Former members

We would love to hear from former members of our Group. Share your memories of your time here with us and your future progress for us to cherish and celebrate with you!

Click here to access the form to share the information.
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For any edits, please contact:
Prof Sonja Franke-Arnold (Sonja.Franke-Arnold@glasgow.ac.uk)
Prof Miles Padgett (Miles.Padgett@glasgow.ac.uk

Sara Restuccia (2014- Now)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD Student (Oct. 2014- Feb. 2020)
Research Assistant positions (2018-2020)
Subsequent
Appointment
Research Assistant, Optics Group, University of Glasgow
Current
Position
Research Assistant, Optics Group, University of Glasgow

"I really enjoy working in the Group as it has always been full of wonderful, friendly people and has made it a great place to learn, grow professionally and to make long time friends! From our chats at lunch, where I have learned the most random trivia ... to over-excitedly celebrating the successful alignment of the system with my postdoc (I continue the tradition even after she left :) )... to the constant supply of snacks or cakes in Miles' office for everyone to share..."

Neal Radwell (2010-2019)

Position(s)
with the Group
Research Fellow 
Subsequent
Appointment
M-Squared Lasers
Current
Position
M-Squared Lasers

"Without my time in the Optics Group I would never know what a cake made with a base of strawberry laces, French fancies and gummy worms filling tasted like (interesting), or whether it is a good idea to put the coffee back through a percolator to make coffee^2 (it isn't)...
As well as learning all this I had a wonderful time and even did some Physics!"

Adam Selyem (2015-2019)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD Student
Subsequent
Appointment
Researcher in Laser and Laser Systems, Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics
Current
Position
Same as above

"I remember very fondly the little board gaming group we had with Francesco, Ryan, Daan and Euan being regular members. Many fun evenings were had! There was, and I know is, a strong feeling of community in the group, it's really wonderful!"

Matt Edgar (2011-2018)

Position(s) 
with the Group
Research Associate 
Subsequent
Appointment
Applications Engineer/Product Owner, Innovation Team, M Squared Lasers
Current
Position
Product Manager at M Squared Lasers, working with a team of engineers to develop the world's most advanced broadly-tuneable continuous-wave laser systems for challenging customer applications in scientific, space and quantum research.

"I enjoyed our daily discussions on ridiculous topics fuelled by coffee and cake, for example, the implications of tethering the Moon to the Earth, the physics required to optically trap a pint of beer, and the feasibility of a laser popcorn maker and laser toast-slicer to name just a few!

Of the long list of outreach activities I took part in for the Optics Group, a highlight was speaking with British Astronaut Tim Peake whilst demonstrating our 3D LIDAR and SWIR cameras using our augmented reality app.

I also remember having our group photo taken on my last day using the single-pixel camera which was a laugh...I still have the picture framed and can almost recognise everyone."

Rebecca Hay (2013-2017)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD Student
Subsequent
Appointment
Laser Systems Engineer
Current
Position
Science and Physics Teacher

"I can thank the Optics group for giving me the opportunity to travel the world, learn to ski and to appreciate coffee."

David Phillips (2013-2017)

Position(s) 
with the Group
Postdoctoral Research Associate (2013-2016)
Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow (2016-2017)
Subsequent
Appointment
Proleptic Lecturer, University of Exeter
Current
Position
Associate Professor, and Head of the Structured Light Group at the University of Exeter.

"Watching Johannes attempt to unicycle down the corridor with Mike on his shoulders (it didn't end well...)"

Thomas Clark (2012-2016)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD student and (short-term) post-doctoral researcher.
Subsequent
Appointment
Got married (within a week or so) :)
Post-doctoral research position on a young researcher scholarship, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA).
My main job has been to help build a new quantum optics laboratory, with a focus on atom-cavity interaction.
Current
Position
We, at our new Group, are currently analysing the results regarding cavity photon statistics in the presence of Rubidium atoms having completed constructing our first major experiment. 

"A PhD will always have its ups and downs but, honestly, I really enjoyed my time in the Optics Group. Anyone who's been around in this cosy community will have quotes and memories coming out of their ears. To pick some out almost seems disrespectful and it's not without reason that I have three pages of acknowledgements in my thesis! I'll just repeat here that it may come as a surprise to those outside the fold, but it’s hard to think of a friendlier working environment than being kept in the basement with an optics research team. Whether you feel like an ancient Egyptian board game, unicycle jousting or the simple challenge of trying to uncover why there’s an office disco ball, there’s definitely something for everyone. In fact, I can honestly say, every single person I’ve bumped into in the last four years has had something to add to this story: something for which I can only offer my sincere thanks. Of all the wit and wisdom of Reuben Aspden however, I will particularly remember coming back to the office and hearing that I had eloped with a Hungarian princess."

Baoqing Sun (2010-2016)

Subsequent
Appointment
Academic position, Shandong University
Current
Position

Leading the Quantum & Imaging group at Shandong University, China.

"There was a story about a 3D printed toy. I heard that it is still spreading.."

Jacquiline Romero (2008-2015)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD student (2008-2012)
Postdoc (2012-2015)
Subsequent
Appointment
Postdoc, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland
Current
Position
Senior Lecturer and Westpac Research Fellow at the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Queensland. 

"We used to have a picture of a "god" who we called as the "spiral bandwidth god". There was a time when we always touch it every time we go to the lab, so we get a big spiral bandwidth :) I appreciate this is not very scientific, it was good fun though, haha. I have many fond memories of Glasgow Optics, people were friendly, and there was always cake! (Something I tried to recreate in Australia, to no avail!)"

Daniel Giovannini (2011-2015)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD Student (2011–2014)
Postdoctoral Researcher (2014–2015) 
Subsequent
Appointment
Research Program Director, Quantum Technologies at the University of Toronto, Canada (Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering & Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control)
Current
Position
Director, Business Development at Mitacs, a Canadian national not-for-profit organisation

"The Optics group is a special place. It has a fantastic sense of community, where world-class research meets unicycle jousting, mountain biking, laser popcorn makers, productive espresso breaks, and life-long friends. Also, has anyone mentioned cake yet?"

Colin Greenshields (2009, 2011-2015)

Position(s)
with the Group
Summer Student
PhD Student (joint with Materials and Condensed Matter Physics group)
Subsequent
Appointment
Chose to apply the programming and problem-solving skills I gained in physics within a business context, working on data systems in banking. Initially, this was North-West of England.
Current
Position
As of 2020, I'm back in Scotland, working as a consultant on an advanced IT and data analysis system to help a bank better detect financial crime. 

"I remember the group having a special atmosphere and being a lot of fun. Although in my PhD I had my office within a different group, I enjoyed taking part in activities such as weekly runs (and sometimes mad circuit training!) in Kelvingrove Park and along the river."

Martin Lavery (2008-2014)

Position(s)
with the Group
2008 - Summer Intern
2009 - PhD Student
2014 - EPSRC Doctoral Prize Research Fellow
Subsequent
Appointment
Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow
Current
Position
Full Professor at the University of Glasgow

"A very creative and supportive environment to kick start my academic career. The best coffee in the west end and lots of cake to fuel fun science. Just be warned, you may find your self on a very muddy mountain bike track with Miles before you know it."

Richard Bowman (2008-2012)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD Student
Subsequent
Appointment
Research Fellowship at Queens' College and the Nanophotonics Centre, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Current
Position
Royal Society University Research Fellow, Department of Physics, University of Bath. 

"I'll always remember the group meeting after which four of us (including Miles) joined a spontaneous bike ride, organised by Lance Armstrong on Twitter! That was before he was found out...

My PhD offer was an unconventional one - I had to promise to get a mountain bike, and in return Miles would get me a faster Mac than he had. We both held up the conditions of the offer, and it was a great fun four years!"

Daryl Preece (2007-2011)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD Student, RA 
Subsequent
Appointment
Went to Australia to start a Post Doc. (Anything for a little sunlight)
Current
Position
I have my own optics group at University California Irvine, We are interested in optical forces and how light interacts with matter. Basically we try to find the most exciting optical physics we can and then and use it to solve biomedical problems.

"I have fond memories of my time in Glasgow. I remember unicycling and lab cricket in the corridors late into the night (turns out experiments take a really long time). I also remember long conversations over afternoon coffee with lots of goodies from M&S."

Jonathan Leach (2002-2010)

Subsequent
Appointment
Post-doc with Prof Robert (Bob) Boyd in Ottawa, Canada
Current
Position
Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University

Kevin O'Holleran (2004-2008)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD student
Subsequent
Appointment
Startup company applying advanced mathematical models to industrial problems.
Current
Position

Leads a light microscopy research group at the University of Cambridge
Director of the Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre.

"Learning to ride a unicycle and racing them down the basement corridor with Johannes. Not the most transferable skill I picked up in the Optics group."

Jörg Götte (2007)

Position(s)
with the Group
Research Assistant 
Subsequent
Appointment
Postdoc position at Leiden University
Current
Position
Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow

Graeme Whyte (2003-2006)

Position(s)
with the Group
PhD Student 
Subsequent
Appointment
PDRA, University of Cambridge
Current
Position
Associate Prof., Heriot-Watt University

"The Optics Group was a wonderful place to do a PhD with lots of opportunities to work on different things and learn so much - in the lab, around the lunch table or over a pint or two."