Instrumentation, Sensors & Imaging

Our ability to sense, measure and detect information in every aspect of our lives has had a major impact on how we live.  With the emergence of new technologies of which Glasgow University is a pioneer in many fields we confidently expect to see a transformation in the capability and deployment of sensor and measurement technologies in the next 20 years.

Sensors research at the University of Glasgow is of the highest international standard. We are leaders in the doctoral training, instrument development, sensor and quantum technologies and information sciences. This is recognised through the award of funding for Centres for Doctoral Training, the Quantum Imaging Centre, ERC, Royal Society and EPSRC fellowships, and major programme grants covering topics ranging from biomedical sensors through to networks of sensors. Instrumentation, Sensors & Imaging

Research at Glasgow University has made the major advances in high energy physics and gravitational waves research possible.  Without the work of our scientists major breakthroughs including the observation of the Higgs Boson and confirmation of Einstein’s prediction of gravitation waves would not have been possible. Our research is now paving the way for future discoveries.

Ground breaking research at Glasgow University in sensors and systems has enabled major progress in biological and chemical sensing.  This has made spin-out and commercial activity for lab-on-a-chip through to gene sequencing technology possible. We are now planning our next generation of research that will further revolutionise healthcare technology. Research in optics has paved the way for the creation of sensing algorithms including compressive sensing and the solution of inverse problems for information retrieval to be pioneered in Glasgow.

At the University of Glasgow our research into sensor science underpins basic science and delivers major discoveries that tell us more about our universe and the world in which we live. Our technology makes new science possible and enables new products and services that change our world to improve our health, economy and security.

Related Research

You can find out more information about sensors, and the University of Glasgow's sensors research, here

Find out more about how the ground-breaking Instrumentation, Sensors & Imaging space research at the University here

Key Projects

S4 (Science of Sensor Systems Software): 

S4 (Science of Sensor Systems Software) is a key research activity in the areas of Sensor Systems led by Professor Muffy Calder in collaboration with St Andrews and Liverpool Universities and Imperial College.

This programme grant funded by EPSRC will deliver new principles and techniques for the development and deployment of verifiable, reliable, autonomous sensor systems that operate in uncertain, multiple and multi-scale environments. 


Silicon Compatible GaN Power Electronics: 

Power electronics are seldom seen, yet our daily lives would be very different without them. Power electronics are crucial to improving the battery life of a mobile phone & to maximising the efficiency of high-voltage transmission lines. They are found in railways & hybrid cars, in TVs & energy efficient lighting. Although not perhaps obvious, power electronics are vital to meeting the CO2 reduction targets set by Government. The use of these technologies in the control of electrical machines in factories is predicted to save up to 9% of total electrical energy consumption in the UK. 

This EPSRC programme grant led by Professor Iain Thayne, in collaboration with the Universities of Nottingham, Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool and Cambridge predicts a 50% improvement in energy efficiency over current silicon devices, transistors produced from gallium nitride (the same semiconductor material used in low energy LEDs) have the potential to revolutionise power electronics. By working together the research teams will develop & prototype highly efficient, gallium nitride power electronics devices with world-leading performance. Critically, routes to manufacture in a silicon wafer fabrication facility will be developed.