Prof Richard PENTY

Head of the School of Technology, University of Cambridge

Professor Richard Penty's first foray into the world of optical communications was via a sponsorship with the National Coal Board for whom he designed a 1Mb/s optical line card. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Engineering and Electrical Sciences in 1986 and a PhD for research into nonlinear optical fibre devices in 1990.

Professor Penty was then an SERC IT Research Fellow at Cambridge, moving to a lectureship in physics at the University of Bath in 1990, before becoming a lecturer in electrical and electronic engineering and then Professor of Photonics at the University of Bristol. In 2001 he moved to the Cambridge University Engineering Department and was elected to a Fellowship of Sidney Sussex College in 2002 and to the Mastership in 2013.

Professor Penty took up the position of the Head of the School of Technology at the University of Cambridge in February 2023.


Governing Board

Research Interest

Professor Richard Penty’s main research interests lie in the field of photonics. He has worked for many years on short reach photonic networks for in-building links. This included working on the ethernet standards and is now concentrating on advanced modulation format approaches to realising 100Gb/s photonic links using a single optical source. In parallel he has research on polymer waveguide links and sub-systems for on-board and board to board, including backplane, applications. His research on radio over fibre for in-building radio coverage has resulted in the spin out Zinwave.

Key Publications


2012 Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the IET