Selected SUPA PhD students present their research


Dr David Stothard

David StothardAfter completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Essex, Colchester, in 1997, David moved to the University of St Andrews to undertake a PhD in Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics under Professor Malcolm H Dunn. Several postdoctoral position followed, both in the Dunn research group and the schools' Photonics Innovation Centre, where he worked upon several industrially funded projects. He has always been highly enthusiastic about the practical application of his research and has worked closely with several industrial and governmental organisations to ensure maximum societal impact of the lasers systems upon which he has worked. He is now a SUPA-funded knowledge transfer technologist, there to help the translation of technology originating within the laboratories of SUPA into the commercial sector.


Professor Charles Cockell

Charles Cockell is a geomicrobiologist/astrobiologist at the Open University. His academic interests encompass microbe-mineral interactions and their implications for life in extreme environments and the habitability of extraterrestrial environments, and microbiology in the space environment.

Dr Allan Colquhoun

After nine years at Strathclyde University as an undergrad, postgrad and postdoc Allan Colquhoun joined what is now SELEX Galileo in Edinburgh where he worked in design engineering, project management, marketing and strategy roles before becoming the University Liaison and Emerging Technologies Manager. He is a past Chairman of the Scottish Optoelectronic Association. He sits on many boards including Scottish Enterprise's Technology Advisory Group, the Institute of Physics Business and Innovation Board and the SU2P Industrial Advisory board.

Margaret McGarry

Margaret McGarry was one of the original Advisory Board Members of SUPA, and in her role as Senior Director Knowledge Transfer at Scottish Enterprise, ensured that Knowledge Exchange was a key strand of SUPA activity.
She is now a Member of Court at the University of Strathclyde and runs her own consultancy company, Lambie McGarry.

Student Speakers

1. Graham Bruce – St Andrews

Graham BruceGraham grew up in Forfar, Angus, and completed his MPhys in Theoretical Physics and Maths at University of St Andrews. His PhD studies are directed towards the realisation of novel trapping techniques for cold atoms, particularly the generation of exotic optical traps using computer-generated holography.
Title: "Exotic Optical Traps for Ultracold Atoms"

2. Christopher Wilson – UWS

Christopher WilsonChris is an experimental nuclear physicist at the University of the West of Scotland. He has conducted research into nuclear structure using a variety of gamma-ray spectrometers in Legnaro (Italy), Orsay (France) Jyvaskyla (Finland) and Chicago (USA). His principal research interest focuses on the octupole deformation of light-actinide nuclei, which is the title of his PhD thesis.
Away from physics, Chris is a successful marathon runner with several top ten finishes in the Edinburgh Marathon and a personal best time of 2 hours and 26 minutes. He has also recently represented Scotland in the Home Countries International cross country race in Antrim.
Title: "Pear-shaped and heart-shaped atomic nuclei"

3. Jennifer Noble – Strathclyde

Jennifer NobleJennifer is in the final year of her PhD at the University of Strathclyde, where she study the distribution and formation of simple molecules in molecular clouds.
Title: "The role and evolution of CO2 in star forming regions"

4. Chaitanya Joshi – Heriot Watt

Chaitanya is a second year PhD student at Heriot Watt University working in the interdisciplinary field of quantum optics and quantum information. He is interested in theoretical aspects of quantum classical transition, quantum nanomechanics and their applications to quantum information processing. In particular his research group are trying to understand the intriguing dynamics of mechanical oscillators operating in the quantum regime.
Title: "Quantum Superposition of Macroscopic Objects"

5. Cristina Oropeza Barrera - Glasgow

Cristina Oropeza BarreraCristina Oropeza Barrera is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Glasgow in the Experimental Particle Physics group. She obtained her degree in Physics Engineering at the Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City. Her research focuses on the study of two-particle correlations in proton-proton collisions to understand the dynamics of particle production and provide input to the phenomenological models of soft interactions.
Title: "The ATLAS experiment at the LHC: results from the new energy frontier"

6. Daniil Nikitichev – Dundee

Daniil NikitichevDaniil received Master degree in State University of the Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 2008. He was trained at the State Optic Institute during the year 2006. He worked as an engineer at the Central Research Institute of Structural Materials "Prometey", doing research work in the area of Laser Thermo strengthening from 2006-2008. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Dundee, where he is working on the FAST-DOT project, where he is engaged with the development of a new generation of compact and low cost ultrafast lasers based on quantum-dot materials.
Title: "Record power from mode-locked two-section gain-guided tapered quantum-dot lasers"

7. Helena David – Edinburgh (winner)

Helena DavidAs an experimental nuclear astrophysicist at Edinburgh, Helena’s work involves gathering structure information for exotic nuclei that are key in explosive astrophysical scenarios, such as X-ray bursters. Helena is in her second year, and also enjoys tutoring the undergraduate nuclear physicists.
Title: "Measurements of exotic nuclei for explosive nuclear astrophysics"

8. Luca Ciandrini – Aberdeen

Luca got a degree and a master in Theoretical Physics in Pavia, his hometown, and spent six months in Paris with the Erasmus programme. After arriving in Scotland about two years ago, he turned to the dark side, Biology. Since then, he has been working on an interdisciplinary project on the boundaries between Physics and Biology.
With his research Luca approaches the study of the last stage of protein synthesis, the mRNA translation, in a statistical-mechanic perspective. In fact this biological process can be interpreted as a driven lattice gas, and he extends a well known model (the TASEP) in order to make it closer to the underlying system and to be able to compare the results to experiments.
Title: "Queueing on the protein production line: a physical-inspired model for protein synthesis"