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A shining career in fibre optics

After three years researching fibre optics for his PhD, Matthew Fellew continues to be intrigued.

“There are just so many different lights and lasers and ways to manipulate them,” says Matthew.

“It is interesting research and there are a lot of opportunities as companies are opting for optical rather than electric solutions.”

Matthew completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney in 2002. He completed his Honours in Physics at the Optical Fibre Technology Centre studying the effect of elliptical holes in micro-structured polymer optical fibre.

He is now investigating Q-switched fibre lasers and their application to optical continuum generation under the supervision of Professor Graham Town.

“The facilities are really good at Macquarie and my supervisor has given me a very clear direction for the project.”

“I’ve presented my research at international and local conferences which has been a great experience,” says Matthew.

“I met leaders in my field who write the articles I base my research on. My most recent conference was in Munich where I got to present my research.”

Photonic engineers do with light what electronic engineers do with electrons. Photonics engineers design, build, test and manage systems that carry out the transmission, processing and storage of information as optical signals for applications such as telecommunications, imaging and sensing.

“There are just so many different lights and lasers and ways to manipulate them,” says PhD student Matthew Fellew

“It combines hands-on practical work, computer simulations and researching the theory and principles behind photonics,” explains Matthew.

“It’s really up-and-coming technology. It relies on a lot of theory and understanding of physics, and there are a lot of potential applications.”

Matthew is about to move to Canberra to become a patent examiner specialising in optical fibre. 

Engineering requires not only a high level of technical expertise but also substantial project management skills, and can lead to careers in technology development, business and management.

For more information on Engineering at Macquarie University, visit the website.

Visit the Higher Degree Research Unit
website for more information about research opportunities at Macquarie University. 


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