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PhD Studentship: High Sensitivity, Multispecies Gas Sensing in Hollow Core Fibres

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  1099019PN

Supervisor: Dr. Natalie Wheeler                     

Project description

This project aims to develop an ultra-high sensitivity, multispecies Raman-based gas sensor. This sensor would be suitable for applications such as environmental sensing (e.g. of greenhouse gases) and advanced medical diagnostics (e.g. breath analysis for early and non-invasive disease diagnosis).

Hollow core fibres are an exciting platform for gas-light interactions as they can be filled with the target gas sample to provide a huge interaction length between the confined gas molecules and the guided light. The sensor will detect Raman scattered light from the gas sample contained in the hollow core fibre which will provide a unique spectral fingerprint of the target gas.

This PhD project will involve a wide range of activities, primarily experimental but with some flexibility, depending on the interests of the applicant, and could suit applicants from a physics, engineering or chemistry background.

The successful student will work with experienced researchers, have access to a wide range of equipment and work with external partners to maximise the impact of their work.

A fully funded PhD position is available for UK applicants (with an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.) EU students with no external funding can contend for a small number of competitive scholarships. Students from overseas who have secured some external funding are also encouraged to apply. www.orc.southampton.ac.uk/phd_funding.html

To discuss details of the project/ arrange a visit, please contact Dr. Natalie Wheeler, n.v.wheeler@soton.ac.uk 

The PhD programme

The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD comprises a solid education for a research career. The structured first year involves attending our training programme running in parallel with carrying out your research project. This provides a smooth transition from your degree course towards the more open-ended research that takes place in the following years under the guidance of your project supervisors. We expect the vast majority of our students to present their work at international conferences and to write papers in leading academic journals as their research progresses. Students will emerge from the PhD with skills at the forefront of future fiber laser research and will benefit from the many opportunities to interact with the wider community of PhD students across the Southampton Campus through academic, sporting and cultural events. 

The ORC is the leading photonics research institute in the UK and possibly in Europe. It comprises state-of-the-art cleanrooms for optical fibre, planar photonics, silicon and bio-photonics fabrication and over 80 laboratories. Computer simulations will benefit from Southampton’s high performance computing cluster Iridis, one of the largest supercomputers in the UK. A PhD at the ORC has enabled our past graduates to make successful careers in academia, in national scientific laboratories, and as scientists or business leaders in industry. Our research papers, patents, spin-off companies and these successful alumni taken together place Southampton amongst the top institutes worldwide. 

Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2019 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: typically three years (full-time)

Assessment: nine-and 18-month reports and viva voce determine progression to PhD; progression reports, viva voce and thesis examination

Start date: typically September

Applying: www.southampton.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgstudy/howdoiapplypg.html 


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