"5 PhD students will evaluate novel avenues in the research of the Physics of supercontinuum (SC), photonics crystal fibre, dispersion in broadband light, white light interferometry, spectral interferometry, optical coherence tomography (OCT), spectroscopy, endoscopy and related fields.
The EID network will provide a comprehensive and multi-faceted education for the 5 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) through a joint academia-industry PhD programme in the dynamic field of Photonics with applications to high resolution non invasive imaging. The ESRs will have an opportunity to perform high-level research in one of the premier coherence imaging groups in Europe and in one of the leading manufacturers of SC sources for the scientific market. The area of research covered by the EID comprises novel broadband manipulation of light for innovative sources from UV to infrared, as well as the development of innovative devices capable of operating within such large optical bandwidth and their applications. Although the field is relatively new, commercial exploitation of SC principles has steadily progressed in the last 5 years. Academic knowledge gained in the University labs will be matched with a vision of entrepreneurship and technology translation to applications.
The Applied Optics Group at the University of Kent, UK (UoK) will lead and provide the academic framework.
NKT-Photonics, Denmark (NKT), the industrial partner in the EID, is the world leader in infrared and visible SC sources and will provide the industrial experience. ESRs will spend time at both sites.
Since the main area of application of SC is biomedicine via OCT, the Institute of Ophthalmology (IO) of the University College London and Northwick Park Hospital (NPH) London are co-opted as associated partners. To enhance the ophthalmic imaging component as well as that of entrepreneurial education, Optos Plc, the largest UK manufacturer of imaging systems for the eye, is also co-opted as an associated partner. Further academic input on the physics of SC is provided by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
Five integrated workpackages are planned, one per each ESR, with dual focus (SC engineering and its applications), under the expert guidance of NKT researchers at the forefront of broadband generation, and those (UoK and Optos) at the forefront of OCT, with significant input from the other two associated clinical partners, IO and NPH. Among the anticipated network benefits is the development of a long-term collaboration between partners.
Together, the 4 associated partners will complement the education by research of the 5 ESRs with skills in communication, writing scientific reports, managing research, ethical issues, IPR protection, entrepreneurship, standardisation, dissemination and outreach. Two workshops and a conference are planned, to educate the ESRs on dissemination as well as to inform the scientific community on the novel devices to be researched."
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