Gone but not forgotten...

As all research groups do, our group has expanded and contracted over the years as team members come and go. While people move on their contributions, both large and small, have helped to drive forward the research goals of the group. On this page we acknowledge all those that have worked on our team, and wish them the very best in their future endeavours.

To jump to a particular researcher you can use the drop-down menus below. Please note that you may need to tell your browser to allow ActiveX content for these to work.

Staff, PhD & EndD Students:

Visiting Students:

RA's, PhD & EngD students:

Dr Heather Dalgarno

PhD Student & Post-doc RA (Aug. 2002 - Dec. 2009)

Dr Heather DalgarnoHeather first joined the group as a PhD student after receiving an MPhys in Optoelectronics and Laser Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in 2002. Her PhD project was based on wavefront sensing for metrology and was a CASE (Co-operative Awards in Science and Engineering) sponsored project in collaboration with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC based at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh).

Heather submitted her thesis, titled "Generalised Phase Diversity Wavefront Sensing", in March 2006 and passed her viva in June 2006. She began working as a part-time RA for the group whilst writing her thesis and, after graduating with her PhD, worked full time on several projects to apply astronomy and wavefront sensing technology to Bio-Imaging. Heather also designed and mantained this group website.

Heather left the group in December 2009 to continue working within Biophotonics, taking a post-doc research fellow position at St Andrews University working with Prof. Kishan Dholakia and his Optical Trapping group.

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Dr Euan Ramsay

Post-doc RA (Jul. 2008 - Apr. 2009)

Dr Euan RamsayEuan received the MSci degree in Physics with Photonics from the University of St. Andrews in 2001. He then started working at Heriot-Watt University as a PhD student in the Ultrafast Optics Group (UOG) under Dr (now Professor) Derryck Reid. In the UOG he specialised in two-photon photocurrent imaging of semiconductor integrated circuits, and also worked in the fields of nonlinear fluorescence imaging of turbulent fluid flows and waveform tracking in integrated circuits. He has been involved in projects which include the construction of laser and parametric sources, femtosecond laser diagnostics and femtosecond materials processing.

Euan joined the Waves and Fields Group to work on characterisation techniques for thin film measurements based on wavefront sensing. He has now left us to rejoin the Heriot-Watt UOG.

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Dr Clare Dillon

EngD Student (Sept. 2002 - Jan. 2009)

Dr Clare DillonClare graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 1996, with a BSc (Hons) in Optoelectronics and Laser Engineering. She then spent four years working as an Optical Engineer with BAE SYSTEMS in Edinburgh (formerly GEC Marconi) where she was reponsible for design and testing of optical systems for a number of military projects. She spent a brief period as a Technical Sales Engineer for Spectrogon in Glenrothes, selling ion-etched diffraction gratings primarily to the synchrotron world, before joining Alcatel Optronics UK Ltd (formerly Kymata) where she was involved in the planning and implementation of reliability tests on telecommunications components. She returned to Heriot-Watt in September 2002 to join the Waves and Fields Group, to study for an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Photonics, sponsored by the EPSRC. Her industrial sponsor was Selex (formerly BAE SYSTEMS), and her research concerned the use of adaptive optics systems for military applications.

Clare retained her group member status working full-time as a Radar Systems Engineer for Selex S&AS while writing up her thesis. Her final submission was completed in January 2009. She continues to work in her role at Selex.

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Dr. David Faichnie

EngD & Post-doc RA (Sept. 2002 - Dec. 2007)

Dr David FaichnieSince graduating from the University of Strathclyde with a BEng, in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, in 1999, David has worked in the European Centre for Manufacturing for Nortel Networks in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was part of the team responsible for the manufacturing introduction of a number of products including a 10Gb/s multiplexer, a 1.6Tb/s WDM system and a 3G Wireless base station controller. David joined the Heriot-Watt Waves and Fields Group in 2003, carrying out research into optical metrology under the EngD scheme sponsored by EPSRC. His industrial sponsoring company was Scalar Technologies located in Livingston, which specialises in the measurement of thin plastic coatings.

David completed his EngD in June 2007 and worked as a full time RA with the HW WAF group until December 2007 when he left to work for Scalar Technologies.

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Dr. Frank Spaan

Post-doc RA (Jan. 2004 - Apr. 2007)

Dr Frank SpaanFrank Spaan received his Ph.D. degree, majoring in error-resilient compression of digital video data, at the Information Theory Group of the Technical University of Delft (NL) in 2000. His main research topics were: (1) establishing a trade-off between the error resilience of video codecs and of network protocols; (2) compression of MPEG-4 type image contours using a new DCT/polar coordinates technique. He studied Astronomy in Utrecht (NL) with emphasis on Astronomical Instrumentation. After graduation, he worked as a Research Engineer at the Space Division of the National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands. His main research work there focused on the development of instrumentation for physics experiments in space. Specific projects were: (1) a possible follow-up for the BioLab in the Columbus space station; (2) a facility for preparation on earth of micro-gravity fluid physics experiments using simulation of micro-gravity by scaling down experiment dimensions; (3) a breadboarded concept for a tele-operated facility for fluid physics experiments under micro-gravity on-board spacecraft; (4) tele-operated and automated focusing in space instrumentation. Furthermore he has studied several subjects on Anthroposophical Science at different institutions. He has written or co-authored more than 20 papers and reports in the field of instrumentation, information technology and astronomy.

Frank left the group to join the University of Leicester, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

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Dr Anne-Marie Johnson

Post-doc RA (Dec. 2003 - Mar. 2006 & Oct. 2006 - Aug. 2007)

Dr Anne-Marie JohnsonAnne Marie graduated from the University of Sheffield with BSc(hons) in Physics in 2000. She then spent 3 years doing a PhD in VUV laser induced refractive index changes in glasses and in optical fibres and fibre Bragg grating inscription, at the University of Hull. She worked as a research associate in the Waves and Fields Group at Heriot-Watt University investigating the use of Redundant Spacings Calibration (RSC) for optical aperture synthesis to produce a high resolution self calibrating mobile imaging system. These principles and techniques can also be used in Fourier Telescopy studies. Anne-Marie also worked on the EOARD funded aperture synthesis work to study the possible advantages of using dilute aperture systems in free-space communications.

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Richard Eastwood

RA (P/T) (Dec. 2005 - Mar. 2006 & Oct. 2006 - Aug. 2007)

Richard EastwoodRichard joined the Heriot-Watt Waves and Fields Group as a part time RA whilst finishing his thesis in Control theory. While with us he worked on the Optical Aperture Synthesis programme as well as continuing the work of Dr Sijiong Zhang to create a programme to generate masks for Generalised Phase Diversity (GPD) diffraction gratings.



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Dr Sijiong Zhang

Post-doc RA (Apr. 2003 - Dec. 2005)

Dr Sijiong ZhangSijiong received his Ph.D. degree, majoring in Optical Instrumentation, at the Beijing Institute of Technology of China in 1996. After graduation, he worked at Northern Jiaotong University and also Heriot-Watt University before joining the Adaptive Optics group as a research associate in 2003. His main research work focused on the development of opto-electro instruments, optical measurements, modelling of optical systems and optical waveguides. He designed and implemented instruments such as: (1) fluorescent detection set-up for bio-string sensor; (2) measurement apparatus for very small capacitance; (3) Intelligent single-slit diffraction experiment set-up; (4) Set-up for measuring spectral response of solar cells, and (5) Automatic production lines for cement plants. He has co-authored about 20 papers in optical fields.

Sijiong was a great asset to our group and it was a pleasure to work with him. He left Heriot-Watt to take up an RA post at Cambridge with Craig Mackay's group studying "LUCKY" imaging.

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Ruby Raheem

PhD Student (Mar. 2004 - Feb. 2005)

Ruby RaheemA graduate of Virginia Tech and Marquette University , Ruby studied 3D Imaging of highly dynamic system within the Adaptive Optics Group. Before joining Heriot-Watt, Ruby worked as a Senior Scientist at Corning Inc, (Corning, New York) and was a member of the development team that worked on characterizing the silver based GRIN lens. She devised tools for optical performance monitoring of GRIN lens, processed lenslet arrays and qualified passive micro-optic components for optical amplifiers.  Prior to that Ruby worked as a Materials and Photolithography Engineer at Advanced Micro Devices (Sunnyvale, California) doing thin film and surface metrology/characterization for sub-micron devices, using Atomic Force Microscope, Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometer, FESEM, Focused Ion Beam and other analytical instruments. In 2005 Ruby left to continue her studies at Edinburgh University.

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Asloob Mudassar

RA (Jan. - May 2005)

Asloob MudassarAsloob received his B.Sc. degree in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Punjab (Pakistan) in 1989. In 1990 he joined Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan as a post graduate student and obtained an M.Sc. (Physics) degree in 1992. He received 9 months specialised training in Applied Optics and Laser Technologies from Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) by the end of 1992. After that he was absorbed in PIEAS as a Scientific Officer. In 1997 he was promoted to Senior Scientific Officer. His main duties at PIEAS included teaching and supervision of research projects at post graduate level. The main fields of interest at PIEAS included Optics, Lasers, Holography, and Opto-electronics. In 2001, in a country-wide competition he was selected for TROSS (Teachers and Researchers Overseas Scholarship Scheme) on the basis of GRE score in Physics (GRE stands for "Graduate Record Examination". It is the examconducted by (Education Testing Services) America world-wide on the same day to rank the expertise of people on world-wide basis).

In 2001 he joined Heriot-Watt University to conduct Ph.D. research work on Aperture Synthesis under the supervision of Dr. Andy Harvey. Whilst writing up his thesis, Asloob worked with the HW WAF on the Aperture Synthesis project.

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Visiting students:

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Adetunmise Dada

RA (Aug. - Sept. 2009)

Adetunmise Dada

Tunmise joined the HW WAF group for a short project to work on some of the mathematical and statistical modelling relating to the 3D imaging system and particle tracking applications. This was a very succesful piece of work and results from this will appear in our upcoming paper on this topic.

Tunmise has now joined the Heriot-Watt Quantum Information Theory group, led by Dr Erika Andersson, and is studying for his PhD.

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Thomas Bernhard

IASTE Student (Summer 2009)

Thomas Bernhard

Thomas joined the HW WAF group in the Summer of 2009 as part of the International Association for the exhange of Students for Technical Experience (IASTE). In his native Switzerland Thomas is studying an undergraduate program in Mechatronics and Electical Engineering.

Thomas' project with HW WAF was to design and build a portable Adaptive Optics system, using an electronically controlled OKO deformable mirror, for integration with our Olympus microscope system. The main aim of the project was to investigate the properties of the OKO mirror, and integrate its control with the image capture CCD, to attempt to reduce the effects of Spherical Aberration in the microscope system.

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Aaron Weiss

Undergraduate Project & Summer Student (2008)

Aaron WeissAaron joined the HW WAF group first as an undergraduate project student and was subsequently offered a job to continue this work as a summer student in 2008. Aaron worked on the Bioimaging project developing a telecentric broadband 3D imaging system for use with commercial microscopes. This work was very successful and is under further development.

Aaron returned to Germany to complete his diploma thesis.


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Vincent Mourai

Student (Summer 2002 & 2004)

Vincent Mourai

Vincent was a French student visiting us as part of his undergraduate degree programme. During his first summer project Vincent worked on wavefront sensing for adaptive optics, and on his second visit he built an specialised Lyot Coronagraph for the exo-planet imaging project. He returned to France to complete his undergraduate studies.




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Stephanie Fournier

Student (Summer 2004)

Stephanie FournierStephanie studyied for, and passed, a DUT Mesures Physiques at the IUT of Montpellier, in France. Her studies involved electronic, optics, chemistry, mathematics, mecanics. She came to work in the Heriot Watt university waves and fields group for her first placement.

Her project with the HWWAF group was on aperture synthesis and redundant spacings calibration. She returned to France to take her final examinations



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Aurelie Brun

Student (Summer 2004)

Aurelie BrunAurelie was a French student visiting the group as part of her Electronic and Optical Engineering undergraduate degree. Aurelie joined us to work on 3D particle tracking. Her project was to compare the 3D imaging techniques of using a distorted diffraction grating or an anamorphic lens to produce images on defocused planes. She returned to France to complete her degree programme.




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Meet the team

Use the links below to view the biographies of all our current group members, and alumni.

Group Leader:

Research Associates:

PhD/EngD Students: