Alan Miller


  • EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

1974 …2012

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Alan Miller held the position of Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer) and Professor of Physics at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) from May 2009 to Dec 2014. He was also a SRC Research Fellow and Research Associate at HWU from Sept 1974 to Mar 1979.  Since 2015, he has been Professor Emeritus in Physics at Heriot-Watt University, and since May 2015, CEO of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), and formally employed in this role by the University of Glasgow on behalf of the 8 university partners (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, St Andrews, Strathclyde and West of Scotland).  He was a co-founder and is co-Director since 2009 of Scottish Crucible, a Scotland-wide academic leadership programme funded by SFC and administered by HWU and RSE.  He has been a Trustee of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) since May 2015; Chair of the Management Board of the RZSS Living Links and Bodongo Research Centre at Edinburgh Zoo since 2015; a Trustee of the Scottish Universities Summer Schools in Physics (SUSSP) since March 2017; and Vice President of the Zoological Society of Glasgow and the West of Scotland (ZSGWS) since 2017. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, having taken on the role of Fellowship Secretary from 2011 to 2014, previously acting as Research Awards Convener at RSE from 2008 to 2011. He moved to HWU from the University of St Andrews where he was a Professor of Physics (1993 to 2009), and held the posts of Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy (1997-2003), and Vice Principal for Research (2003 to 2008). Previous employments have included Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA (1979-81), Individual Merit Scientist at the Royal Signals and radar Establishment (now Qinetiq), Malvern (1981-89), and Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the Centre for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, University of Central Florida, USA (1989-1993). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK), Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (USA), Optical Society of America (USA), and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (UK). He was a member of the Scottish Funding Council Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee (2003-2010); he has been active in the development of “research pooling” in Scotland and enhancing the skills and leadership potential of early career researchers, with his team winning the Times Higher Education Award for “outstanding support for early career researchers” in 2008. He has been Director of four NATO International Summer Schools in lasers and related topics.

Research interests

Ultrafast physics of nanostructured semiconductors, lasers and optoelectronic devices bridging fundamental physics, electrical engineering, and photonics applications

Roles & Responsibilities

Deputy Principal (Research and Knowledge Transfer)

Fellowship Secretary, Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professor of Physics

External positions

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance

1 May 2015 → …


  • QC Physics
  • Semiconductors, lasers


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