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Personal profile

Research interests

Duncan's research is focused on applications of high power lasers in manufacturing and in medicine. He is Director of the £3.7M 4-University Medical Device Manufacturing Centre, and PI of an EPSRC grant on 3D printing of shape memory alloys for medical applications.  Furthermore, he is PI of the recently-awarded £1.3M EPSRC Platform Grant on Manufacturing of Medical Devices, and is also involved in ERC-funded work on laser-based manufacture of micro-fluidic devices to simulate porous media for application in Carbon Capture and Storage; and is co-Investigator of an EPSRC grant to develop minimally-invasive laser-based surgery for treatment of early stage colon cancer.

Current industrial collaborators include Renishaw, Leonardo, Oxford Lasers, Coherent Scotland, SPI Lasers, AWE, MAN Energy Systems, Gooch & Housego


Duncan graduated from the University of St Andrews in 1986 with a BSc in Physics with Electronics, and from the University of Southampton (Optical Fibre Group) in 1991 with a PhD.  In 1991 he moved to Heriot-Watt University, initially employed as a Research Associate. In 1997 he was appointed Lecturer in Physics and subsequently promoted to Reader (2001) and Professor of Applied Photonics (2003).  He has held a rnage of additional appointments, as Director of the Photonics EngD Centre (2001 - 2007); Director of Postgraduate Research (2001 - 2007); Head of Physics (2007 - 2011); Acting Head of School (2011); Director of Research (2012 - 2015); Acting Deputy Principal (Pro-VC) Research (2015-2016); Deputy Head of School (2012 onwards).

Roles & Responsibilities

Duncan is currently Deouty Head of School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Director of the Medical Device Manufacturing Centre


  • QC Physics
  • laser
  • photonics
  • manufacturing
  • medical
  • optics

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Research Output

A Pore-Scale Investigation of Fluid Displacement and Residual Trapping Under Intermediate-Wet Conditions

Nhunduru, R., Jahanbakhsh, A., Shahrokhi, O., Wlodarczyk, K., Hand, D., MacPherson, W., Garcia, S. & Maroto-Valer, M., 5 May 2020, EGU General Assembly 2020: Sharing Geoscience Online.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
  • Impact of laser texturing parameters and processing environment in the anti-wetting transition of nanosecond laser generated textures

    Godoy Vilar, J. P., Góra, W. S., See, T. L. & Hand, D. P., 2 Mar 2020, Laser-Based Micro- and Nanoprocessing XIV. Klotzbach, U., Watanabe, A. & Kling, R. (eds.). SPIE, 1126818. (Proceedings of SPIE; vol. 11268).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 44 Downloads (Pure)

    Investigation of an interlaced laser beam scanning method for ultrashort pulse laser micromachining applications

    Wlodarczyk, K. L., Schille, J., Naumann, L., Lopes, A., Bitharas, I., Bidare, P., Dondieu, S., Blair, P., Loeschner, U., Moore, A. J., Maroto-Valer, M. M. & Hand, D. P., 18 Jun 2020, In : Journal of Materials Processing Technology. 285, 12 p., 116807.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    7 Downloads (Pure)

    Polylactic is a Sustainable, Low Absorption, Low Autofluorescence Alternative to Other Plastics for Microfluidic and Organ-on-Chip Applications

    Ongaro, A. E., Di Giuseppe, D., Kermanizadeh, A., Miguelez Crespo, A., Mencattini, A., Ghibelli, L., Mancini, V., Wlodarczyk, K. L., Hand, D. P., Martinelli, E., Stone, V., Howarth, N., La Carrubba, V., Pensabene, V. & Kersaudy-Kerhoas, M., 5 May 2020, In : Analytical Chemistry. 92, 9, p. 6693-6701 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 4 Citations (Scopus)


    Data accompanying "Measurement of resonant bend loss in anti-resonant hollow core optical fiber"

    Carter, R. (Creator), Yu, F. (Contributor), Wadsworth, W. J. (Contributor), Shephard, J. D. (Contributor), Birks, T. A. (Contributor), Knight, J. C. (Contributor) & Hand, D. P. (Contributor), Heriot-Watt University, 16 Aug 2017


    Towards industrial ultrafast laser microwelding: SiO2 and BK7 to an Aluminium Alloy - Data

    Carter, R. (Creator), Troughton, M. (Creator), Chen, J. (Creator), Elder, I. (Creator), Thomson, R. R. (Creator), Esser, M. J. D. (Creator), Lamb, R. A. (Creator) & Hand, D. P. (Creator), Heriot-Watt University, 2017



    • 18 Oral presentation
    • 5 Invited talk
    • 1 Membership of Advisory Panel
    • 1 Membership of peer review panel

    Direct laser-writing of holographic markings for protecting luxury products against counterfeiting

    Krystian Wlodarczyk (Speaker), Marcus Ardron (Contributor), Simone Mazzucato (Contributor), Luca Valisari (Contributor), Federico Iacovella (Contributor), Nicholas J. Weston (Contributor) & Duncan Paul Hand (Contributor)

    27 Jun 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Ultrafast laser manufacturing of glass microfluidic devices

    Krystian Wlodarczyk (Speaker), Richard Carter (Contributor), Omid Shahrokhi (Contributor), Rumbidzai Nhunduru (Contributor), Amir Jahanbakhsh (Contributor), Duncan Paul Hand (Contributor) & M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer (Contributor)

    26 Jun 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Direct laser writing of anti-counterfeiting holographic structures on metal products

    Krystian Wlodarczyk (Speaker), Marcus Ardron (Contributor), Nicholas J. Weston (Contributor) & Duncan Paul Hand (Contributor)

    20 Mar 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Laser-based fabrication of microfluidic devices for porous media applications

    Krystian Wlodarczyk (Speaker), Amir Jahanbakhsh (Contributor), Richard Carter (Contributor), Robert R J Maier (Contributor), Duncan Paul Hand (Contributor) & M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer (Contributor)

    13 May 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation