Research Associate in Applied Laser Development

Heriot-Watt University - School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Research in Heriot-Watt's Ultrafast Optics Group concerns the development of novel femtosecond laser sources and their application in innovative ways to enable spectroscopy, metrology, and microscopy. We work collaboratively, often with users in industry, and our laser sources are being applied in areas as diverse as astronomy, optical metrology, and the failure analysis of state-of-the-art integrated circuits.

This appointment is in support of a feasibility study jointly supported by UK industry and the EPSRC to demonstrate a new laser source for the generation of random bit streams, seeded by quantum noise and quadratically-scalable to multi-Gbit/s levels, for use in high-speed secure communications, computer simulations, and digital gambling.

As the principal RA on this project you will work an industrial partner to develop the laser sources and related measurement techniques, along with digitising and analysing the resultant bit streams. The project has three strands, each of which will be personally carried out by you, with the support of the PI:

  1. the construction and characterisation of an efficient parametric down conversion module;
  2. the implementation of a heterodyne measurement and data acquisition scheme;
  3. benchmarking performance of the random bit stream generator against competitive technologies, and assessing future scalability.

A report on the outcomes of this project will be completed in consultation with our industrial partner.

The post is available for six months.

You must have demonstrable experience in laser development, ideally with expertise in parametric down conversion, supported by evidence of lead-author publications and a relevant PhD qualification (or a thesis successfully examined by the appointment date).

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Richard McCracken (email: or tel.: 0131 451 3645).

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts at Heriot-Watt.

For application details and further information please go to:

Ref: IRC13588

Closing Date: 9 March 2018.

Share this job
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role: