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Currently Professor at Heriot-Watt University, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Prof Shephard’s research (Applied Optics and Photonics) is targeted at number of areas: He leads the development of high power laser processes for surgery and other novel laser processes for medicine and also develops novel optical fibres for high power laser delivery and technologies for integrating lasers into manufacturing processes. There is an emphasis on developing multidisciplinary links with academic and industrial partners and medical end users such as surgeons and dentists.


Prof Shephard received the BA degree in Engineering at St Johns College, Cambridge University in 1994 and then joined Pilkington Plc (1994-1995) working within R&D. He then returned to study within the Department of Engineering Materials, University of Sheffield and was awarded an MSc (Eng) with Distinction in 1996. He subsequently remained at the University of Sheffield where he worked on developing novel mid-IR transmitting optical fibres and waveguides. He obtained his PhD in 2000 for his work on “Surface modification of IR transmitting glasses for integrated optics” and continued to work in the area of novel mid-infrared fibres and optical materials. In 2003 he joined the Applied Optics and Photonics Group at Heriot-Watt University, working on the development of novel micro-structured (Photonic Crystal) fibres, and is now a Professor within the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences.

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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