Optical fibre pioneer to speak in Dublin tomorrow

21 May 2012

Australian entrepreneur and academic Dr Simon Poole will be at Dublin City University tomorrow to give a lecture about his 30-year experience in the area of photonics and start-ups.

During the lecture, Poole will draw upon his experience in the field of optical communications. He has been involved in a number of start-ups through the years, including Indx and Engana. As well as this, Poole has also contributed academically to the technology of photonics, having had more than 200 published papers in the field.

He obtained his PhD in optical fibres from Southampton University in the UK, where he was a member of the team that invented the erbium-doped fibre amplifier, which has been recognised as being one of the key inventions in the area of optical communications.

Poole then went on to found the Optical Fibre Technology Centre at the University of Sydney and the Australian Photonics Cooperative Research Centre.

In 1996, Poole founded the photonics start-up Indx, which Uniphase Corporation (now JDS Uniphase) acquired in 1997.

Commercialising research

Tomorrow in Dublin, he will be speaking about how his companies and research groups got started, what they did and how they subsequently developed. Poole will also talk about how researchers can go about taking the next steps in commercialising their research.

Back in 2010, he was named as one of the Warren Centre Australia’s ‘Innovation Heroes’ for his contribution to the development and commercialisation of photonics. He was also awarded the Institute of Engineers in Australia’s Sydney Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2010.

Poole is now director of new business ventures at Finisar Australia.

The lecture, which is open to all, will start at 11am in the Engineering and Research Building at DCU.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic