Quantum-enhanced imaging in extreme environments

   Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS)

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  Prof G Buller  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University offer a four year fully funded PhD position examining aspects of single‑photon and quantum‑enhanced imaging. This PhD will involve working with the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum‑Enhanced Imaging which is a EPSRC funded £25m consortium of major UK Universities and major industrial companies.

The group has been at the forefront of research in single‑photon imaging for many years. The group leader, Prof. Gerald Bullerhas an EPSRC Established Career Fellowship in the field. This work has concentrated on kilometre range sensors for centimetre scale resolution depth imaging, including use of arrayed SPADs and infrared approaches. More recently, we applied this approach to underwater imaging for the first time, and have performed a number of pioneering experiments by imaging in obscurants. The group have been involved in a number of high‑profile "ghost" imaging experiments in recent years. Much of this current research is centres on the reconstruction of depth and intensity images from sparse photon measurements at average light levels of less than one photon per pixel. The PhD will examine a number of aspects of these subjects, and the PhD student will have the backing of a large, experienced and enthusiastic team.

Our group has five well‑equipped laboratories and a group of approximately 6 postdocs and five PhD students. The research group has direct ownership of world‑leading state‑of‑the‑art equipment with a total value in excess of £3 million and shared access to the national network of resources from the Quantum Technology Programme. Access to these resources and expertise will allow a successful candidate to drive the rapid development of world‑leading experimental systems and test‑beds and lead to publications in high impact journals.

We are now looking for a talented individual to join us at this exciting time. A suitable applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a physics or engineering course and be strongly motivated with the drive required to pursue three to four years of intensive practical and theoretical work. The project will require both individual and group work and a successful candidate must be capable of operating effectively in both environments. Any candidate must have a good grounding in the theories of quantum optics and some experience of laboratory work is expected. Experience of computer programming in C/C++ and/or MatLab would highly advantageous but knowledge of other programming languages is relevant. A relevant undergraduate project would assist in selection of a candidate.

Heriot‑Watt’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (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. Heriot‑Watt is based in a modern environment on the outskirts of Edinburgh (ScotlandUK), with excellent transport links to the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting cities. Heriot‑Watt was recently awarded a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (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. IPaQS is one of the main partners in the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) whose Graduate School provides added value to PhD student education in Scottish Physics Departments, principally in terms of inter‑University video‑linked taught courses and transferable skills tuition.

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