PhD Studentship: Long-range High-precision Interferometry for Shape, Roughness and Vibration Measurement of Aerospace Structures

Loughborough University

Start date: 01/10/2017


Primary supervisor: Dr Pablo Ruiz

Secondary co-supervisor: Prof Jeremy Coupland

Secondary co-supervisor: Prof Jon Huntley

Intro (standard):

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail:

The project will involve the development of an interferometer to measure the shape of large scale aerospace structures, to an accuracy of a few micrometres, at distances of 10 m or more. Current laser trackers measure distance to a retro-reflective sphere placed in contact with the component’s surface – an indirect, labour-intensive and slow process. The new system will make measurements directly from the component’s surface, which will provide dramatic improvements in coordinate acquisition rate and allow the automation of key processes such as robotic assembly and machining to much higher precision than is currently possible. The new system will also provide additional measurement capability, in particular of surface roughness and vibration, at no additional hardware cost.

The successful applicant will become a member of the £30m EPSRC- and industry-funded Advanced Metrology hub, which is a collaboration between the universities of Huddersfield (lead), Loughborough, Sheffield and Bath. He/she will be based in the recently refurbished laboratories of the Optical Engineering research group at Loughborough, which has a long history of innovative development in applied optics technologies, and won a Queens Anniversary Prize in 2001. Dedicated equipment available for this project includes tunable lasers, laser vibrometers, wavemeter, and all the necessary opto-mechanical hardware, A total of 40  industrial collaborators, including the National Physical Laboratory, Renishaw and Rolls Royce, provide opportunities for eventual commercialisation of the developed technology.

Find out more:

Please follow this link for a summary of current projects and staff within the Optical Engineering Research group:

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a physical sciences, engineering, or related subject. Experience in one or more of the following areas will be an advantage: optical design, interferometry, signal processing, good working knowledge of one or more programming languages (C++, MATLAB).

Funding information:

The studentship will start in October 2017, for three years, and currently provides a tax-free stipend of £14,553 per annum plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,195 p.a.). While we welcome applications from non EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Pablo Ruiz

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 1509 227660

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Please quote reference number: JH07062017

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Midlands of England