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Engineering Doctorate (EngD) - Frequency-comb metrology for manufacturing: Developing dual-comb distance metrology concepts and applications

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  • Full or part time
    Prof D Reid
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project not available to non UK/EU applicants.

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.

Frequency combs are the world’s most precise laser sources, with intrinsic noise measured at the 10-19 level, and celebrated in the 2005 Nobel prize to Jan Hall and Ted Haensch for their early work in developing this technology.

This project is one of 3 offered in support of a new £1M initiative jointly supported by UK industry and the EPSRC to develop frequency combs to enable innovative ways to measure distance in industrial manufacturing contexts – from the curvature of mirror segments of large telescopes, to the position of machine-tools or the shape of turbine blades or aeroplane fuselages.

Technical context
This and the other 2 adjacent doctoral projects will investigate & develop complementary solutions to a distance measurement approach known as "dual-comb distance metrology", with the long term intention being to bridge the gap between precision and extended-range accuracy, providing industry with traceable & universal length-metrology. In a nutshell, we want to demonstrate an optical measurement approach that can measure the position of objects at considerable distance without sacrificing accuracy.

Project description: Developing dual-comb distance metrology concepts and applications
Dual-comb metrology uses two femtosecond lasers to measure the distance of a far away target with interferometric accuracy and without the limitations of traditional laser interferometry (lack of absolute distance measurement; vulnerability to fringe-counting errors etc). The technique can be implemented with or without phase-locked lasers, depending on the context, and this project will assess and develop practical schemes for dual-comb metrology which offer simultaneously high dynamic range (nanometres to metres) and high precision. The project will combine algorithm development and modelling with practical experimentation using laser sources developed at Heriot-Watt University under adjacent projects.

Funding and duration
This 4-year (including CDT taught-courses) project is funded jointly by Renishaw PLC and by the CDT in Applied Photonics, run by Heriot-Watt University. The annual stipend is £20,326, which includes an enhancement from Renishaw PLC. Funding is available only to UK residents. A substantial consumables and equipment budget is provided by a concurrent EPSRC grant. Travel funding for conference presentations is also available.

Heriot-Watt is based in a modern environment on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with excellent transport links to the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting cities. Heriot-Watt was recently awarded (November 2013) an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics, cementing Heriot-Watt’s reputation as a centre of excellence in photonics, and providing PhD students with an even more attractive environment for study, as well as enhanced training opportunities. The project will be based in Renishaw PLC, which shares a campus with Heriot-Watt University.

Heriot-Watt Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPAQS)
IPAQS is a thriving environment for PhD research, having a total of 160 academics, postdocs, PhD and EngD students working full-time in the general photonics field. It’s a friendly collaborative environment where staff and students freely interact -- not least at Friday morning coffee and donut sessions.

How to apply
Applications can be made using the link below.

Funding Notes

Project not available to non UK/EU applicants

Stipend of £20,326 for 2016/17 intake, plus fees paid.

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