Skip to main content


Photo of Prof Bill Barnes

Prof Bill Barnes

Professor of Photonics


Telephone: 01392 724135

Extension: (Streatham) 4135

Visit personal website »

I have been fascinated by science since an early age. An interest in astronomy led to the choice of a Physics degree, and I haven't looked back since. My current research involves the interaction between light and matter - particularly those involving molecules. I received BSc and PhD Physics from Exeter in 1983 and 1986 respectively. From 1986 - 1992 I was a research fellow in the Optoelectronics Research Centre at Southampton University. In 1992 I was appointed to a staff position at Exeter. I was fortunate enough to be a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder between 2004 and 2010. I am a fellow of the Optical Society of America, and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and receved the Thomas Young medal and prize in 2019. I am delighted to also hold the appointment of Chair of Complex Plasmonics in the Complex Optical and Photonic Systems (COPS) group at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. I currently hold an ERC Advanced Grant.

Further details of my current research can be found at my ERC project web page.

Positions and Employment

  • 2013 -         Professor of Complex Plasmonics, University of Twente, Netherlands.
  • 2001 -         Professor of Photonics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Exeter.
  • 2000 - 2001 Reader in Photonics, School of Physics, University of Exeter.
  • 1997 - 2000 Senior Lecturer, School of Physics, University of Exeter.
  • 1992 - 1997 Lecturer, Department of Physics, University of Exeter.
  • 1990 - 1992 Senior Research Fellow, ORC, Southampton University.
  • 1986 - 1990 Research Fellow, Optical Fibre Group, Southampton University.


  • Thomas Young Medal and Prize (IoP) (2019)
  • Ellected Fellow of the Institue of Physics (2019)
  • Elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America (2008)
  • Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2004)