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Advanced holography for augmented reality head-up displays

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Tom Vettenburg
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Ceres Holographics is at the forefront of volume hologram production in photo-polymerisable film. This has wide ranging applications, including augmented reality head-up displays for the automotive market. Such displays can be used for displaying driver and traffic information on the windshield of a car. While currently marketed technology displays the image only 2.5 m in front of the driver, there is a high demand for a device that can project an augmented reality information, which appears to be 10-200 m in front of the car, overlaying the driver’s view of the landscape.

Significant challenges have to be overcome to realise the commercial potential of this technique, most notably the unacceptable size of such systems created by current technology. Ceres Holographics has the unique expertise to write custom high precision volume holograms in a transparent photo-polymerisable film. This allows it to selectively diffract red, green, and blue laser light from a hologram in the windscreen, thereby creating a digital virtual image for the driver in a much smaller system. However, as with any form of laser imaging, the long coherence length causes speckle that is unacceptable to the image quality. There are currently no sufficiently good solutions to this problem. This project specifically aims to overcome laser-speckle to create a high quality augmented reality projection that can be integrated into a car. To project images over a larger field-of-view, the research engineer candidate must devise an optical system that optimises both the projector optics and the holographic element. At present, there exists no viable method to produce digital augmented reality images within a car.

The successful candidate will investigate several proposed solutions for their efficacy and develop novel alternative methods for to enable viable augmented reality via holography with superior quality.

The EngD is an alternative to a traditional PhD aimed at students wanting a career in industry. Students spend about 75% of their time working directly with a company in addition to receiving advanced-level training from a broad portfolio of technical and business courses. On completion students are awarded the PhD-equivalent EngD.

The successful candidate will be based at the premises of Ceres Holographics in St Andrews, and conduct research within the research and development department. The project will be supported academically through the University of Dundee. While a student is not expected to spend extended periods of time at the University, some specific experiments may have to be conducted at the physics department in the School of Science and Engineering. Ceres Holographics is a young and rapidly growing company, enabling a rapid transition from research to commercial product.

Essential Criteria

The successful candidate should:
• hold, or be close to completing, a degree in science, engineering, or related disciplin
• be excited about developing the skills to design and build optical experiments in the
• be capable of analysing and interpreting experimental data
• enjoy working independently on a unique and challenging problem, yet capable of interacting well with a multidisciplinary team
• have good communication skills, both verbally and written

Desirable Criteria

The ideal candidate would also have:
• solid programming skills for analysing data or simulating future experiments
• demonstrable prior experience with optical experiments

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class, 2:1 (or equivalent) degree in a physical sciences subject such as physics, electrical and mechanical engineering.

For information on applying please follow the link:

Funding Notes

Applicants must be from the UK/ EU in order to qualify for funding.
Non-native English speakers must ensure they meet the English language requirements.

Successful students will have their fees paid for the duration of the programme and also receive an annual stipend of at least £21,053 (EngD), or £14,553 (PhD). In addition to this they have access to a conference budget of up to £3000 for the duration of the course.

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