Light-Field Motion Tracking in Laboratory Studies of Planet Formation

The Open University

PhD 3 years Milton Keynes, UK

Uploaded 29 Apr 2020

Job Description

STFC CASE+ Studentship

Light-Field Motion Tracking in Laboratory Studies of Planet Formation

A collaboration between the OU and DIAL Ltd

Deadline for Applications: May 29th 2020           
Remote Interviews: June 5th 2020

Supervision team: Dr Helen Fraser & Prof Simon Green (OU), Dr Neil Murray / Dr Anthony Evagora (DIAL Ltd)

Following the competitive award of an STFC CASE award, we are delighted to offer a 3.5 year fully-funded PhD studentship starting in October 2020, based at the Open University, School of Physical Sciences. This PhD will be focused on the engineering and technology developments required to develop video camera technology capable of operating in low pressure (< 10-4 mBar), temperature (< 180 K) and microgravity conditions, to record, track, and subsequently compute, the 3D motion of an ensemble of icy particles (sized between micron and cm diameter) in a single, light-field camera with micro-lens array, and produce the associated software processing tools (with industrial partner DIAL). The methodology involves bread-boarding a prototype camera to a flight-ready model through two evolutions (spending some months each year based at DIAL Ltd Milton Keynes location) and at each step benchmarking, testing, and space-qualifying the camera technology by employing it in a range of scientifically-motivated laboratory and microgravity experiments (based at the OU labs in Milton Keynes), focused on icy-grain aggregation relevant to planet-formation processes, exploiting existing experimental set-ups at the OU.

Are you a student with a strong Physics or Engineering background, expected to graduate in 2020 with a minimum 2:1 MPhys or MEng? Do you have an interest in optics and imaging technologies? Are you interested in Space Science – then this is likely to be the PhD for you!

If you would like to apply send a completed application form - home and EU students or application form - overseas students, an up to date CV, list of individual courses taken and grades obtained (or full course transcript), a personal statement of why you are interested in this particular project and how your skills match the research area, together with IETLS score (non UK nationals) to STEM-SPS-PhD by May 29th 2020. You are encouraged to contact the lead supervisor Dr Helen Fraser ([email protected]) prior to your application to discuss the project in more detail. 

Person Specification

A strong Physics or Engineering background, expected to graduate in 2020 with a minimum 2:1 MPhys or MEng.