Ph.D. studentship: AI-enhanced ultra-thin optical shape mapping probes for manufacturing and medicine

University of Nottingham

16 Jun 2023
Job Information

University of Nottingham
Research Field
Computer science » Other
Engineering » Other
Medical sciences » Other
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
United Kingdom
Application Deadline
23 Jun 2023 – 22:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

Location:  UK Other 

Closing Date:  Friday 23 June 2023 

Reference:  ENG1681

Ph.D. studentship: AI-enhanced ultra-thin optical shape mapping probes for manufacturing and medicine

Vision: We seek a Ph.D. student to develop AI-enabled ultra-thin imaging devices that will allow 3D reconstruction in confined spaces such as manufacturing medical devices and imaging cancers inside the body. Our philosophy is to mentor students to develop new skills in optics, manufacturing and AI, as well as professional career skills, so that they can become world-class researchers.

Motivation: Accurately measuring internal geometries of objects is critical for manufacturing and medicine. For example many medical devices, such as stents, implants, prosthetics, and drug delivery devices, have hollow internal structures that must be checked carefully during manufacturing, but standard X-ray imaging cannot do this safely and accurately. Similarly, in clinical medicine, surgeons looking for pre-cancerous growths in the bowel need to accurately characterise shapes of these growths to identify aggressive cancers, but devices to do this must fit inside very thin surgical instruments.

Aim: You will design, build and test a prototype ultra-thin 3D shape-measurement device based on optical fibre technology and fringe projection technology.  This will involve learning several key technologies: optical design and simulation tools; experimental implementation and validation of different optical designs e.g. nano-fabricated metasurfaces, fibre arrays; and the latest AI image processing techniques for improving image quality and acquisition speed.

What we offer:

  • A world-class multidisciplinary research environment, spanning optics and manufacturing to AI and clinical medicine
  • A supportive culture for researchers as signatories of the Researcher Development Concordat ( )
  • A chance to learn new skills: optics, coding, manufacturing, AI, clinical applications
  • The opportunity to produce high-quality publications
  • Travel to visit international partners and attend conferences
  • 3.5-years funding including fees (home fee status only i.e. UK, Ireland and some UK-resident EU)

What you should have:

  • 1st or 2.1 honours undergraduate or master’s degree in Engineering, Physics, Computer Science or similar
  • Enthusiasm for hands-on experiments
  • Basic coding abilities in any language (e.g. Python or MATLAB or C/C++)
  • Excellent communication skills
  • The ability to work collaboratively in a team across disciplines

The project will be based jointly between the labs of Dr. George Gordon, with expertise in optical fibres, AI algorithms and medical imaging (more at ) and Prof. Samanta Piano, with expertise in metrology for manufacturing.

Deadline: 23 June 2023. Please contact Dr. Gordon and Prof. Piano ASAP if you are interested in applying at [email protected] and [email protected] Note that the funding associated with this role is awarded via an internal competition and is therefore only confirmed some time after the admission application is approved.

Our University is a supportive, inclusive and caring community and we encourage applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. The Faculty of Engineering was the first in the UK to be awarded an Athena SWAN Gold Award, in recognition of our commitment to supporting and advancing women’s careers in Engineering.


Research Field
Computer science
Years of Research Experience
1 – 4

Research Field
Years of Research Experience
1 – 4

Research Field
Medical sciences
Years of Research Experience
1 – 4

Additional Information

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
University of Nottingham
United Kingdom
Postal Code
University Park

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