In 2018, Dr Lidia Galdino, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in High-Capacity Transmission Systems at UCL, was awarded a Research Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering. These five-year fellowships provide support for some of the UK’s top postdoctoral engineering researchers, enabling them to develop their areas of academic research.
Dr Lidia Galdino was a co-recipient of the Academy’s Colin Campbell Mitchell Award in 2015 when UCL’s Optical Network Group received recognition for its pioneering contributions to optical communications technology. The team’s research focused on algorithms for optical communications and digital signal processing that led to significant benefits across many companies throughout the global photonics and commercial telecommunications sector.
Dr Galdino’s Research Fellowship work is focused on the next generation of high capacity, ultra-broadband optical fibre communications systems. She has led the much-heralded research that demonstrated, in 2020, the world’s fastest data transmission rate of 178 terabits per second. At this speed it would be possible to download the entire Netflix library in a few seconds.
The faster speed was achieved by transmitting data through a wider range of colours of light than is usually used in optical fibre. This was done by combining different optical amplifier technology (repeaters), needed to boost the signal power at intervals, along every 40 to 100 kilometres of optical fibre until the information reached its destination.
Research fellowships have an inbuilt flexibility so that family and health needs can be woven into the work/family life balance. Dr Galdino said "The flexibility to dedicate 80% of my time for research has been crucial to establish myself as a research leader in my specialised area.”
The remainder of Dr Galdino’s fellowship time will be spent developing new technologies to meet future data rate demands.