Read about Professor Harald Haas and Li-Fi

Professor Haas’ current research focuses on three main areas:

Short Bio

Professor Haas received the PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2001. He currently holds the Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, and is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of pureLiFi Ltd as well as the Director of the LiFi Research and Development Center at the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests are in optical wireless communications, hybrid optical wireless and RF communications, spatial modulation, and interference coordination in wireless networks. He first introduced and coined spatial modulation and LiFi. LiFi was listed among the 50 best inventions in TIME Magazine 2011.

Prof. Haas was an invited speaker at TED Global 2011, and his talk: "Wireless Data from Every Light Bulb" has been watched online more than 2.2 million times. He gave a second TED Global lecture in 2015 on the use of solar cells as LiFi data detectors and energy harvesters. This has been viewed online more than 1 million times.  Professor Haas holds 31 patents and has more than 30 pending patent applications. He has published 300 conference and journal papers including a paper in Science. He co-authors a book entitled: "Principles of LED Light Communications Towards Networked Li-Fi" published with Cambridge University Press in 2015. Prof. Haas is editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications and IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technologies. He was co-recipient of recent best paper awards at the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC-Fall) in Las Vegas in 2013, and VTC-Spring in Glasgow in 2015. He was co-recipient of the EURASIP Best Paper Award for the Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking in 2015, and co-recipient of the Jack Neubauer Memorial Award of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society. In 2012, he was the recipient of the prestigious Established Career Fellowship from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) within Information and Communications Technology in the UK.  Prof. Haas is recipient of the Tam Dalyell Prize 2013 awarded by the University of Edinburgh for excellence in engaging the public with science.  In 2014, he was selected by EPSRC as one of ten RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) Leaders in the UK.

Photo can be downloaded here


Professor Haas' work in these areas can be summarised as follows:

Optical Wireless Communications

His group published the first proof-of-concept results demonstrating that it is possible to exploit the high crest factor of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) commonly accepted as a disadvantage in radio frequency (RF) communications, to turn commercially available light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs into broadband wireless transmission systems. This work was published in a book on “100 ground-breaking ideas” that could shape the next century, edited by Nobel Laureate Prof. Hänsch.

Professor Haas was invited to present at the annual Technology Entertainment Design (TED) Global conference in 2011 with a talk entitled: Wireless data from every light bulb. By the time of writing, the video of the talk has been viewed 1,420,308 times.

He was finalist for the World Technology Award at the 2011 World Technology Summit in New York, and is now Fellow of the World Technology Network (WTN).

TIME Magazine featured his work as one of the “50 Best Inventions in 2011″ in their 28 November 2011 issue.

Haas’ work on optical wireless communications has appeared in several international media channels such as:

He has launched a university spin-out company, pureLiF Ltd. The company has acquired seed funding from an angel syndicate. Currently he is working one day per week for pureLiFi and holds the position of CTO.

In 2011 he published 7 journal papers in optical wireless communications including an overview in the IEEE Communications Magazine.

He has been collaborating with Airbus Germany and analysed the possibility of optical wireless communications in an aircraft cabin.

In a recent paper he developed an analytical framework that enabled a comprehensive analysis of all the potential digital modulation techniques suitable for optical wireless communications and showed for the first time that among all existing digital modulation techniques OFDM achieves the highest spectral efficiency when only intensity modulation (IM) / direct detction (DD) are available.

Professor Haas has been the chair of the 2nd Optical Wireless Communications Workshop at IEEE Globecom 2011, he is co-chair of the 3rd Optical Wireless Communications Workshop at IEEE Globecom 2012, TPC member for the IEEE Summer Topicals 2012 of the IEEE Photonics Society, and guest editor of the EURASIP special issue on "Visible Light Communications".

Prof. Haas is involved in the photonics EPSRC network, UNISON, and the communications EPSRC network, ComNet, and has been co-organiser of annual summer schools and a workshop, and he is initiator of a joint summer school between UNISON and ComNet in June 2012.

Spatial modulation (SM)

SM is a radically new wireless transmission technique that combines data modulation and multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) in a novel fashion. SM was originally proposed by Prof Haas and his research group, and has been initially investigated under EPSRC project (EP/G011788/1).

The leading transaction paper on SM has been cited 61 times (Web of Science). The recent overview article published in the IEEE Communications Magazine was among the top 10 downloads of the IEEE Communications Society (Comsoc) in December 2011. The full list can be found within Publications.

For the first time the practical feasibility of SM could be demonstrated on the UK test-bed of the UK-China Science Bridge project R&D on Beyond 4G Wireless Mobile Communications (EP/G042713/1) at the end of 2011. This has involved the collaboration of research groups from: Heriot-Watt, Bristol and Edinburgh.

Interference coordination in wireless networks

In collaboration with DOCOMO Euro Labs (Munich) Prof Haas’ group proposed an entire new and pioneering framework for cooperative, self-organising interference mitigation in cellular wireless networks based on one key invention, the “busy burst” principle. This invention solves one of the most fundamental problems in wireless communications, namely that a new transmitter in a wireless network cannot sense the location of a vulnerable receiver (also called the hidden node problem) where a transmission would cause detrimental interference to the ongoing transmission.

Short bio

Professor Harald holds the Chair for Mobile Communications at the School of Engineering, and is the Director of the Li-Fi Research and Development Centre. Professor Haas has been working in wireless communications for 20 years and held several posts in industry. He was an invited speaker at TED Global in 2011 where he demonstrated and coined ‘LiFi’. Li-Fi was listed among the 50 best inventions in TIME Magazine 2011. Moreover, his work has been covered in other international media such as the New York Times, BBC, MSNBC, CNN International, Wired UK, and many more. He is initiator, co-founder and chief scientific officer (CSO) of pureLiFi Ltd. Professor Haas holds 31 patents and has more than 30 pending patent applications. He has published 300 conference and journal papers including a paper in Science Magazine. He published two textbooks with Cambridge University Press. His h-index is 43 (Google). In 2015 he was co-recipient of three best paper awards including the IEEE Jack Neubauer Memorial Award. He is CI of programme grant TOUCAN (EP/L020009/1), and CI of SERAN (EP/L026147/1). He currently holds an EPSRC Established Career Fellowship (EP/K008757/1). In 2014, Professor Haas was selected as one of ten EPSRC RISE Campaign Leaders.

Full Curriculum Vitae »

Professor Harald Haas
Professor Harald Haas (photo copyright Wired: