The new dedicated network for the photonics community in Wales.
What is Photonics Connected?
Photonics Connected is the new dedicated network for the photonics community in Wales. It has been created by and sits within the Technology Connected organisation to represent and unite the photonics community.
Technology is ubiquitous, enabling every aspect of our lives. Technology Connected unifies, champions, and promotes Welsh Photonic technology across the world, building a better future for the industry in Wales.
Photonics Connected Council
Alongside the launch of the new network, Wales has also established its first Photonics Leadership Council, which will work to unite the industry and provide a unified voice for the sector in Wales, to create a global brand of Welsh photonics.
Drawing on the expertise of its members, the Council will utilise its collective knowledge and influence, to unite, champion and promote photonics across Wales and throughout the wider global marketplace, with members acting as ambassadors for the industry actively leading, influencing and advising to expand the network and its global reach.
All members of the Photonics Connected council are unpaid, and no individuals derive financial gain from anything that they do in respect of PC. While organisations are welcomed as sponsors, that doesn’t mean that any particular company, individual or organisation has more say, influence or significance than another within photonics connected. We welcome constructive input, participation and debate involving all parties within the photonics communities. What we won’t accommodate, however, are unfounded and defamatory comments aimed at individuals or photonics connected.
Avril Lewis MBE
Dr Louise Jones
Caroline Gray OBE
Dr David Cunnah
Dr Iwan Davies
Avril Lewis MBE
Managing Director, Technology Connected
Avril was appointed Managing Director of Technology Connected, formerly the ESTnet, in May 2012.
Her background is in the semiconductor industry, and she was awarded the MBE for services to the technology industry in Wales in 2018. Avril is an influential and energetic leader with highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, and thrives as a catalyst for change.
Dr Louise Jones
Regional Manager for Wales, Innovate UK & Photonics Connected Council Chair
Dr Louise Jones joined the Innovate UK regional team as the Regional Manager for Wales In September 2023. Louise started her career as a KTP associate in a Welsh SME, putting the outputs from her KTP project towards her PhD at Bangor University. Louise then worked at a commercial research group working on projects funded by Innovate UK and Welsh Government which then led to her working with a Catalytic converter manufacturing company to help them set up a manufacturing plant. Following this she led on collaborative industrial research projects within Bangor and Wrexham Universities funded by Welsh Government or WEFO which started extending her connections in Wales to Welsh Government, Industry and other research groups across Wales.
Louise joined Innovate UK KTN in September 2013 and has had roles spanning Photonics, Additive Manufacturing and lastly Energy systems where she focused on challenge led work around net zero. Throughout her time at IUK KTN Louise had continued to be involved in Welsh activities and frequently engages with Welsh Government and the ecosystem within Wales. She sits of advisory panels for CCR, North Wales Growth Deal, CS-Connected SIPF and Photonics Connected using her knowledge and connections to offer support and guidance when needed. She also led on the Adoption and Diffusion pilot within North Wales working with her existing contacts and expertise to deliver workshops to help define the needs of the region.
Caroline Gray OBE
Professor of Enterprise, Engagement and Knowledge Transfer at Wrexham Glyndŵr University & Director of the Centre for Photonics Excellence (CPE)
Professor Caroline Gray is Professor of Enterprise, Engagement and Knowledge Transfer and the Site Director of The OpTIC Technology Centre a bespoke Technology and Incubation Centre, managed as Glyndwr Innovations Ltd. The facility offers high quality technical and office incubation facilities and business meeting and conference facilities, the centre is home to the WEFO funded Centre for Photonics Expertise project and also includes the Glyndwr Innovations, Precision Optical Systems Group who design, manufacture and assemble ultra-precision optical systems.
She is a Physics graduate who has spent her career of over 35 years working in the optical industry. She has developed CNC optical manufacture processes in both Single Point Diamond Turning and CNC polishing techniques for many applications including high end technically challenging applications and high volume precision component applications. Gray’s industry experience includes the management and technical directorship of SME’s and research projects.
Caroline is a member of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist
Director of Strategic Development (Europe) at Rockley Photonics
Director at Harlin & Chief Executive of the Photonics Leadership Group (PLG)
Dr John Lincoln is Chief Executive of the Photonics Leadership Group, industrial liaison for the Future Photonics Hub Southampton and Sheffield Universities and member of multiple advisory boards. Through business development consultancy, Harlin Ltd, John supports SMEs, Universities, VCs and government agencies to identify growth opportunities and the impact of photonics.
Technology Seed Fund Manager – Development Bank of Wales
Dr David Cunnah
National Manager, Innovate UK
Dr David Cunnah is the National Manager for Wales for Innovate UK. He grew up in Swansea and studied physics at Cardiff University, where he completed his PhD examining the photodynamic behavior of semiconductor nanocrystals. David’s professional career has included work in academic publishing and professional bodies. He was the National Manager for Wales for the Institute of Physics before becoming an Innovation Lead in Quantum Technology at Innovate UK.
David has experience working with policy makers and government, establishing and managing programmes, and in the UK’s innovation landscape. David is always keen to discuss how Wales can grow and promote its research and innovation landscape so that world-changing discoveries made here also return economic benefit for the people of Wales.
Industrial Process Manager, Qioptiq UK
Andy Hurst has been involved in the glass and optics industry for over 40 years with Qioptiq UK, based in St Asaph, N. Wales. Qioptiq (part of the Excelitas Corp.) is a world-leading supplier of high precision optical systems for military and commercial use. Andy has fulfilled several roles during this time, covering both manufacturing and technology development.
Andy started his career in optics developing manufacturing processes to produce holographic optical elements for use in head-up displays used in military aircraft. For the last 20 years he has been involved in the field of thin-film optical coatings, leading a world-class design, development, and manufacturing team. Andy has also been a member of a variety of steering groups for precision optics manufacturing in conjunction with several academic institutions.
Dr Iwan Davies
Group Technology Director, IQE plc
Dr. Iwan Davies obtained a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemistry from Imperial College, London and his Ph.D. on MOVPE Studies in Compound Semiconductors from the University of Manchester. He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
With 40 years-experience in the epitaxial growth by MOVPE of arsenide/phosphide III-V and selenide II-VI semiconductors, he has co-authored over 100 publications covering a very broad range of optoelectronic devices and material systems. Following a period of research and development at Plessey Research (Caswell) Ltd., he has managed the growth and characterization of epi-wafers, research & development, plant operations and product engineering, principally for GaAs and InP-based material systems for the last 33 years at IQE.
He is currently IQE plc Group Technology Director, representing the company on numerous European associations, including Photonics 21 (Board of Stakeholders), European Photonics Industry Consortium, Aeneas and Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). He leads IQE plc in UK National and European Research Project Co-ordination. He also supervises ~10 UK-based PhD studentships and has supported numerous projects, EPSRC, NRN and also Centres for Doctoral Training and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with UK universities.