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Our team


Prof Nigel Copner

Professor Nigel J Copner is the Head of the Wireless and Optoelectronic Research & Innovation Centre (WORIC) and Head of Research in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science. He completed his BSc Physics honours at Reading University in 1988, with the highest First class, and subsequently obtained my PhD in Laser Physics from Swansea University in 1992.

He has an extensive patent portfolio (>30) generated during his extensive industrial career working at JDS Uniphase (Senior Manager, San Jose), DERA (Research Fellow, Malvern), Renishaw and through his work at the University of South Wales. 

Professor Copner is Visiting Professor at four universities in China – Changchun University of Science and Technology, Xiamen University of Technology, Baoji University of Arts and Sciences, and Foshan University

Dr Hatef Dinparasti Saleh, WORIC

Dr Hatef Dinparasti Saleh is a Research Fellow at USW. He completed his first-class BSc aeronautics and astronautics and first-class MSc in space propulsion and power units at National Aerospace University in Ukraine.  

He has been awarded fully funded James-Watt scholarship from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, UK in 2013 and completed his PhD in classical and quantum effects in time-dependent media at the same institution.

Hatef worked as Research Associate on quantum random number generator and lecturer at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, UK 2017-2019. 

Yuanlong Fan, WORIC

Yuanlong Fan is a lecturer in the School of Engineering at USW. His research interests include optical signal processing, design of semiconductor nanolasers, nonlinear dynamics of semiconductor (nano)lasers and their applications.

Yuanlong received his BE degree from Dalian University of Technology, China, in 2009 and his ME and PhD degrees from the University of Wollongong, Australia, in 2011 and 2016, respectively. 

In 2016, he was a recipient of the Australian Endeavour Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral research at the University of Wollongong, Australia. From 2017 to 2019, he was a research officer at the School of Electronic Engineering, Bangor University, United Kingdom. 

Professor Paul Harrison

Professor Paul Harrison is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation.

Following undergraduate studies in Physics (1988) at the University of Hull and a PhD in computational physics at Newcastle University (1991), Paul worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Hull before gaining a University Research Fellowship at the University of Leeds in 1995.   

At that time Paul applied his research experience in semiconductor physics to develop quantum mechanical-based physical models of optoelectronic devices such as quantum cascade laser and quantum well infrared photodetectors.  He became Professor of Quantum Electronics at the University of Leeds in 2002 and then led the School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering to the top of the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008.  

Following periods as Dean at Leeds and then Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Sheffield Hallam, he moved to the University of South Wales in 2017 and has recently become Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering & Science.

Hazel Hung, WORIC business development manager

Dr Hazel Hung is our Business Development Manager and engages with Welsh businesses located in the South Wales regions. She has 10 years’ experience working in the photonics industry in R&D, product development and project management. 

Throughout her career, she has maintained close academic links through Industry-University collaborative projects that have played a key role in company growth. 

Dr Kang Li, WORIC

Dr Kang Li is a senior research fellow. His current research focus is on high power laser (solid, semiconductor, and fiber laser etc.) and their application for industrial, biomedical, and telecommunication. 

He is also interested in the nonlinear optical properties (TPA, SHG, FWM, dispersion, etc.) investigation in metamaterial, high nonlinear fibre, and semiconductor like GaAs and InP based III-V material, especially focus on the optoelectronic devices for nano-resonators, photonics crystal cavity, metasurfaces on III-V, photorefractive, and magneto-optic materials and their potential application in 3D nano structured material for biomedical sensing, fast modulator, wavelength convertor, and all-optical devices, etc.

Dr Li has more than 10 years’ experience of working in laser technology, optical design, nonlinear optics, fiber laser, optical imaging, and UV laser lithography. 

He has strong experimental investigations including high power laser system design, method and problem solving. He has extensive experience of characterization of optoelectronics device using laser metrology (interferometer), high resolution microscopy, photoluminescence, and SEM. He has proficiency in database handling and simulation including programming in Matlab, FDTD, COMSOL and OriginPro 8. 

He also has excellent project management and presentation skills for different settings. He has an extensive publication (>50) and patent portfolio (>10) generated during his extensive career working at Swansea University and University of South Wales. He is a peer reviewer for highly impact journal publications in optics field and for Innovate UK/EPSRC proposals. He is also member of Optical Society of America and MInstP.

Kang holds a PhD in Optics from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and BSc in Optoelectronics from Changchun University of Science and Technology, China. 

Dr Peter Rees, WORIC

Dr Peter Rees collaborates with businesses throughout Wales, helping to deliver novel solutions to products and processes in the manufacturing sector through the implementation of photonic technologies. 

Prior to this he has worked as a photonics research consultant for the health, security, and defence sectors. He obtained his doctorate for his research into improving the performance of semiconductor lasers while at Cardiff University.


Dr Leshan Uggalla is a Senior Lecturer in Electronics and Telecommunications and a researcher in the area of Communications, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at the University South Wales (USW). He received his PhD in designing EHF satellite communication systems from USW, and his MSc degree in Mobile and Satellite Communications from the University of Glamorgan.

Currently, Dr Leshan is working on a number of programmes at USW including telecommunication systems for 5G and beyond, Optical measurement technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems, Radio propagation characterisation, Air quality monitoring and space-related technological activities. 

PhD students

Yusuf Abubakar, WORIC Research

Yusuf Abubakar is a PhD research student at USW. His research focuses on active and fast tunable plasmonic metamaterials with Dr Kang Li and Prof Nigel Copner. 

For using light to manipulate the movement of free electrons in the metamaterials, a plasmonic thermal light source with flexible designed wavelength (3-5mm infrared) can be achieved with low cost and compact compared with a usual traditional light source, e.g. laser and LED.

Bethan Copner, WORIC

Bethan Copner obtained a BSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Southampton in 2019. She is currently working on a PhD at USW on ‘A novel solution to motion induced errors in frequency scanning interferometric coordinate metrology for high value manufacturing’ in partnership with NPL.

WORIC-Angharad PhD student

Angharad Curtis is an ESF-funded KESS PhD student. Her research interests are focused on medical diagnostics and her  PhD research investigates optimal imaging conditions surrounding fluorescence endoscopy and, the optical properties of the chemical marker IndoCyanine Green (ICG). 

Angharad has worked in both the Photonics and Medical Devices industry. She has an MSc in Biophotonics from Cardiff University and a BEng in Medical Engineering from Swansea University.

Chris Evered, WORIC

Chris Evered is an ESF-funded KESS PhD student at USW. His PhD title is 'Study of a low cost robust external-cavity–based speckle-free laser.' He will studying new methods of laser beam shaping which could lead to entirely new approaches in enhancing laser illumination for applications such as machine vision, metrology, and imaging. 

Chris has worked in industry since graduating in BSc Physics (with Hons) from the University of Warwick, supporting the research and development, technical sales and marketing of highly innovative light-based technologies (photonics), including lasers, optics, and cameras, for more than five years. 

The theoretical and practical experience gained during this time – which includes hand-on operation and testing of lasers and related systems – enabled Chris to pursue his PhD research in low power lasers.

Adam Jones, smaller picture, PhD student, WORIC

Adam Jones is a ESF-funded KESS PhD student at USW, conducting research into high speed optical metrology for measurement of chromium coatings on a steel substrate for TATA Steel Packaging, Trostre works. 

His research interests include industrial instrumentation and control, machine vision applications, renewable energy, and optoelectronics.

An experienced soldier and engineer, Adam has worked for the British Army and TATA Steel in electrical and electronics roles. He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (First class) at the University of South Wales in 2018 and pursued immediately onto a Master of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Distinction) at the University of South Wales. 

Chris Price, WORIC, PhD student

Chris Price is an ESF-funded KESS PhD at USW. His research interests are in high brightness LEDs and lasers to provide advancements in the medical industry. His PhD “White Light Endoscopy for Minimally Invasive Surgery” investigates possible improvements to white light sources for the investigation and removal of cancer tumours whilst keeping trauma and recovery time for the patient as low as possible.

Chris spent 20 years in the photonics industry, working with lasers and LEDs for a wide range of applications, where he held engineering and managerial roles. 

He received his BSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Birmingham in 2002 and MSc in Opto-electronics from the University of Hertfordshire in 2003.

Dun Qiao, PhD student, WORIC

Dun Qiao is a PhD student at USW. His thesis title is: An investigation of optical properties in passive and active nanophotonic structures and devices. 

His research interests focus on FEM/FDTD modeling and simulation for nanophotonic devices, Nonlinear characterization for semiconductor nano-waveguide, and optical extraction enhancement for OLED and QLED. 

Dun received a BSc in Theoretical Physics from Northwest University, China in 2014 and a Masters in optoelectronics from USW in 2017. 

Mahmod Sahal, WORIC PhD student

Mahmod Sahal is a PhD student at USW. He was awarded his MSc in Electronics and IT from USW in 2006. Previously, he studied Electronic Engineering at the Higher Institute of Engineering Technology, Zliten, Libya (HIETZ) going on to work as a laboratory instructor and lecturer.

Mahmod holds NLP certification, has been a USW student mentor and was the editor for HIETZ's Technology & Training Journal 2007- 2010.

Bo Zhang, PhD student, WORIC

Bo Zhang is a research PhD student at USW. His research interests are in the development of new generation LED/LD based high power light source for UV light exposure system.

As an experienced entrepreneur and engineer, Bo has spent 10 years in the photonics industry. He has worked as CEO and general manager of Henan Bai He Optical Research Institute Co., Ltd (Henan Province, China). He obtained his BSc IN Electric sciences and Technology at The Information Engineering University (China) in 2006, and a MSc in International Human Resource Management at University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) in 2008.

Yang Zhou, Phd Student, Woric

Yang Zhou is a PhD student at USW. His thesis title is: High efficiency broadband four wave mixing (FWM) generation in a multilayer graphene-based nano-waveguide. Yang's research interests focus on COMSOL modeling and simulation for four wave mixing waveguide.  

He received an Applied Physics BSc degree from University of Central Lancashire in 2013 and his Masters in Optoelectronics from USW in 2016. 


Jiuyuan Zhu is a PhD student working on Tunable Laser. He is aiming to build a new laser system that can achieve high tuning speed, wide tuning range, narrow linewidth, low cost, and stable operation. His research can be linked to high precision metrology, laser cooling, long distance communication, OCT etc.

Jiuyuan received BEng degree in Building Environment and Energy Applications in Civil Engineering in 2007 from China, and a Masters in Computational Modelling and Finite Elements in 2009 from Swansea University.