Global recognition for BT optical research team

Bright fibreYears of dedicated work researching optical communications have paid dividends for a crack team from BT Technology, Service and Operations. They’ve been recognised by the global optical research community - and given an opportunity to influence the whole industry for years to come.

The Optical Fibre Communications Conference (OFC) - regarded as the world’s premier optical communications conference (link) - has chosen BT’s head of optical research, Andrew Lord, to become OFC technical chairman for 2015 and general chairman of the 2017 OFC Conference.

And members of Andrew’s eight-strong research team, including Derek Nesset and Albert Rafel, have been invited to chair and serve on some of the industry-shaping OFC sub-committees.

Said Andrew: “To be asked to become OFC chair for the 2015 conference is an incredible honour. This is one of the most high profile and influential posts across the whole industry. Having this role opens the door for BT to be at the heart of the global optical communications industry, and to steer it, for the next few years.”


BT has a strong track record in optical research going back many years. For example, ten years ago BT’s team – then led by researchers Dave Payne and Russell Davey – correctly forecasted that the world’s appetite for bandwidth was about to take off and that an optical fibre future was necessary in order to meet that rampant demand.

It was this level of acknowledged expertise and reputation that led to the appointment of a number of BT people into various influential positions in committees and standards and to the publication of many high profile papers from BT.

Tim Whitley, head of research, BT said: “This is really terrific news and a good time to reflect on the many years of hard work put in by Andrew and his team. And it’s also a time for us to look to the future with great enthusiasm. Because now, BT has the chance to influence the direction of optical communications for the next four or five years.”