FLAIR 2022

This year the FLAIR conference (Field Laser Applications in Industry and Research) returned to the French spa town of Aix-les-Bains. Nick Davis and Dan Francis attended to present posters on their recent work on tuneable laser spectroscopy. The posters, which only just arrived in the nick of time due to issues with UK delivery companies, were very well received.

Nick and Dan at Chateau de Montrottier near Annecy

The much anticipated social events included a five course conference dinner in the Aix-les-Bains casino and an  excursion to Chateau de Montrottier, a 13th Century Savoyard castle. The visit to the chateau included a treasure hunt, a dinner that included a cheese fondue, and was followed by a live rock band.

Dan and Nick presenting their posters at FLAIR.

EP posters – click links to view posters

A long-wave infrared spectrometer based on an external-cavity quantum cascade laser and a hollow silica waveguide
D Francis, J Hodgkinson, and R P Tatam

Standoff measurement of spectral changes in UV-aged bitumen
N M Davis, J Hodgkinson, C Browne*, K Nesnas*, A Wright*, S McRobbie$, and R P Tatam
*TRL, Wokingham, UK;   $National Highways, Birmingham, UK

Interferometric fringe rejection in tunable diode laser spectroscopy
J Bremner, T Kissinger, J Hodgkinson, N M Davis, and R P Tatam

Photon 2022

Photon is the UK’s leading optics and photonics conference and this year’s edition was held at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. Engineering Photonics was represented by Tom Charrett and Kieran Wiseman who gave talks on their recent work.

Kieran and Tom outside the conference centre.

Tom, who had an invited presentation, discussed the development of optical instrumentation for process monitoring in additive manufacturing, and Kieran presented his work on high accuracy interferometric displacement sensors.

Tom and Kieran giving their talks at Photon.

EP papers

Optical instrumentation for in-process monitoring of wire and arc additive manufacturing – Invited Talk
T O H Charrett, K Mullaney, J M Hallam, T Kissinger, E Rigas, and R P Tatam

Highly linear, compact interferometric displacement sensors
K Wiseman, T Kissinger, and R P Tatam

Graduation 2022

Cranfield University’s 2022 graduation ceremony was held on June 23rd with four Engineering Photonics PhD graduates in attendance. Congratulations to Laura Aime, James Bremner, Angus Bridges and Kieran Wiseman on their well deserved success!  Angus was also award the Lord Kings Norton medal for most outstanding doctoral student across the whole University.

Engineering Photonics’ 2022 PhD graduates: L-R – Laura Aime, Kieran Wiseman, Angus Bridges, and James Bremner.

L. Aime ‘Development of an optical fibre pressure sensor for F1 applications’ (2021)

J. Bremner ‘Fibre-coupled, multiplexed methane detection using range-resolved interferometry’ (2021)

A. Bridges ‘Optical metrology to support the next generation of nanopositioning’ (2022).

K. Wiseman ‘Novel applications and stabilisation for widely wavelength modulated laser interferometry for precision dimensional metrology’ (2022).

Angus Bridges wins Lord Kings Norton medal

Congratulations to Angus Bridges who was this years recipient of the Lord Kings Norton medal. The medal, which is awarded to the most outstanding doctoral student of the year, was presented as part of Cranfield’s 2022 graduation ceremony.

Angus receiving his Lord Kings Norton medal from our Chancellor Dame Deidre Hutton (L) and outside after the ceremony (R).

A. Bridges, ‘Optical metrology to support the next generation of nanopositioning’ (2022).

Covid-19: A lockdown retrospective

On Monday 23rd March 2020, the Engineering Photonics labs were closed with immediate effect due to the spread of COVID-19 that had originated in Wuhan four months earlier. Most EP staff were working from home from that point on until early April when most Cranfield staff were put on furlough. Furlough was done on a rota basis with everyone in the University being assigned a team: red, blue, purple, or orange.

In mid-June 2020, the EP labs were one of the guinea pigs, being one of the first in the University to re-open. The re-opening came with a host of safety procedures including a maintained rota system, use of hand-sanitizers and face masks, maintaining a social distance of at least 2 m, only one person to a lab, and regular cleaning of shared equipment. Mirrors were installed in the corridors to avoid contact with others passing by, and the white board was used with magnetic tokens to check in and out so that everyone knew who was present.

The lab whiteboard adapted for check in. Taken in March 2021.

The alpha variant emerged in Kent at the end of 2020 and precipitated the third national lockdown in December. Whilst the labs remained open, access was more restricted with only essential work authorized. The period of managed access combined with intermittent furlough, known internally as ‘amber days’, lasted until around June 2021. By this time vaccines had been rolled out to more of the population and the COVID restrictions began to ease, eventually leading to a hybrid working scheme where staff continued to work a proportion of their time at home. Following the pilot phase the hybrid scheme continues to remain in place.

The new, more permanent, name board. Taken in May 2022.

PhD viva success!

Congratulations to Kieran Wiseman who successfully defended his thesis on wavelength modulation interferometry for precision metrology!

Novel applications and stabilisation for widely wavelength modulated laser interferometry for precision dimensional metrology
K Wiseman

 

Engineering Photonics bids farewell to James Bremner

The Engineering Photonics Group bids farewell to James Bremner who is leaving to join the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at City University, London.

Members of the group who were present took the opportunity to say goodbye over a beer at the Cranfield Student Association bar.

Left to right: Edmond Chehura, James Barrington, Jane Hodgkinson, Sivaji Pillai, Kieran Wiseman, James Bremner, Nina Binaei, Sam Gibson, Nick Davis, and Steve James.

PhD viva success!

Congratulations to Angus Bridges on successfully defending his thesis on 13th December 2021.

His thesis title is “Optical metrology to support the next generation of nanopositioning”.

Angus spent the majority of his time working at NPL and is now an employee there working in Dimensional Metrology Group.

PhD viva success!

Congratulations  to James Bremner who successfully defended his thesis on multiplexed tunable diode laser spectroscopy using range-resolved interferometry!

 

 

 

Farewell to Thomas Kissinger

Engineering Photonics bids farewell to Thomas Kissinger who returns to his native Germany to take up a position as Junior Professor at the Technical University of Ilmenau. His new role in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering will see him lead the new department of nanofabrication and nanomeasurement technology, in which he will research precision machines for nanometer-accurate production and analysis technology.

Before he left, we did find an opportunity to enjoy a shared lunch in the gardens of the Cranfield Student Association, and was, for many of us, a first gathering since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Those who were not able to attend in person joined remotely through Microsoft Teams. During the lunch, Thomas was presented with a print of Michelson’s original interferometer design for measuring the velocity of light.

Lunch in the CSA gardens for Thomas’ farewell. (L-R: Sam Gibson, Kieran Wiseman, James Barrington, James Bremner, Tom Charrett, Thomas Kissinger, Sivaji Pillai, Steve Staines, Steve James, and Nick Davis).