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Ortwin Hess's research interests bridge quantum nanophotonics with semiconductor and metamaterials physics, laser science and bio-medical photonics. He discovered the ‘trapped-rainbow’ principle, had the idea of stopped-light lasing and made defining contributions to the fields of spatio-temporal dynamics of semiconductor lasers, ultraslow light in metamaterials, complex quantum dot photonics and photonic crystals and strong coupling in nanoplasmonics.
Ortwin Hess currently holds the Chair Professorship of Quantum Nanophotonics and an SFI Research Professorship in the School of Physics and the CRANN Institute of Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Ireland. He is Editor-in-Chief of the gold open-access journal APL Quantum. Ortwin is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP), a Fellow of Optica (formerly OSA) and a Professorial Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.
Previously, Ortwin held the Leverhulme Chair in Metamaterials in the Blackett Laboratory at Imperial College London, UK. From 2003 to 2010 he was a full professor at the University of Surrey (Guildford, UK) and visiting professor at Stanford University, USA, and at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.
Ortwin obtained the Dr.-rer-nat. (PhD) degree from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany in 1993 and the Habilitation (Dr.-habil.) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany in 1997.
Ortwin Hess has received numerous honors and awards. Most notably, Ortwin has been awarded the Royal Society Rumford Medal for pioneering active nanoplasmonics and optical metamaterials with quantum gain.