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David Jackson obtained his PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London, in 1964. His thesis was entitled, “The Measurement of Short Lifetimes of Excited States of Nuclei”. He developed a very fast coincidence circuit, based on avalanche transistors, with a time resolution of 10 ps. Appointed to a lectureship in 1965 at the University of Kent (UKC) and Professor of Applied Optics in 1985, he is now Professor Emeritus. At Kent he initiated a programme to study the interaction of laser light with liquids, solids and gases in a variety of states exploiting Brillouin, Rayleigh and Raman scattering. He developed most of the instrumentation and signal processing for these studies. From 1976-79 he was seconded to the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington where he invented the first all optical fibre Mach Zehnder interferometer demonstrating open and closed loop operation with extreme resolution. He subsequently established a fibre optic sensor group at UKC. A range of sensors was developed including: distributed temperature and strain sensors with a sensing range >45km, 10000C temperature probes, sub-micro-gravity accelerometers, subsea current sensing, miniature radiation probes and miniature medical probes for temperature and pressure. In addition he designed and implemented multiplexing techniques for fibre Bragg grating sensors and fibre interferometers. He developed the first fibre laser Doppler anemometer and vibrometer and expanded the applicability of the vibrometer to a multichannel instrument. He instigated OCT research at UKC and built tuneable sources for OCT systems. He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics and the OSA and recipient of a lifetime achievement award from EWOFS. He has published more than 650 papers in journals and international conference proceedings.