ORC Seminar Series

“Speciality optical fibre manufacture and development”

Speaker: Dr. Chris Emslie, Managing Director, Fibercore Ltd.

Date:     Wednesday  1st October 2008

Time:    2pm

Venue: Building 46, Lecture Theatre A 


In the context of some of the areas of specific interest raised by the ORC (Photodarkening, Compatibility between PANDA and Bow-Tie fibres, Erbium and other active fibers and potential for future collaboration), Chris will attempt to address three of the Great Imponderables of techno-commercial life:

1.            Why it takes more than just a good idea

2.            Why everything always takes much longer than you expect

3.            Why making money is actually the boring bit


Dr. Chris Emslie has more than twenty five years experience working in the fiberoptics industry and became Managing Director of UK based Fibercore Limited, in 1993, where he has been instrumental in growing the billings by more than thirty times. Chris has spearheaded an increase in global sales for the fiber optic gyroscope and fiber amplifier markets, with more than 98.5% percent of Fibercore’s production being shipped outside of the UK, every year.  In 2001, the company was awarded its first Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade and in 2004 was awarded its second for Innovation.

This phenomenal growth has resulted in the company opening a state-of-the-art, purpose built production and R&D facility in January 2003 at the company’s Southampton (UK) headquarters. Chris helped implement World Class management processes and procedures at Fibercore and in 1994 achieved ISO9001 within nine months. In 2004 the company achieved ISO 14000 accreditation and Chris accepted Fibercore’s second Queen’s Award for Enterprise - this time in the Innovation Category for the development of PM fibers for gyroscopes (FOG), a magnum opus spanning almost two decades.

2007 saw Chris receiving a further two Queen’s Awards on behalf of Fibercore Limited, in the Sustainable Development category, and again, in the International Trade category. The awards were presented to Chris by HRH The Duke of Kent KG, and made the company the first and only to hold Queen’s Awards simultaneously in all three categories: International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development.

Chris studied Mechanical Engineering at Sheffield University before achieving a PhD from Southampton University in 1988 in fiber development.  He was a Fellow of the Southampton University Optical Fibre Group, a world-renowned centre of excellence, which has pioneered many of the fiber optic advances in both the fiber sensors, global telecoms and Internet industries. Chris also worked as an engineer at Corning’s pilot production facilities for optical fiber in North Carolina, USA.

Before joining Fibercore, Chris worked for some of the top names in the fiberoptics industry, helping to develop the businesses of both York VSOP and York Fibres as Product Manager and Marketing Manager respectively.  He has also acted as an advisor on specialty optical fiber usage for government organisations and space agencies.

In addition to Chris’ experience in the optical fiber industry, he has a wide experience of all key management functions.  He has also been instrumental in the set up and relocation of organisations and adopts a pragmatic and energetic approach to everything he undertakes.

In his spare time, Chris has active interests in antique arms and armour, vintage and classic motor cars, power boating and clay pigeon shooting.

Copyright University of Southampton 2006