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Ian obtained his PhD from Heriot-Watt in 1986 working on light propagation effects in optical bistability. He then spent over two years as a postdoc at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Frankfurt, Germany exploring nonlinear dynamics in optical systems before performing some of the first studies of excitons and biexcitons in quantum wires. He left Germany to joined Phillips Research Labs, Redhill, UK, where he continued to work on the optical physics of semiconductor heterostructures. He returned to Heriot-Watt in 1991 as a Royal Society University Research Fellow, and joined the efforts which ultimately produced Europe’s first blue laser based on the wide bandgap semiconductor ZnSe. Upon completion of the Fellowship he became a Reader and latterly a Professor in the Physics Department. His research group currently spans both organic and inorganic semiconductors with a focus on correlation effects and nonlinear optics relevant to photonic devices. He has served as both Head of Department and Director of Research for the School and heads the Heriot Watt wing of the Doctoral Training Centre in Condensed Matter Physics.