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Doctor of Engineering (EngD): Design and Build of a High Specification Extended FTIR Spectrometer (Edinburgh Instruments Ltd)

  • Full or part time
    Prof D Reid
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project consists of extending the range of FTIR spectrometry in order to be able to identify compounds that have their absorption bands out of the commonly used mid-IR range. This would enable the detection of a range of materials such as metallic and semiconducting compounds, and monitor reactions where nanocrystals are embedded in polymers. The project implies the "bottom-up" design of a high-end FTIR spectrometer, using modern design tools and state-of-the-art optical components.
Firstly, the student will become familiar with the FTIR fundamental theory and a comprehensive state-of-the-art study will be performed.
Next, commercially available FTIR analysers or spectrometers will be extensively used with the aim of fully understanding all mechanical/optical and software requirements, as well as the use of different sampling modules.
Then, a prototype will be built, using internal company resources for mechanical and optical design. This phase also includes the start of software development. The candidate will have to advise the software team of all requirements, such as interaction with hardware components and design of the user interface. (The coding is not part of the project.) Performance tests will be carried out with composite materials.
Other prototyping phases will follow until the instrument is ready for the market.

Candidate Information
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.

Essential Criteria:
MSC in Physics of Electrical Engineering (2.1 or higher) or undergraduate MPhys 2.1)
Thorough understanding of geometrical optics.
Self-motivating, self-driven individual required.
Interest to work with mechano-optics.
Commercial attitude.
Good laboratory skills.

Desirable Criteria:
Use of Zemax.
Experience with FTIR

Company Information:
Edinburgh Instruments Ltd is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of leading edge spectroscopic instrumentation and gas detection solutions. The company is involved in the development, manufacture and sale of a wide range of high technology products for the scientific research and industrial markets. Over the years EI has continually diversified and developed new and innovative products, winning many international awards. It excels in providing one-to-one comprehensive customer service worldwide.
Edinburgh Instruments (EI) is now located across three buildings totalling nearly 30,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and office space just outside Edinburgh, where it employs over 75 people.
More info at:

Flexible Research Working:
We are fully committed to being recognised as an ethical and trustworthy company and try to ensure we embed policies and processes across the group, and integrate them into day-to-day business practice.
Wherever possible we work continuously to reduce our carbon footprint and deliver products that are eco-friendly and non-hazardous to the environment.
We also strongly believe in supporting developments in new technology and work closely with universities and companies to bring new ideas to market.

Funding Notes

EngD project not available to non UK/EU applicants.

This 4-year (including CDT taught-courses) project is funded jointly by the EPSRC CDT in Applied Photonics, run by Heriot-Watt University and the Industrial Sponsor. The annual stipend is £21,053, which includes an enhancement from the Industrial Sponsor. A substantial consumables and equipment budget is provided by a concurrent EPSRC grant. Travel funding for conference presentations is also available.

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