Job title
Vice Principal
Julian Jones

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America

External appointments

  • Member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council
  • Member of the UK Defence Scientific Advisory Council
  • Member of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills 'Photonics Leadership Group'
  • Various Institute of Physics Boards and Committee roles including Honorary Treasurer and Director of IOP Publishing
  • Director, OptoSci Ltd


  • BSc (Hons), Physics, University College of Wales
  • PhD University College of Wales

Career history

  • 1979-1982: Research Associate, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth
  • 1982 – 1988: Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, University of Kent at Canterbury
  • 1988 – 1998: Reader, then Professor of Engineering Optics, Heriot-Watt University
  • 1998 – 2002: Head of the Department of Physics, Heriot-Watt University
  • 2002 – 2007: Head of the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
  • 2007 – 2010: Deputy Principal for Strategy and Resources, Heriot-Watt University
  • 2010 - : Vice-Principal, Heriot-Watt University

Areas of research

Science and technology of applied optics, often based on optical fibres, and for applications in instrumentation, of which a representative selection includes: monitoring techniques for laser welding; instrumentation for jet engine design experiments; pressure sensors used in experiments for mitigation of terrorist explosions; fluorescence techniques for detection of contamination in surgical instruments; the first quantitative measurements of wing shape in natural insect flight; and many more.

Interests and hobbies

  • See ‘Areas of research'!
  • Also: observational astronomy; and wild places