Laser based manufacturing processes have become industry standard tools in a wide range of areas with scales as diverse as automotive and shipbuilding down to electronic circuits and micro medical devices. The uptake of lasers in these manufacturing processes has been largely dependent on the ability to stabilise and calibrate the processes.
This has been an incredible success story for continuous wave and long pulse laser processes. However in the emerging area of ultra-short laser processes (using pulses in the ps and fs range) process stabilisation and optimization remains a significant issue and a barrier to mass adoption.
This project will combine elements of laser-material interaction and engineering design to address this issue. By use of novel diagnostic equipment, measurements of what is happening on the ultra-short timescales of the laser pulses will assist in informing us of the process dynamics improving our understanding of the fundamental laser material interactions. At the same time we will implement experimental design procedures to significantly reduce the number of experiments required to optimise and stabilise a process producing an empirical model of these processes.
Ultimately this will allow for better stabilised and optimized (more reliable) manufacturing process, provide the tools necessary to speed up process development and provide the potential to develop a new range of highly flexible laser manufacturing tools.
The annual stipend will be approx. £14,777 and full fees will be paid, for 3.5 years.