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Ultrafast LiDAR for Imaging and Control (EPS2022/23)

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Prof D Reid  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Now common in cars and even phones, LiDAR is a laser ranging technique that measures distance by recording the time of flight of nanosecond laser pulses to and from a target, with the pulse duration limiting the best range resolution to few-mm resolutions.

By using femtosecond laser pulses, the Ultrafast Optics Group at Heriot-Watt has recently demonstrated a new method that improves ranging precision to the micrometre level, opening up opportunities for new high-precision applications of LiDAR in machine control and micro-/macroscopic imaging.

We are now seeking a talented MPhys, MEng or MSc graduate to join our team to develop this approach further by creating exciting new implementations that extend ultrafast LiDAR to real-time feedback for machine control, multi-target measurement and 3D imaging of small objects. Based on femtosecond fibre lasers at 1560 nm, the project will involve developing free-space and fibre-based methods for LiDAR metrology.

Links to industrial and academic partners will allow the PhD student to develop their personal professional network and to identify and exploit the most exciting opportunities for collaborative research.

Suitable applicants will have a 1st class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a physics or engineering course and be strongly motivated to pursue three to four years of intensive practical and theoretical work. Candidates must have a solid understanding of optics and lasers, and experience of laboratory work, although not necessarily in optics. Relevant undergraduate research project experience is desirable but not essential. Experience with Matlab also is desirable.

The Ultrafast Optics Group is a group of 5 postdocs and 2 PhD students with excellent gender and nationality diversity. Our three laboratories on Heriot-Watt's Riccarton campus host a variety of state-of-the-art laser and diagnostic equipment. The expertise of our team and our group's excellent research resources will allow the PhD student to make rapid progress, leading to high quality journal publications and international conference presentations.

The research project is based within Heriot‑Watt’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS), 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 on a modern campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), with excellent transport links to the centre of one of Europe’s most exciting cities.

How to Apply

1. Important Information before you Apply

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:

(a) in ‘Study Option’

You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD, Bio-science & Bio-Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate and select September 2022 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)

(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the potential supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

This vacancy is open to individuals who qualify for home fee status as UK residents.

Interested candidates can contact the group head, Professor Derryck T. Reid ([Email Address Removed]) to arrange an informal call to discuss the project in more detail.

Formal applications must be made through the Heriot-Watt on-line application system,

Funding Notes

There are a number of scholarships available which offer funding from between 3 and 3.5 years at an average stipend rate of £15,000 per year.
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