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Fatima Gunning

Principal Investigator

Dr Fatima Gunning (co-PI) is a Head of Graduate Studies at Tyndall National Institute, and Fellow of the Department of Physics and the School of Engineering at University College Cork, Ireland. Her research focus on applications of photonics technologies in flexible high capacity transmission systems; enabling adaptability with software defined networks; and in environmental and biological sensing. She has over 200 publications in journals and conferences, 4 patent families and is involved in a number of outreach and public engagement activities. She’s an advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, involved in a number of programmes locally and internationally. She’s a Senior Member of the IEEE and OSA, and serving a second term as VP of Membership for IEEE Photonics Society. Pronouns: she/her.


Dr. Fatima Gunning received her B.Sc. degree in Physics in 1995, M.Sc. in Nonlinear Optics in 1997, and Ph.D in Optoelectronics in 2000 from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil, investigating the fundamental and induced nonlinear properties in glasses, optical fibres and planar waveguides through a technique called thermal poling.

As a postgraduate, she was also a visitor and an intern at British Telecom Research Laboratories, Martlesham Heath, UK, over several periods between 1996 and 2000, where her primary goal was to implement the thermal poling techniques towards specially designed optical fibres and planar waveguides. Following the award of her doctorate, she was recruited by Corning Research Centre at Adastral Park, UK, to work on advanced electroabsorption-based optical modulators for application in high-speed optical transmission telecommunication networks. In May 2003 she was a core member of the team that moved to the Tyndall National Institute to found the Photonics Systems Group with support from Science Foundation Ireland.

Since 2003 Fatima has focussed predominantly on novel spectrally efficient techniques for high speed optical transmission, including all-optical OFDM and multimode fibre transmission. She also leads a team that is developing novel optical fibre-based sensors with applications in the chemical and biological industries. She has published over 70 scientific papers in journals and conferences and has 3 patents, and she is a member of IEEE, OSA, IOP and the Brazilian Physics Society (SBF).