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Ultra Precision Conference 2018

Organised by the 2017/18 MRes cohort, this event was a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Cranfield University, to gather experts in the field of ultra precision engineering, providing an opportunity to share past, current and future research, ideas and products. It took place at the University of Cambridge on the 24th May 2018. Exhibitions were displayed by Bronkhorst, Aerotech, Advanced Chemical Etching and Physik Instrumente.




Prof Peter Childs

Prof Peter Childs: Professorial Lead in Engineering Design, Imperial College London.

Prof Peter Childs is Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering and the Professorial Lead in Engineering Design at Imperial College London. His general interests include: creativity; the application of creativity tools; mechanical and product design; robotics; rotating flow, temperature and its measurement, sustainable energy component, concept and system design.

He was formerly the director of InQbate, the HEFCE funded Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Creativity, director of the Rolls-Royce supported University Technology Centre for Aero-Thermal Systems and a professor at the University of Sussex.


Dr Hannah Joyce: Researcher, University of Cambridge.

Dr Joyce’s research aims to create nanoscale and low-dimensional components for future electronic and optoelectronic devices. These components include low-dimensional materials such as graphene, monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (e.g. monolayer MoS2) and semiconductor nanowires.        


Dr Petros Stavroulakis: Research Fellow, University of Nottingham.

Petros received his BEng in Electronics, MSc in Nano-Electronics and his PhD on 'Low-glare biomimetic nanotextured antireflection layers for stealth and solar cell applications' from the Nano Research Centre of the University of Southampton.

Since March of 2015 he has been employed at the University of Nottingham as a research fellow in form metrology focused primarily on complex form measurement for Additive Manufacturing (AM) applications. His current research focus is on the use of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision to enable and develop the next generation of 3D form optical inspection equipment which will employ the concept of Information Rich Metrology (IRM). His research aims to break the physical performance barriers of traditional optical form measurement equipment and provide the AM industry with the tools necessary to accomplish tight quality control and completely automate the inspection of their manufacturing processes including that of 3D-printed parts.


Prof Xichun Luo: Professer in Ultra Precision Engineering, University of Strathclyde.

Xichun is a Professor in ultra precision manufacturing at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow). He obtained his PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University (UK). From 2004 to 2007, he worked at Cranfield University as a research officer and delivered the world leading research in ultra precision diamond turning and grinding of freeform optics. From 2007 to 2012 he was a lecturer at Heriot-Watt University. From 2012 to 2013 he was a Reader in ultra precision manufacturing at the University of Huddersfield where he leads an Advanced Machining Research Group. He received funding from EPSRC, EC, SFC, ROE and industries (Renishaw, STMicroeletronics, Spanoptic, etc.). He is selected as Scottish Crucibles by Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2010.


Dr Michael de Podesta: Researcher, NPL.  

Michael graduated with a B.Sc. from Sussex University in 1981 and then in 1985 completed a D.Phil. in the electronic properties of metals at cryogenic temperatures. After postdoctoral work at Bristol University, he was appointed a lecturer at the University of London in 1987 and joined NPL in 2000. At NPL he leads the team which has made the most accurate temperature measurements ever, detailing the errors in all other thermometers on Earth. Michael is a chartered physicist, a member of the Institute of Physics and in 2009 he was awarded an MBE for Services to Science.


Prof Graham Machin: Researcher, NPL.

Graham Machin joined the Temperature Group at NPL in 1991, after completing his DPhil at the University of Oxford on the Physics of Compact Stellar Binary Systems. He has published over 200 papers on temperature-related issues and has given numerous invited lectures around the world. He is the NPL representative on the BIPM Consultative Committee for Thermometry (CCT), chair of the CCT working group on non-contact thermometry and a member of the CCT taskforce for the kelvin redefinition and the CCT working group on strategy. Graham Machin's current research interests include contact and non-contact thermometry, high temperature fixed-points, thermal imaging, primary thermometry (radiometry and acoustic thermometry), clinical thermometry (contact, non-contact and internal), thermocouple developments (including self-validation methods), reliable temperature measurements in hostile environments, especially space/aerospace and nuclear decommissioning, and metrology for wound management and prevention.



Dr Athina Markaki: University Reader, University of Cambridge.

Athina Markaki is a University Reader at the Engineering Department, University of Cambridge. She leads the Materials Engineering and Material-Tissue Interaction Group. Her research is centred on production of vascularized networks for the development of tissues at clinically relevant dimensions, and on highly porous fibre network materials and the study of the inter-relationships between architecture, thermo-mechanical behaviourand cell responses. As a principal investigator, she has secured national and international funding of ~£2 million, carrying out interdisciplinary research in healthcare/medical engineering. She has received several awards including the 2004 De Montford Award at "SET for Britain", an Advanced EPSRC Fellowship (2005), an ERC Starting Grant (2010) and a 2017 Rosetrees Interdisciplinary Runner-up Prize between Engineering and Medicine.   



Dr Grigorios Rigas: Research Engineer, M-solv Ltd.

Dr. Grigorios (Greg) Rigas is an R&D Engineer at M-Solv Ltd, working on the development of novel processing techniques for large area printed electronics (PE). After graduating in the top 1% of his class as an Electronic Engineer in Greece, Greg moved to Surrey to pursue an MSc in Nanotechnology and Nanoelectronics, where he received a distinction for his work on PE. In 2013 he was awarded a 4-year scholarship from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to pursue a PhD at the University of Surrey (UoS). His research project, titled “Advanced processing and characterisation of printable single crystal electronics”, aimed to tackle the key challenges associated with introducing PE into large-scale manufacture. Under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Castro (NPL) and Dr. Maxim Shkunov (UoS), he (co)-authored more than 10 peer-reviewed journals (including Nature Commun., ACS Nano and IEEE), a book chapter and, presented in more than 20 conferences. Greg is the recipient of a series of academic awards including the 2017 Postgraduate Award for an Outstanding Researcher from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). His current research interests are within the field of printable biomedical devices and energy harvesting-storage configurations.


Dr Manish Tiwari: Reseacher and Lecturer, University College London.

Dr Manish K Tiwari is a lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University College London. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). After graduating, he first did his postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies at ETH Zurich. After two years as a postdoc, he became a Group Leader in the same Laboratory and stayed on at ETH Zurich for two more years. Dr Tiwari’s research focuses on physics of small scale transport phenomena with an emphasis on developing energy efficient technologies. He has published papers in high quality journals such as Nature Communications, PNAS, Nano Letters etc. Some of these papers were also selected for unsolicited highlights in journals such as Nature and Nature Physics.


Dr Silvia Vignolini: Reseacher, University of Cambridge.

Dr Silvia Vignolini's research aims to elucidate the design principles that underlie the evolution of natural photonic structures by studying their assembly and optical response. Inspired by nature, we develop tools to fabricate artificial photonic structures using natural materials. The outcome of our research activity will pave the way to the production of low cost, biodegradable novel materials, which could replace traditional, potentially hazardous colorants used industrially for different applications, such as cosmetics, textiles and security labelling.


Prof David Walker: Professor of Ultra precision surfaces, University of Huddersfield.






Advanced Chemical Etching

Bronkhorst UK Ltd

Physik Instrumente Ltd



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