Prof. Andy Clarkson received a BSc (HONS) first class degree in Physics from the University of Manchester (UK) in 1984 and a Ph.D. degree in Laser Physics from the University of Southampton (UK) in 1991. He joined the newly formed Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the University of Southampton in 1989 and was promoted to a Chair in Optoelectronics in 2004. Professor Clarkson currently leads the Advanced Solid‐State Sources group at the ORC. His principal research interest is the development of novel coherent light sources with particular emphasis on power‐scaling and brightness scaling of fibre and bulk (crystal‐based) solid‐state lasers and amplifiers, thermal effects and their mitigation, optical resonators and mode control, diode pump coupling schemes and nonlinear frequency conversion. He has made a number of important contributions to this field and was elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2005. Professor Clarkson has given numerous invited and plenary conference presentations in the field of high‐power lasers and has published over 400 conference and journal papers. He has served as a Guest Editor for the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics and as a Topical Editor for Optics Letters from 2000 to 2006. He has also served on the technical programme committees of the major international conferences in the field of lasers, including CLEO, CLEO‐Europe, Advanced Solid‐State Lasers, Lasers and Applications in Science and Engineering (LASE) and the Europhoton conference on Solid‐State, Fibre and Waveguide Coherent Light Sources. He has served as Programme Chair and General Chair for the CLEO/Europe conference, on the Steering Committee for CLEO and as the Steering Committee Chair for CLEO/Europe and Europhoton. He has served on the Quantum Electronics and Photonics (QEP) group committee of the IOP and as a member of the Quantum Electronics and Optics Division (QEOD) board for the European Physical Society.