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Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advance Data Storage


The Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage is supported by a range of industrial partners, bringing together key companies who could form a complete UK manufacturing supply chain for HAMR technology. These companies include IQE as a supplier of custom epitaxy, Oclaro for volume laser production and Seagate for volume manufacturing of magnetic recording heads.

The CDT’s tailored four-year PhD programme has been developed in consultation with our partners and they are actively involved in the delivery of the course, highlighting integrative technologies in the context of high data storage using semiconductor lasers, integrated optics and nanoplasmonics. They also lead in the delivery of the much sought after skills in distributed working. A range of internships and placement opportunities exposes students to different approaches and cultures giving them a unique insight into globally leading manufacturers and end users of highly topical science and engineering.

Brendan Lafferty

R&D Sr Director

Seagate Technology

"The CDT for Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage continues to grow from strength to strength through the leadership of Queens University Belfast and the University of Glasgow. It is refreshing to see students proactively involved with the definition of their own career path, developing their technical knowledge in parallel with inter-personal relationships, communication and business acumen. The industrial applications and growth potential in this field continues to grow and I am very encouraged with the emerging home grown talent to ensure we continue to harness the opportunity" 

Mat Wasley

Knowledge Transfer Manager for Photonics

Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

"Photonics is a major growth area both in the UK and worldwide. Integrated photonics is a key driver and its application to data storage is set to underpin significant technology development. This CDT is therefore excellently positioned to drive forward vital R&D and ensure the provision of the necessary industrial skills".


Dr J. Iwan Davies

Technology Director

IQE plc Group

“IQE delivered strong financial results in 2016-17, with Photonics being the stand-out performer with strong double-digit sales growth - 43% year-on-year and a CAGR of more than 35% over the past three years. Largely attributed to VCSEL and InP technologies, enabling broad application areas in fibre optic communication, advanced sensors and industrial processes, the Group has multiple high growth opportunities ahead. In order to meet such demands, the cutting edge technologies and skillsets afforded by the PIADS CDT through the intensive and focused training of our future scientists and engineers, in conjunction with directly relevant project work, enables a major potential contribution to the resources and capabilities of companies like IQE”.

Frazer Anderson

Strategic Marketing and Business Development Director

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology

“The long-term prospects for the integrated photonics market, and the markets for products based on this technology, are bright. The combined markets are expected to be worth hundreds of billions of euros annually in the next 5 to 10 years. Through the leadership of Queens University Belfast and the University of Glasgow, the CDT for Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage has ideally positioned itself to support the growth in these markets. Commercial success requires the development of new skills, and the fostering of innovation to shape these future technologies. The CDT offers a great opportunity to train and develop the future generation of scientists and engineers for this. It is already clear to all involved in the CDT that the students are being both supported and challenged to take a proactive involvement in their own development, not only in the technical skills required, but also in developing team working, communication and commercial capabilities.”

Dr Antonio Samaerlli

Former Project Manager

Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd  

"The world of integrated technology and photonics is rapidly growing and expected to reach devices and systems with unprecedented overwhelming performances. This ubiquitous presence requires the development of novel skills and the fostering of new ideas to shape future technologies. The CDT of photonic integration is a great opportunity to train and work industrials, academics and the future generation of scientists and engineers that will shape the world of tomorrow."  

SEAGATE       OCLARO        OIPT        IQE        FEI        KNT        CSTG       YELO   KTN    CIRDAN        JEOL                               SUPA       IOP IRELAND        RAENG 

Get in touch!

We are always keen to expand our list of industrial partnerships and welcome enquiries from companies interested in exploring possible connections with the Centre; please direct enquiries to PIADS, , in the first instance.

Queen's University Belfast Crest

University of Glasgow Crest