C. E. Webb

C. E. Webb

Brief Biography

Colin E. Webb (MBE FRS) was born in Erith, Kent, England in 1937. He received the degree of BSc (Physics) at the University of Nottingham in 1960. On completing his DPhil at Oxford in 1964 he became a member of technical staff of Bell Laboratories in New Jersey USA where he was responsible for much of the early development of the argon ion laser. He returned to Oxford University in 1968 to take up a Research Fellowship and to head the Laser group at the Clarendon Laboratory. In 1970 he became a University Lecturer and in 1971 he was elected as a Tutorial Fellow of Jesus College.

Professor Webb has supervised more than 35 D.Phil students in research projects which have led, for example, to the discovery of numerous new laser transitions in the visible and ultraviolet regions as well as the development of practical excimer and high power metal vapour lasers.

In 1977 together with colleagues and former students he set up Oxford Lasers Ltd., and has served as Chairman of the Company from its beginning. The Company is today recognized as a world leader in High-Speed Imaging and Laser Micro-machining technology.

Webb is the editor-in-chief of a three-volume encyclopedia entitled The Handbook of Laser Technology and Applications published in 2003 by the Institute of Physics (now distributed by Taylor and Francis). The book includes contributions from more than 140 authors from around the world. Together with Professor Simon Hooker, Colin Webb is co-author of the textbook Laser Physics published by Oxford University Press in 2010.

Until his retirement in 2002, Colin Webb was the ad hominem Professor of Laser Physics at the University of Oxford, and from 1995-1999 he was Head of Atomic and Laser Physics. For many years he held visiting Professorships at Cranfield and Salford Universities. He was awarded the degree of D.Sc. by Salford University in 1996. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Optical Society of America serving as Director-at-Large from 1991-1994. From 1992 until 2011 he was a member of the Optoelectronics Advisory Committee of the Rank Prize Funds. In 1991 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and in 1997 he founded and was the first President of the UK Consortium for Photonics and Optics (UKCPO), a post which he held until 2002. In January 2000 he was awarded an MBE for services to the UK Laser Industry.

Selected Publications

Additional Biographies


Page published on the 15th of February, 2017

Updated on the 9th of March, 2017