International Day of Light!

The International Day of Light is celebrated each year on 16th May. It is a global initiative to provide a focal point for the continued appreciation of light and light based technology and the role it plays in all our lives in science, education, culture and art, and sustainable development across fields as diverse as medicine, communications, energy, aerospace and healthcare. IDL aims to raise awareness of the critical role light plays to help achieve the goals of UNESCO – education, equality and peace.

The 16th May date every year was chosen to celebrate the International Day of Light as it is the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by Theodore Maiman.

Further information can be found at and on the websites of SPIE and the OSA.


Review paper is Editor's Choice!

Our review paper, 'Tapered Optical Fibre Sensors: Current Trends and Future Perspectives' has been selected by MDPI Sensors as one of the Editor's Choices.

Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in the field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

Tapered Optical Fibre Sensors: Current Trends and Future Perspectives
S Korposh*, S W James, S-W Lee+, and R P Tatam
Sensors 19, 10, 2294 (39pp) (2019) - Open Access
*University of Nottingham, UK,  +University of Kitakyushu, Japan 


Engineering Photonics student selected for STEMship programme

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

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

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

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

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

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