World-leading optics expert joins Glyndŵr University
October 22 2013
A world-leading expert in optoelectronics has joined Glyndŵr University.
The Wrexham institution has appointed Professor Michael Lebby to a chair in optoelectronics, the science and technology of electronic devices that process and convert light from and to information signals.
This is a part-time appointment and Prof Lebby will continue his primary work as chief executive officer of a leading-edge optoelectronics company.
He will visit the University frequently, will advise on the development of its work in the sector, assist with the winning of research and development funding and will facilitate the development of optoelectronic aspects of the skill base at Glyndŵr University St Asaph, home to the ESO telescope project and Glyndŵr Innovations, one of Wales’ fastest growing companies.
Prof Lebby took his first degree, MBA and PhD at Bradford University, later being awarded a higher doctoral degree there.
Much of his PhD research was undertaken at Bell Laboratories in the USA, one of the world's leading electronics research establishments, and he continued there before moving to communications giant Motorola, where he spent 10 years.
After that he took on a more entrepreneurial role as a senior manager of several companies. He spent five years as chief executive of the Optoelectronic Industry Development Association in the USA, before returning to assume senior roles in industry.
Prof Lebby has also been named chief executive officer of a research-oriented optoelectronics company and is piloting it through a major restructure.
He has had close working relationships with leading researchers in optoelectronics in the UK over many years, including involvement with research and development projects in Wales, but this appointment gives him a more formal association with Wales and specifically with the country’s leading optical research centre, at Glyndŵr’s Denbighshire site.
Already, ideas are being developed to use his reputation and expertise in development of optoelectronic activities at St Asaph, which will provide a powerful complement to the existing world-leading work there on polishing of large optics and photovoltaic solar panels.
His advice and expertise will also be used in upgrading of the electronics aspects of Glyndŵr University's degree programmes.
Glyndŵr's Professor of Communications Peter Excell said: “We’d like to welcome Professor Lebby to Glyndŵr University. Having him here is a real coup as he is one of the most respected people in his field.
“I’m sure he will have a major impact on our work in optoelectronics and work closely with our world-leading scientists and researchers in North East Wales.”