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Fellows Directory

Polina Bayvel

Polina Bayvel

Credit: Photo Daniel Elson (UCL)

Professor Polina Bayvel CBE FREng FRS


Elected: 2016


Polina Bayvel is an electrical engineer who has made major contributions to the investigation and design of high-bandwidth, multi-wavelength optical communication networks. Formerly a Royal Society University Research Fellow (1993-2003), her research has focused on maximising the speed and capacity of optical fibre transmission systems, and the fundamental studies of capacity-limiting optical nonlinearities and their mitigation.

She was one of the first to show the feasibility of using the wavelength domain for routing in optical etworks over a range of distance- and time-scales. She has established the applicability of these new optical network architecture concepts, which have been widely implemented in commercial systems and networks. These systems and networks underpin the Internet, and the digital communications infrastructure - and are essential for its growth.

Polina Bayvel is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2002), and a recipient of a number of awards. These include the 2013 IEEE Photonic Society Engineering Achievement Award, 2014 Royal Society Clifford Paterson Lecture & Medal, and 2015 Royal Academy of Engineering Colin Campbell Mitchell Award.

Professional positions

Professor of Optical Communications and Networks , Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College London (UCL)

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Engineering
    • Communications incl information theory, Engineering, electrical, Engineering, electronics


Optical communications, nonlinear optics, optical networks, telecommunications, optical fibres, wavelength routing algorithms, nonlinear fibre optics


  • Clifford Paterson Medal and Lecture

    For her fundamental research in high bandwidth digital communications and nonlinear optics.

  • Rumford Medal

    For pioneering contributions to the fundamental physics and nonlinear optics, enabling the realisation of high capacity, broad bandwidth, multi-wavelength, optical communication systems that have underpinned the information technology revolution.

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