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Archive news 2019

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Engineering Photonics student selected for STEMship programme

December 2019

Sam Gibson is one of 30 students nationwide who will embark on the two-year support programme which offers, amongst other benefits, a £1,500 scholarship, an overseas experience at a leading engineering institution, and membership to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). The programme, launched by Santander UK, is dedicated to supporting female engineering students and aims to encourage more women to embark on a career in the UK engineering industry.

Sam receiving her STEMship programme certificate at the Santander launch event at Silverstone. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images for Santander)

The WES membership included an invitation to The Society’s Caroline Haslett Lecture and Awards Ceremony at the end of October. The lecture was given by Dr Anne Stevens, an engineer whose roles have included COO of Ford Motor Company and CEO of the automotive and aerospace company GKN. There was a Q&A session before the event with Dr Stevens, who had advice on forging a career in engineering and standing up for oneself in a male-dominated working environment. The evening was an excellent networking opportunity, and Sam especially enjoyed catching up with the students she’d met at the launch event at Silverstone.

Sam, with the other successful applicants, and Jenson Button. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images for Santander)


IR WORKshop: Princeton, NJ

November 2019

In November, Jane Hodgkinson travelled to Princeton University, New Jersey, to attend Laser Components’ 7th International WORKshop on Infrared Technologies. She also presented a joint paper with Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory on the use of retroreflective materials in maritime search and rescue.

Princeton University.

The workshop focusses on new developments in all fields of IR technology such as detectors, sources and filters, instrument subsystems, as well as commercial applications. Short, concise presentations are not only delivered to convey information, but also to serve as a basis for the exchange of thoughts, concepts and ideas.

Presentation title

IR performance of retroreflective materials in maritime search and rescue
J Hodgkinson, J Nixon*, C Bennett+, and R P Tatam
*Centre for Safety & Accident Investigation, Cranfield University, +National Flying Laboratory, Cranfield University


PGI conference, NPL 2019

November 2019

The Postgraduate Institute for measurement science (PGI) conference brings together experts and practitioners in the field. Now in its fourth year, the PGI celebrates the success of its unique strategic partnership with the University of Surrey and University of Strathclyde. Students, scientists, academics, industry and others will present their latest advances in science and the impact it is creating on health, the environment and society.

Conference poster

A transfer and scattering matrix model of the NPL plane mirror differential interferometer
A Bridges, A Yacoot*, T Kissinger, and R P Tatam
*NPL, Teddington, UK


IEEE Sensors: Montreal 2019

October 2019

In October, Laura Aime attended the 2019 IEEE Sensors conference in Montreal, Canada to present her work on the development of a Fibre Bragg grating pressure sensor.

Conference paper

Optical fiber Bragg grating based pressure sensor using a composite diaphragm for pressure measurements
L F J Aime, A Verzeletti*, S W James, and R P Tatam
*Mercedes, Brackley, UK


Nanoscale 2019: Braunschweig

October 2019

Nanoscale 2019, held on the 15th-16th October, comprises the 12th Seminar on Quantitative Microscopy (QM) and the 8th Seminar on Nanoscale Calibration, Standards and Methods.

Conference poster

A transfer and scattering matrix model of the NPL plane mirror differential interferometer
A Bridges, A Yacoot*, T Kissinger, and R P Tatam
*NPL, Teddington, UK


The Enlighten Conference 2019

October 2019

Co-located with Photonex and VacuumExpo, The Enlighten Conference features application and technology advances, innovations and emerging technologies in photonics and optical technologies. It comprises one and two-day conferences, one-day meeting programmes, training and educational masterclass workshops. Each meeting is carefully crafted and brings you the opportunity to meet some of Europe’s brightest minds. Join the conference, stay all day in one meeting, or pick and choose different talks from different meetings.



Conference presentations

Absolute angle measurement using correlation of dual wavelength laser speckle
S Gibson, T O H Charrett, and R P Tatam

A matrix modelling approach for displacement measuring interferometer design
A Bridges, A Yacoot*, T Kissinger and R P Tatam
*National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK

Novel interferometric stage encoder design for two-dimensional displacement measurements through a single optical access port
K Wiseman, T Kissinger, and R P Tatam


MFHS 2019: Enschede

October 2019

In October, Vangelis Rigas travelled to Enschede in the Twente region of The Netherlands to attend the fourth conference on MicroFluidic Handling Systems.

Worldwide, accurate handling — i.e. analysis, dosage, measurement and control — of small and extremely small mass flow rates of both gases and liquids is becoming more and more important, driven by numerous applications.

Vangelis presenting his work on OCT at MFHS 2019.

The focus of this conference is mainly on the technology, components, devices and systems that enable the application in microfluidic systems. We invite submission of papers on systems and devices for accurate handling (e.g. dosing, measurement, analysis and control) of (extremely) small mass flow rates of both gases and liquids, and corresponding measurement and control principles.

Conference presentation

Dual beam optical coherence tomography for spatially-resolved depth-section microfluidic flow velocimetry
J M Hallam, E Rigas, T O H Charrett, and R P Tatam


EWOFS 2019: Limassol

October 2019

The seventh edition of the European Workshop on Optical Fibre Sensors, EWOFS’2019 is being held at the Cyprus University of Technology in Limassol, Cyprus. This initiative aims at promoting a scientific meeting with a high level of interaction between participants, enabling an open debate and the assessment of new concepts, technologies and applications in the domain of optical fibre sensors, as well as establishment of new collaborations and networks. EWOFS’2019 also intends to complement in time and geographical location the international conferences in this area, and in particular the International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors (OFS).

Conference presentation

Ground vibration testing of a helicopter rotor blade using optical fibre sensors
T Kissinger, S Weber*+, E Chehura, J Barrington, S Staines, S W James, M Lone*, and R P Tatam
*Centre for Aeronautics, Cranfield University; +Airbus Helicopters, UK


EUSPEN: Special Interest Group Meeting

September 2019

The 6th in the series of joint Special Interest Group meeting between EUSPEN and ASPE on Advancing Precision in Additive Manufacturing (September 16th – 18th) is crucial to putting additive manufacturing (AM) onto the factory floor.


· Dimensional Accuracy and Surface Finish from Additive Manufacturing
· Design for Precision
· Designing and Characterizing AM Machines
· Standards
· Integrating AM into Holistic Manufacturing Process
· Metrology

Conference presentation

Measurements of Wire + Arc additive manufacturing layer heights during arc operation using coherent range-resolved interferometry (CO-RRI)
T Kissinger, B Gomis*, J Ding*, S W Williams*, and R P Tatam
*Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre, Cranfield University


BSSM’s 14th International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics

September 2019

The British Society for Strain Measurement’s 14th International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics, held from the 10th – 12th September in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is the latest in a series of conferences organised by the BSSM showcasing novel and innovative research in Experimental Mechanics.

Conference presentation

Measurement of helicopter rotor blade vibration modes using fibre optic sensing techniques
T Kissinger, S Weber*+, E Chehura, J Barrington, S Staines, S W James, M Lone*, and R P Tatam
*Centre for Aeronautics, Cranfield University; +Airbus Helicopters, UK


PhD viva success!

July 2019

Congratulations to Antonio Rendon-Romero who successfully passed his PhD viva covering his work on long-period grating sensors for Campylobacter jejuni detection.

Celebrating Antonio’s viva success. (left to right: Thomas Kissinger, James Barrington, Sam Gibson, Nick Davis, Tom Charrett, James Bremner, Erica Alcusa-Sáez, Antonio Rendon-Romero, Huseyin Pekmezci, Steve Staines)


SPIE Optical Metrology: Munich 2019

June 2019

SPIE’s biennial Optical Metrology conference was held in Munich in June 2019. Engineering Photonics was represented by Tom Charrett, Dan Francis, Sam Gibson, Thomas Kissinger, and Kieran Wiseman, who all presented within the Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection sub-conference.

The Neues Rathaus on Marienplatz.

During the opening talk ‘Hot Topics in Classical Interferometry’ by Peter de Groot of Zygo Coorporation, Thomas Kissinger was highlighted as one the key talks to see. Later, at the Optical Metrology plenary session, former Engineering Photonics research fellow and PhD student Roger Groves was awarded an SPIE fellowship.

Optical Metrology conference reception at the Ratskeller (L-R Thomas, Kieran, Sam, Dan, and Tom).

Roger Groves receiving his SPIE Fellowship at Optical Metrology plenary lecture.

Conference papers


PIERS: Rome 2019

June 2019

In June, Jane Hodgkinson took a long train journey to Rome to present an invited paper on laser spectroscopy instrumentation for detection of volatile biomarkers of infectious disease at PIERS. PIERS, the PhotonIcs and Electromagnetics Research Symposium held its 41st edition at the Faculty of Engineering – University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

View of the Vatican and St. Pauls from the river Tiber in Rome.

Invited Conference Presentation

Spectroscopic Instrumentation for Measurement of Gaseous and Volatile Biomarkers of Infectious Disease
J Hodgkinson, D Francis, C Walton, C  Lourenço, J Sizer*, P Black, B Livingstone, D P Fowler, M K Patel, and R P Tatam


EUSPEN: June 2019

June 2019

In June, the 19th international conference and exhibition of the European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (EUSPEN) was held in Bilbao, Spain. Engineering Photonics was represented by Angus Bridges who presented his work on non-linearity correction algorithms in interferometry.

Conference Paper

A comparison of non-linearity correction algorithms in optical interferometry
A Bridges, T Kissinger, A Yacoot*, and R P Tatam
*NPL, Teddington, UK


Fibre optic shape sensing colloquium: London 2019

May 2019

Thomas Kissinger, in his role as a member of the Instrument science and technology group (ISAT) committee of the Institute of Physics,  organised a meeting entitled “Fibre optic shape and deformation sensing: an emerging technology” at the IoP in London 7th May 2019. The meeting featured presentations from researchers from the UK, Netherlands and Ireland with an interest in the development and practical application of fibre-optic based techniques for the measurement of shape. The talks covered applications in diverse areas, including  biomedical, aerospace, civil engineering, and flow measurement.

The Thames at dusk featuring The Shard (© Dan Francis).


  • Overview of fibre-optic shape and deformation sensing techniques
    Thomas Kissinger
    Presented at the IoP meeting ‘Fibre optic shape and deformation sensing: an emerging technology’, London, May 2019
  • Fibre-optic shape sensing for aerospace structures
    Stephen James
    Presented at the IoP meeting ‘Fibre optic shape and deformation sensing: an emerging technology’, London, May 2019



Nucleus STEM lecture: Optical Fibre Technology

May 2019

In May, Steve James gave a lecture to Key-Stage 3 students at Northampton Academy as part of the Nucleus series of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) lectures.

Professor James talked about how optical fibres are produced, and how methods have changed to become more efficient. He demonstrated optical fibres and explained the history of optical fibres, which goes back a lot further than most people would expect. He also explained some of the uses of optical fibres, that go beyond the use in communications that we are most familiar with; including how optical fibres can be used as sensors for chemicals, gases, pressure and force. Some of the uses of optical fibres being studied and developed include testing rail components, the stress on aircraft wings and environmental sensors.

This led to some excellent questions from the students and expanded their interest in this field.

Steve giving his lecture on optical fibre technology at Northampton Academy.


Photonics West, San Francisco 2019

February 2019

In February, Kevin Mullaney travelled to the US to present his latest work on accurate laser frequency stabilisation at OPTO. The OPTO conference is part of SPIE’s Photonics West and is held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Yerba Buena gardens which are just outside the Moscone Center (© Dan Francis)

OPTO is one of the largest and most important optoelectronics conferences in the calendar and addresses the latest developments in a broad range of optoelectronic technologies and their integration for a variety of commercial applications.

Conference paper


AIAA SciTech Forum: San Diego 2019

January 2019

In January, Steve James travelled to the US to attend the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech) .  The paper he presented was part of a special session “BladeSense – A novel approach for measuring helicopter rotor blade deformation” at which members of the Bladesense project, including Steve, Simone Weber, and Mudassir Lone from Cranfield University, and Dominic Southgate from Helitune, gave a series of talks leading the audience through the project and progress to date.

The San Diego harbour. The AIAA SciTech forum was held in the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the left-most tower in the image.

Conference presentation

  • A novel direct fibre optic shape sensing approach
    S W James, T Kissinger, K Mullaney, E Chehura, J Barrington, S Staines, and R P Tatam
    Presented at the AIAA SciTech Forum, San Diego, USA 7-11 Jan 2019


MetMap: Sheffield 2019

January 2019

In January, Tom Charrett and Thomas Kissenger attended MetMap: The integrated metrology for precision manufacturing conference, held at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield.

Tom presented their joint paper describing their work developing a multi-dimensional position sensor for robotic applications. The presentation slides can be seen here 

 Conference presentation

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