Two PhD positions in the Applied Optics group, University of Kent, Canterbury UK
Position 1: 4 Years BBSRC SoCoBio Studentship
Professor Adrian Podoleanu, Applied Optics Group, University of Kent
Dr. Julien Lecourt, EMR, head of viticulture, wine research on Divico grapes
As a barrier to moisture loss, the epidermis and epicuticular waxes play a critical role in maintaining cell turgor while providing structural support combined with plasticity to respond to pressures associated with fruit expansion during development and ripening.
After harvest moisture loss through epidermal cells and the stem scar cause epidermal cells to go from rounded and turgid to flat and flaccid, accelerating movement of water vapour through the apoplast. Oxidation and redeposition of waxes induces surface cracks increasing routes of vapour loss. Epidermal cell activity is supported by a network of primary and secondary vascular bundles, breakdown in tissues subtending the epidermis causes physiological disorders, increasing the risk of bruising in fruit and in particular pits in apple and slip skin in grape and cherries where the regions of the epidermis detach from subtending tissues resulting in the loss of saleable quality.
Access to non-destructive hand held devices that afford greater granularity in defining changes in cell turgor, wax deposition and vascular connectivity during develop will help shape future breeding and selection of fruit and vegetables by providing a better understanding of how epidermal cells respond to changes in the rate of fruit expansion and then shrinkage after harvest.
This proposal aims to generate a hand-held Optical Coherence Tomography and associated software that can penetrate the skin surface ( ~1 mm) and allow for high throughput resolution of images to allow sufficient numbers (100’s) of fruit to be processed at a single sitting.
The application form will ask you to select which of the above themes you would like to apply to and/or to select a specific industry-linked project. You should select: Optical Coherence Tomography – Developing Tools to interrogate the skin of fruits and vegetable. Guidance on how to complete the application forms is available here.
The applicant must have a good background in theoretical and experimental optics and expected to have graduated in Physics (Optics) or Electrical and Electronic Engineering. We are looking for highly imaginative and self-motivated individuals with expertise in at least two of the topics of lasers, cameras, fibre optics, digital signal processing. Prior experience of LabView or C++ and skills in interfacing I/O boards are essential. The applicant must be prepared to develop interdisciplinary research.
More information on the Applied Optics Group can be found at: https://research.kent.ac.uk/appliedoptics/news/
For more information you may e-mail Prof A. Podoleanu, School of Physical Sciences, Ingram, University of Kent, CT2 7NH, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Position 2:Computational Imaging for Fibre-Optic Microscopy
The aim of the project is to contribute to the development of advanced techniques for endoscopic microscopes. Miniaturised fibre-optic microscopy probes allow high resolution imaging of samples which cannot be mounted in a conventional microscope. These fibre microscopes (often known as ‘endomicroscopes’) have a huge range of applications in biosciences and medicine, including as a powerful real-time alternative to taking biopsies.
In this project you will work on the development of multifunctional fibre-based microscopes, with a particular focus on recovering phase information through fibres via computational imaging and holography techniques. Building on results from a recent EPSRC grant on ultrathin needle microscopes, you will develop new approaches to fibre-based microscopes and work with collaborators on validation studies in areas such as tissue imaging, microfluidics and fast cell imaging. This will require a mix of laboratory work (optics and optoelectronics), numerical modelling in Matlab or Python, development of software for real-time visualisation and processing, and performing validation studies.
The exact programme of work can be tailored to the student, but the ideal candidate would be a graduate in engineering, physics, computing or a related subject with interests and skills in imaging, electronics or computing, and a desire to work in the lab developing practical devices.
The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent’s main campus in Canterbury as part of the Applied Optics Group, and work under the supervision of Dr Michael Hughes. Occupying two floors of the University’s Photonics Centre, with the use of modern optical laboratories as well as clean-room and workshop facilities, the Applied Optics Group offers a wide range of optical prototyping and test and measurement equipment to support the project. The group is highly active in biomedical optics research, with regular seminars and international visitors, a programme of outreach activities and an active OSA (Optical Society) student chapter, providing a stimulating research and training environment.
This PhD Studentship is due to start in September 2020.
Closing Date: Sunday, January 19, 2020
Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Engineering, Computing or a related subject.