Prof. William Gillin shortlisted for QMUL Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Prof. William Gillin of the School of Physics and Astronomy and Director of QMUL’s Materials Research Institute has been shortlisted for the Bruce Dickinson Entrepreneur of the Year Award. His nomination stems from the establishment, in June 2017, of a spin-out company called Chromosol, which aims to revolutionise optical communication networks. 

Optical communication is the future of high speed data networks and is already being used for long distance data transfer. However, the technology is relatively expensive and hence datacentres frequently rely on electrical connections for shorter distance links, leading to a bottleneck in the data transfer rate and the generation of wasted energy.

Prof. Gillin’s research has led to the development of a new technology that will provide an extremely efficient amplification system which will overcome the data bottleneck and facilitate ultra-high speed communications right down to the chip level, thereby setting the scene for the next generation of computers.

To develop this technology further, Prof. Gillin has set up the spin-out company Chromosol. The aim of this commercialisation is to create a whole new technology sector which will play a key role in the growth of silicon photonics, the next stage in the evolution of computing systems. Prof. Gillin sits on the Chromosol Board as CTO and will guide its technical development over the next 18 months, when the aim is to produce, test and characterise the novel materials and use them to fabricate devices demonstrating the commercial viability of the approach.

The Bruce Dickinson award is presented each year to an individual in QMUL who has demonstrated significant in-year entrepreneurial activity. It is named for Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of the band Iron Maiden, business entrepreneur and QMUL alumnus.