Alexander Valavanis


I received my MEng (Hons) degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of York and my PhD degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Leeds in 2004 and 2009 respectively.

From 2004–2005, I worked with STFC Daresbury Laboratories, Cheshire, developing X-ray detector systems. From 2005–2009, my PhD with the Quantum Electronics Group in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, focused on the development of numerical simulations, in C/C++, of quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) in the silicon–germanium material system. Since 2009, I have worked in the Terahertz (THz) Photonics Laboratory within the same institute, developing new THz imaging and sensing techniques.  In 2016, I was appointed as a University Academic Fellow in THz instrumentation.  In this role, I will focus on the development of THz sources and systems for satellite-based Atmospheric and Space science applications, and for new lab-based high-precision chemical sensing techniques.

My research has been recognised through awards including the IET Electronics Letters Premium Award (2015) for developing the world-record-holding highest-powered THz QCL, the BNFL Peter Wilson Award (2009) for Materials Engineering research, and the GW Carter (2008) and FW Carter (2009) prizes for my PhD research at Leeds.

Research interests

  • THz imaging and sensing
  • Self-mixing (feedback) interferometry
  • Trace-gas detection
  • Diffuse-reflectance imaging of powders
  • Quantum-cascade lasers
  • THz sources for space and atmospheric science
  • Charge transport and band-structure in semiconductor nanostructures 
  • Numerical methods for quantum electronics simulations


  • PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds (2009)
  • MEng (Hons) in Electronic Engineering, University of York (2004)

Professional memberships

  • Member of Institution of Engineering and Technology

Student education

My teaching activities include leading examples classes in Engineering Mathematics and Analytical Techniques, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation case studies with the Leeds University Business School.  I also supervise project students within the THz photonics lab, in a wide range of activities, including imaging, control systems and satellite technology.

Research groups and institutes

  • Pollard Institute