The Team



Professor of Engineering Science


Steve undertook his first degree (in maths and physics) at Exeter University. He then stayed on at Exeter in the physics department to study for his Ph.D. under the direction of Prof. Sir Roy Sambles (FRS). He moved to Oxford in 1991, holding a senior research fellowship at Somerville College funded by GEC/Marconi and the Royal Academy of Engineering. This was followed by a Royal Society Research Fellowship. In 1996 he became a university lecturer in engineering science at Oxford, held jointly with a tutorial fellowship at St. John’s College.

Steve’s present research interests are mainly in the field of novel liquid crystal materials and applications, within which he undertakes both theoretical and experimental work. The theoretical work has three main strands: (i) the applications of liquid crystal continuum theory to novel liquid crystal phases; (ii) the interactions between order and elasticity in liquid crystalline systems; (iii) advanced optics of liquid crystal displays. Experimental work undertaken includes the study of alignment and switching processes in novel liquid crystal phases, and also the applications of liquid crystalline materials in display technology.

Contact details:

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PJ


Associate Professor 


Stephen is an Associate Professor in the Optoelectronic sector of the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. He is also a Tutorial and Ana Leaf Foundation Fellow in Engineering at Jesus College, Oxford, where he teaches the first and second year undergraduate courses in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering as part of the General Engineering MEng course. He obtained a Masters in Physics degree from the University of Southampton, specialising in Space Science, and a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. In 2011, Stephen was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to conduct research on random laser devices, which he held until September 2016, first at Cambridge and then at Oxford. From 2007 to 2013, Stephen was also a Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he was the Director of Studies in Physics for Part I.

For his research on liquid crystalline materials, he was the recipient of the Young Scientist award by the British Liquid Crystal Society in 2010 and in 2012 he received the Runner-up prize of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s ERA Foundation Entrepreneur’s award in conjunction with two colleagues at Cambridge (Dr Damian Gardiner and Dr Philip Hands). In 2014, Stephen was awarded the Ben Sturgeon Prize by the Society for Information Display. He is also an Associate Editor of the journal Optical Materials, Chairman of the Oxford Photonics Network ( and Academic Director for the Oxford Professional Development Programme in AI & Technology. He has published more than 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals and co-authored 5 book chapters. Selected Publications include:

Contact Details:


EPSRC Research Fellow

Julian is an EPSRC Research Fellow. He graduated from University College London in 1991 with a first class degree in Electronic Engineering with Optoelectronics. He went on to gain a Ph.D. in Quantum Well Optical Modulators from the School of Physics, University of Bath. He then moved into industry, first spending 3 years at GEC-Marconi Caswell researching optical devices, optical phased array radar systems and optical sensor systems. He then spent 7 Years at Nortel Networks Harlow Laboratories undertaking research into high capacity optical transmission systems. Following this he became Research and Development Manager at Cambridge start-up Splashpower, pioneering wireless power for mobile devices. Subsequently he moved to QinetiQ spin-out company Stingray Geophysical as Optical Systems Manager. Here he was responsible for the development of a large scale optical sensor interrogation system for seismic imaging of oil and gas fields. He is now working on instrumentation to gain a greater understanding of the dynamic optical performance of liquid crystal devices. Highlights of Julian’s research include inventing the twin fibre grating tunable dispersion compensator and devising the first negative chirp electroabsorption modulator. This latter device is now a key component in optical telecommunications systems. At Oxford, Julian is developing new liquid crystal phase modulators, new time-resolved measurement techniques and is pioneering the development of new sensor technology using laser-written Fibre Bragg gratings, for which he was awarded a prestigious 5-year EPSRC Fellowship in 2020. For further details, see the publications and Research pages and/or contact Julian directly using the details below.

Contact Details:



Yunuen is an EU MSCA Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. He obtained his BSc in Physics at the University of Guanajuato (Mexico). He specialized in optoelectronics with exchange programs at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and HASYLAB (Germany). In 2008 he was awarded a CONACYT scholarship to study for an MSc at the University of Dundee and simultaneously he joined the engineering team at Plastic Logic Ltd in Cambridge (UK) where he collaborated on the development of flexible organic transistors. In 2011, he was awarded a Cambridge Trust Scholarship to pursue for a PhD at the University of Cambridge. During his graduate studies, Yunuen studied the properties of plasmonic nanostructures and demonstrated their unique applications in photonic devices. In 2015 he enrolled at Imperial College London as a Postdoctoral Research Associate where he demonstrated the first nanoplasmonic liquid metamaterial. Later, he joined an optics research centre of the National Council of Research in Mexico. He has been awarded various industrial and scientific grants and has co-authored more than 30 scientific articles that have acquired more than a thousand citations. His work has been published in some of the most influential scientific journals, including Nature Materials, Nature Communications and PNAS, and have been highlighted in numerous news outlets such as Nature News, Popular Science and Cambridge BlueSci. Yunuen is pioneer in the field of optically reconfigurable nanomaterials and recently has been awarded with an EU MSCA Fellowship to work on functional nanophotonic elements for applications in dynamic holography, displays, active optics, tunable lasers and optoelectronics. 

Contact Details:



Taimoor graduated with distinction in a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Government College (GC) University, Lahore. His research work during his Masters degree was on the development of organic solar cells aimed to improve solar efficiency while reducing the cost. Part of his MS research work received 1st prize at International Symposium on Advance Materials (ISAM-2013) as poster presentation. Following his MS, Taimoor joined Faculty of Engineering Sciences in GIK Institute as Research Associate (RA) and worked with research theme Semiconductors & Superconductivity. As an RA, he published work on organic semiconductors and devices, particularly on photo-detectors and photoelectrochemical cells. He started his D.Phil. in Engineering Science at The University of Oxford to work on inorganic semiconductors and liquid crystals and is supervised by Dr Stephen Morris and Prof. Steve Elston. He is also a graduate member at Wolfson College.



Bohan obtained his Bachelors degree in Physics and Optoelectronics Engineering from the Taiyuan University of Technology in 2017. He built and led a public welfare team based on a project called “Biological Slow Filter” (BSF) cooperating with Tsinghua University from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, he won first place in an “Optoelectronic Scholarship” sponsored by Hanben Niu, one of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He also conducted research in a new scheme focused on an ultrafast random number generator based on a chaotic laser in 2017. He graduated with a Masters degree in Optics and Photonics from Imperial College London in 2020 and his Master’s research project involved exploring a new method of generating large area optical beams for atom interferometry based on a catadioptric structure. Previously, he has published a paper on Chemosphere in ELSEVIER. Bohan joined the Soft Matter Photonics group in October 2020 and is supervised by Dr. Stephen Morris and Prof. Steve Elston. He is also a graduate member at St Anne's College, Oxford.



Yihan graduated with a Bachelors degree in Optoelectronics from the Beijing Institute of Technology in 2019. She conducted research related to new surface-modification strategies suitable for PbS Colloidal Quantum Dot inks at the University of Alberta, USA, in 2018. She has also been involved in building a 4.5x zoom optical system and designing a optical fiber imaging system. Her graduation project was on the use of Gaussian system and zoom optical systems for the development of an optical system that could achieve a large field of view and identify six-magnitude stars with a high accuracy. Previously, she has published papers on quantum dots and optical system design. Yihan joined the Soft Matter Photonics group in October 2019 and is supervised by Dr. Stephen Morris and Prof. Steve Elston. Outside of the lab. Yihan enjoys fencing and Chinese folk dance, She is also a graduate student at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.



Waqas graduated with a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from COMSATS University (Sahiwal Campus) Pakistan and obtained a masters degree in the same field from Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences, Pakistan. His master’s research project was to investigate the jetting phenomenon of Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) jet printing. In addition, he fabricated a silver nanoparticle-based miniature resistive sensor on a PET substrate using an EHD printing technique. In October 2018, he joined the Soft Matter Photonics group to study the deposition techniques of liquid crystal materials using drop-on-demand inkjet printing and EHD jet printing.  He is also a graduate member at Exeter College.




Mengmeng graduated with a double Master’s degree both in Instrument and Meter Engineering from Tsinghua University and Production System Engineering from RWTH Aachen University in 2020 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Electronic Engineering from China Agricultural University. Her research work during her Masters degree was on the fabrication of high sensitivity pressure microsensor which can be used in wearable devices. She started her DPhil in Engineering Science in the University of Oxford and joined the Soft Matter Photonics in October, 2020. She is studying under the supervision of Dr Stephen Morris and Professor Steve Elston. She is also a graduate student at Mansfield College.



John ONeill John graduated with a Masters degree in Natural Sciences from University College London in 2015, with a specialism in condensed matter physics and inorganic chemistry. His masters project looked into the solution-based processing of graphene and carbon nanotubes and the fabrication of transparent conducting films from these materials. After graduating, he joined Sharp Laboratories of Europe, working on the development of compact UV laser sources. He joined the Soft Matter Photonics and Dynamic Optics and Photonics group in February 2017 to study for a DPhil in Engineering Science and holds an EPSRC I-CASE Studentship with Merck. His project is on direct laser writing of 3D polymeric materials in liquid crystal devices, looking towards applications in photonics. Outside of the lab John enjoys rock climbing, skiing and reading and is a graduate member of Wolfson College.



Andrew graduated with a Master's degree in Physics from Trinity College (University of Oxford) in 2019, specialising in atmospheric physics and condensed matter physics. His masters project used a laboratory wave tank analogue to model the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, a periodic wind reversal in the upper atmosphere. He joined the Soft Matter Photonics group as part of his DPhil which is supervised jointly across the Engineering Science and Theoretical Physics departments. He is co-supervised by Professor Alfonso Castrejon-Pita (Engineering Science) who runs the fluid dynamics laboratory and Professor Julia Yeomans (Theoretical Physics). He holds an EPSRC Studentship and is a member of the Queen's College MCR. He tutors the Classical Mechanics course for undergraduate physicists. Outside of the lab Andrew enjoys singing and is regularly involved backstage in shows around Oxford.



Yuping graduated with distinction in Master’s degree of Mechanical Engineering from The University of Hong Kong (HKU).His MPhil research focused on graphene/oxide electrode materials and ferroelectric nanostructures, with his MPhil thesis winning the best postgraduate thesis award from HKU. In October 2017, he started his D.Phil. in Engineering Science at The University of Oxford and joined the group to develop photo-alignment and high resolution patterning of liquid crystalline conjugated polymers for polarized LEDs and polymer lasers, under supervision of Dr Stephen Morris and Prof. Donal Bradley. He is also a graduate student at St. Cross College and a Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Oxford Scholar.



Zipei graduated with a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from University College London in 2017. He built models for superconductive LC resonators for Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectrum in a project led by the London Centre of Nanotechnology. In 2020, he graduated with a Masters degree in Optics and Photonics from Imperial College London and conducted research on developing methods to numerically calculate the band structure and spin Chern number for Photonic Topological insulators made with a bi-anisotropic meta-material. Zipei joined the Soft Matter Photonics and Dynamic Optics and Photonics Groups in October 2020 as a DPhil student supervised by Dr. Stephen Morris and Dr. Julian Fells. The focus of his research is on the development of novel Optical Fibre Bragg Grating sensors filled with Liquid Crystalline materials.



Atchut is a D.Phil. student working on the development of new thin-film liquid crystal technologies. He is working with Professors Steve Morris and Steve Elston in the Soft Matter Photonics Group and is co-supervised by Professor Martin Booth in the Dynamic Optics and Photonics group. He obtained his Master of Science (by research) degree in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras in 2019. Athcut is also a member of Wadham College.



Xiuze graduated with a bachelor degree in Engineering Science from University of Nottingham in 2013. He focused his studies on using two tunable lasers to develop beat frequency sources to excite the vibration of membranes. After that, he went to the University of Cambridge to carry out research on GaN LEDs and optofludics systems. In 2016, he went to Toshiba (Japan) as part of an internship on developing semiconductor devices. He joined the Soft Matter Photonics group in October 2017 to develop liquid crystal technologies for medical imaging applications. Xiuze is also a graduate student at Jesus College, Oxford.



Guanxiong graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Optoelectronic Information Science and Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology in July 2020. His graduation project was the design of a carrier-modulated lidar system in autonomous driving. Guanxiong attended the summer session at Yale University in 2018 and was an innovation and incubation intern at Ericsson (China) Communications Co., Ltd in 2019. In October 2020, Guanxiong started his DPhil at the University of Oxford in the Soft Matter Photonics group supervised by Dr. Stephen Morris and Prof. Steve Elston. Guanxiong is now conducting research on thin-film lasers. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing the piano and running. Guanxiong is also a graduate student at Somerville College, Oxford.



Zimo graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering with First Class Honours from the University of Glasgow in 2020. His final year project involved constructing and evaluating a Terahertz measuring system with a 140GHz – 300GHz vector network analyser (VNA) which could generate 3D images of concealed objects and characterize the performance of Terahertz antennas. Previously, he has published papers about the performance of that system. Zimo joined the Soft Matter Photonics group in October 2020 and is supervised by Dr. Stephen Morris and Prof. Steve Elston. His major research area is to study the characteristics and applications of liquid crystals in microwaves and terahertz and the fabrication of liquid crystal antennas using polyjet printing. He is also a graduate student at Somerville College.





David graduated with a Masters degree in Engineering Science from Brasenose College (University of Oxford) in 2013. He focused his studies around electronics and communications, culminating in a fourth year project working with Prof Dominic O’Brien. His project ‘Visible Light Communications using Smart Phones’ won both the externally judged ‘Best Electronics Project’ prize and the internal ‘Best Electronics and Communications Project’ prize. In January 2014, he joined the Soft Matter Photonics group to develop liquid crystal technologies for controlling laser speckle. David was a graduate student at Brasenose College, Oxford.  Following his DPhil, he working on a seed-funded project to develop novel speckle reducing devices.



Dr Jia-De Lin

Jia-De received his PhD degree from the Department of Photonics, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in 2015. His PhD topic was on tunable photonic bandgap devices and lasers based on cholesteric and blue phase liquid crystals. From May 2014 to March 2015, He was a visiting PhD student in the Photonics group at the University of Bristol (UK) to combine the direct laser writing technique with liquid crystal materials for tunable photonics applications under the supervision of Prof. John Rarity (FRS). After being a postdoctoral researcher in NCKU for 2 years, Jia-De joined the Soft Matter Photonics group in Oxford in August 2017 as an academic research with the financial support from the Ministry of Science and technology (MOST) of Taiwan. Jia-De’s research focuses on, but not limited to, the development of novel photonic applications based on liquid crystal materials, especially on tunable liquid crystal lasers. In addition to tunable photonic devices, he is also enthusiastic about expanding his research field into smart textiles, energy-saving windows, and controllable soft-matter micro-rotators. He is now an Assistant Professor at the National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan. 


Jun received his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University (China), Master in Physical Electronics from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, PhD on Precision Engineering from Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt & Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany). Before returning to academia, he spent more than five years in research and development of advance photolithography machine tools at SMEE. He started his first postdoctoral position in 2015 at the Dynamic Optics and Photonics group, University of Oxford, working on the fabrication of integrated photonics circuits for quantum information processing, which was part of the Network of Quantum Information Technologies consortium based at Oxford. During his time in the Soft Matter Photonics group femtosecond laser writing for soft matter photonics applications.



Dr Ellis Parry graduated with a Masters degree in Engineering from St John's College (University of Oxford) in 2015. His final-year research project involved building an inkjet printing system for the deposition of complex fluids, supervised by Dr Stephen Morris and Dr Alfonso Castrejon-Pita. In October 2015, he joined the Soft Matter Photonics Group to develop a bespoke drop-on-demand printing system capable of dispensing complex active fluids. He was a co-supervised by Professor Alfonso Castrejon-Pita who runs the fluid dynamics laboratory in the Department of Engineering Science. Ellis also held an EPSRC I-CASE Studentship and was a graduate student at St John's College. 




Chloe  joined the group having graduated from Imperial College London with a Bachelors degree in Physics (BSc), before obtaining a Masters Degree in Space Science and Engineering (MSc) at University College London, specialising in Spacecraft Technology and Satellite Communications. In 2013, she obtained a Masters in Research (MRes) at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonics Systems Development, University of Cambridge, where she published work on indium gallium nitride (InGaN) quantum wells for ultra-efficient light emitting diodes. This work was carried out at the GaN centre, which is based in the Materials & Metallurgy Department at the University of Cambridge. Following her MRes, Chloe joined the Soft Matter Photonics group at Oxford for a DPhil in Engineering Science. Her thesis project involved the study of flexoelectric liquid crystals and as well as the study of direct laser writing in polymerisable liquid crystal devices, which was carried out in collaboration with the Dynamic Optics and Photonics group. Chloe was also a graduate student at Linacre College, Oxford. Chloe completed her DPhil studies in September 2017.



After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics at Politecnico di Milano, Serena then followed a Double Masters Degree program (T.I.M.E.) at the Université libre de Bruxelles in 2012 and the Politecnico di Milano in 2013, specializing in Photonics and Nanotechnology, respectively. In 2013 she was awarded an FRIA Fellowship grant and started a joint PhD with the Université libre de Bruxelles and Universiteit Gent to work on soliton formation in liquid crystals (LCs) as well as the gain properties of dye and polymer doped liquid crystals. With the generous financial support of the Philippe Weiner - Maurice Anspach Foundation, she worked in the Soft Matter Photonics group where she carried out research on the flexoelectro-optic effect in dye doped liquid crystals. While in Oxford, Serena was supervised by Dr Stephen Morris, Professor Steve Elston and Professor Martin Booth (Head of the Dynamic Optics and Photonics group). Serena was also a member of Jesus College, Oxford. 




Sharad Raval did his final year undergraduate project in the group in the 2016-2017 academic year. His project involved the investigation of speckle and noise reduction in laser imaging systems.He was also a member of New College, Oxford.



Konrad graduated from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in 2016, with a Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and in Materials Science. Afterwards, he started his Masters degree on an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, Molecular nano- and bio-photonics for telecommunications and biotechnologies (MONABIPHOT), which is a joint programme between three European universities: École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. His research interest is oriented around photo-electric properties of photochromic molecules, such as azobenzenes and spiropyrans, and nonlinear optical characteristics of a variety of materials. He was a member of the Soft Matter Photonics Group from February to July 2017 where he was conducting part of his Masters project on periodic polymer scaffolds in liquid crystalline materials. Konrad is now a PhD student at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology.


SIMON WOODSimon graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, in 2012 with a Masters in Chemistry (MChem) after working in the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Grant Ritchie. His project was to use quantum cascade lasers for trace gas detection - specifically to detect acetone in breath in order to diagnose diabetes.

Subsequently, he joined the Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonics Systems Development and St John's College Cambridge. There he worked under the supervision of Prof. Tim Wilkinson, working on adaptive pumping of liquid crystal lasers using computer generated holography to achieve both wavelength tuning and pseudo continuous wave operation of such lasers. Subsequently he worked with Ilumink, Ltd. to develop printable liquid crystal lasers for anti-counterfeiting purposes. Simon then returned to Balliol and Oxford to start a DPhil in the Soft Matter Photonics group. His project was focussed on developing new thin-film laser devices. He completed his DPhil studies in September 2016.


Dongjin conducted his final year project on the construction of a dual-head, drop-on-demand inkjet printing system for the deposition of complex fluids. He was also a member of Jesus College.


Artem was a final year undergraduate student at New College specialising in Chemical Engineering and Optoelectronics. His fourth year project involved using liquid crystal lasers as light sources for imaging applications.