• EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Research interests

Richard's research interests revolve around precision laser manufacturing, optical system automation and fibre optics. Recent projects have included: high power beam delivery with novel hollow core fibre optics; fibre optic environmental sensing; micro material processing including machining, drilling and welding; microwelding of highly dissimilar materials; the use of robotics to align optical systems and novel beamshaping techniques. His research has led to collaborations with a number of external partners including Renishaw, Leonardo MW, Gooch and Housego, M-Solv, Oxford Lasers, MTC, CPI, University of Bath, University of Manchester, Cranfield University, Cambridge University and the CSIR (India).


Richard graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2005 with an MPhys, from the Universities of St-Andrews and Heriot-Watt with an MSc in photonics and opto-electronic devices in 2007 and in 2012 from Heriot-Watt with a PhD developing long period fibre gratings for environmental gas sensing. He was then joined the high power laser applications group at Heriot-Watt as a research associate investigating laser based production processes. He was one of the founding members of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser Based Production Processes. In 2018 was appointed a Research Fellow (Lecturer) within the Institute for Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt University and in 2021 promoted to his current role as Associate Professor with teaching responsibilities in both Physics and Mechanical Engineering.


He is a member of the Applied Optics and Photonics Group, The Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences and the National Robotarium where he serves as the Academic Lead in Precision Laser Applications. Outside of the University he is a member of the committee of the Association of Industrial Laser Users.


Research Group Contact Details

Applied Optics and Photonics Group

Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences

Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS

Office: EMB: G.19,

Phone: +44 (0)131 451 4143

E-Mail: [email protected]

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


  • QC Physics
  • Optics
  • laser
  • Material Processing
  • Fiber Optics


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