Towards Flexible Micro-Endoscopy: Compressive Characterisation and Control of Light Propagation Through Multi-mode Optical Fibres - Physics and Astronomy - EPSRC DTP funded PhD Studentship Ref: 2939

About the award

This project is one of a number funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership to commence in September 2018. This project is in direct competition with others for funding; the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding.

The studentships will provide funding for a stipend which is currently £14,553 per annum for 2017-2018. It will provide research costs and UK/EU tuition fees at Research Council UK rates for 42 months (3.5 years) for full-time students, pro rata for part-time students.

Please note that of the total number of projects within the competition, up to 15 studentships will be filled.

Supervisors
Dr David Phillips
Dr Jacopo Bertolotti

Location 
Streatham Campus, Exeter

Project Description
Towards Flexible Micro-Endoscopy: Compressive characterisation and control of light propagation through multi-mode optical fibres. Multi-mode optical fibres make excellent candidates for future micro-endoscopes: promising high-resolution imaging deep inside the body with minimal disruption to surrounding tissue due to their small (~300um diameter) footprint. However, before this can become a reality there are some significant challenges to overcome: As light propagates through optical fibres, the spatial information is scrambled in a complicated manner, meaning that the wavefront emerging from the near end no longer forms an image of the scene at the far end. This scrambling operation must be characterised and inverted to reconstruct the image, which is a complex and time-consuming process.

Current methods to characterize the scrambling through optical fibres require access to both the near and far ends. Unfortunately, the scrambling is dependent upon the precise configuration of the optical fibres – any bending, twisting, or changes in temperature alter how the light is scrambled, thus requiring its re-characterisation before image reconstruction can be achieved. This limits the use of such a system as an endoscope where only the near end of the optical fibre is accessible.

Solutions: In this project we will aim to solve these challenges using a combination of cutting-edge laser beam shaping technology and new computational techniques. 

Through this project you will get the chance to contribute to the development of a new kind of medical instrument – a hair thin endoscope that can see individual cells at high resolution inside the body.

Entry Requirements
The project will involve laboratory-based experiments using lasers, liquid crystal displays and fast cameras. It will also involve programming these devices to work together. This project will suit a highly motivated student who is keen to develop their experimental and programming skills (e.g. LabVIEW, Matlab, Python). There will also be the opportunity to travel to international conferences and to work with collaborators on mainland Europe.

The majority of the studentships are available for applicants who are ordinarily resident in the UK and are classed as UK/EU for tuition fee purposes.  If you have not resided in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, you are not eligible for a maintenance allowance so you would need an alternative source of funding for living costs. To be eligible for fees-only funding you must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU.  For information on EPSRC residency criteria click here.

Applicants who are classed as International for tuition fee purposes are NOT eligible for funding. International students interested in studying at the University of Exeter should search our funding database for alternative options.

Summary

Application deadline:10th January 2018
Value:3.5 year studentship: UK/EU tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate. Current rate of £14,553 per year.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Doctoral Collegepgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

How to apply

You will be required to upload the following documents:
•       CV
•       Letter of application outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to
        undertake the project.
•       Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained.  This should be an interim
        transcript if you are still studying.
•       If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your current
        proficiency in English.  For further details of the University’s English language requirements please see
        http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/.

The closing date for applications is midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 10 January 2018.  Interviews will be held at the University of Exeter in late February 2018.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email: pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk.
Project-specific queries should be directed to the supervisor.

During the application process, the University may need to make certain disclosures of your personal data to third parties to be able to administer your application, carry out interviews and select candidates.  These are not limited to, but may include disclosures to:

• the selection panel and/or management board or equivalent of the relevant programme, which is likely to include staff from one or more other HEIs;
• administrative staff at one or more other HEIs participating in the relevant programme.

Such disclosures will always be kept to the minimum amount of personal data required for the specific purpose. Your sensitive personal data (relating to disability and race/ethnicity) will not be disclosed without your explicit consent.