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Engineering Doctorate (EngD): Single-Frequency Laser Engineering at Exotic Wavelengths for Quantum Technologies (UnikLasers Ltd.)

  • Full or part time
    Prof D Reid
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Selection and recruitment to this project will be conducted in parallel with our other projects being advertised with UnikLasers. Only two of the three projects will be available for starting in 2018.

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.


Quantum Technologies hold great promise to bring a step-change improvement to a diverse range of high-impact applications, such as ultra-stable clocks for financial transaction time stamping and satellite-free navigation, medical imaging, oil and gas prospecting, and ultra-secure communications. Whilst the scientific principles upon which these technologies rely are now largely proven, the subsystems (in particular, laser systems) upon which they depend are excessively large, expensive and power-hungry. If QT is ever to deliver on its potential, orders of magnitude reduction in size, cost and power consumption will have to be realised, and such systems will have to operate at wavelengths that are not currently easily accessible. This 4-year EngD programme will develop new laser systems, critically required by QT systems, which will match the optical performance of the Titanium:Sapphire laser in a footprint and price point comparable to the external-cavity diode laser (ECDL). We will demonstrate operation on many otherwise difficult-to-access but crucial laser lines. Such a development will be a critical step on the road to the translation of QT from the research community to the defence, space and consumer market. The research and engineering will cover a variety of areas including laser system design, build and testing, making use of novel gain and nonlinear media.

Information for applicants

Essential Criteria
• A self-motivated individual, capable of working independently
• The enthusiasm to learn and to extend into new areas as part of this multi-disciplinary project
• The capability to multi-task and to adapt to the fast-changing world within a growing technology company
• Experience of experimental laser and optical physics

Desirable Criteria
• Knowledge of electronics

Funding Notes

This 4-year (including CDT taught-courses) project is funded jointly by UnikLasers and by the CDT in Applied Photonics, run by Heriot-Watt University. The annual stipend is £21,053, which includes an enhancement from UnikLasers. 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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