineering in the UK. 

The team’s ground-breaking photonic crystal surface emitting laser (PCSEL) combines and supposedly improves upon the strengths of vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL) and edge-emitting lasers (EEL). This involves a novel laser geometry that eliminates the compromise between speed, cost and power inherent in previous semiconductor lasers. It is believed that Vector Photonics’ design approach is particularly attractive, as is its compatibility with existing semiconductor device manufacturing processes, offering simplicity to the build and delivery of their PCSEL devices.

Established in 2020, Vector Photonic was founded by Professor Richard Hogg (Professor of Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering) of the University’s James Watt School of Engineering, Dr Richard Taylor, and Dr David Childs. It is formulated based on technology developed at UK universities.

The team issued a statement shortly after winning the award saying: “We are honoured and humbled to receive such a prestigious award from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the world’s premier, learned society for engineering. The technology started as blue sky research in a university laboratory and, thanks to support from a range of funding sources and the wider team, we have been able to translate our technology to real world applications through commercial venture.”

Professor David Cumming, head of the James Watt School of Engineering, said: “The Colin Campbell Mitchell Award is a fantastic achievement for any company, but for Vector Photonics to be presented with it less than two years after it was founded is a testament to the pioneering work that the team are doing.”


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