Professor Philip Russell is a founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL), a position he has held since January 2009. He obtained his DPhil degree at the University of Oxford in 1979, spending three years as a Research Fellow at Oriel College. After several years in the United States, Germany and France, he joined the University of Southampton as a lecturer in 1986. From 1996–2005, he was Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Bath.
His research interests focus on linear and nonlinear light–matter interactions in microstructured and photonic crystal fibres. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and has won several international awards, including the 2000 OSA Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize, the 2005 Thomas Young Prize of the Institute of Physics, the 2005 Körber European Science Prize, the 2013 European Physical Society Prize for Research into the Science of Light, and the 2015 IEEE Photonics Award. He is OSA President for 2015, the International Year of Light.