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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

SES-76-140 PhD Studentship: On the Characterisation of Aspheric and Free Form surfaces

PhD Studentship: Split-site Ph.D between Singapore and Southampton: On the Characterisation of Aspheric and Free Form surfaces.

A PhD studentship is available with the first 2 years in the Electro-mechanical research group, School of Engineering Sciences (SES), which fully covers University tuition fees (at EU/UK level**) and provides a tax-free bursary of £13,900 per year, rising annually (each October) in line with the UK Government (EPSRC) recommended rate. The following 2 years will be in the A* SIMTech Institute on the NTU campus in Singapore. During this period A*STAR will pay a monthly stipend of S$2,500, a one-time settling-in allowance of S$1,000 (for a stay of at least one year) and a one-time airfare grant of S$1,500. Medical insurance will be provided for the duration of the stay in Singapore.

This position is available to EU/UK applicants only.

Project description:

The project is aimed at solving one of the long standing issues in the manufacture of aspheric and toric surfaces. These surfaces are relatively easy to manufacture but very difficult to measure. These surfaces are increasingly used in a vast array of consumer products, for example mobile phone camera lenses. There are increasing demands on the precision of these surfaces as they are used in consumer and other high technology applications. The University of Southampton have an established track record in the fitting and measurements process and coupled with the expertise developed at SIMTech, the project will form a close working relationship which can deliver high quality research. Objectives. a) To investigate measurement strategies for aspheric and toric surfaces. b) To develop a pre-processing method for alignment to an axis of symmetry. c) To test the robustness of the aspheric form fitting methods developed at Southampton. The samples will be provided in an initial study by SIMTech, A*star, and when the student moves to SIMTech in year 3 the emphasis will be on developing complementary wavefront based precision measurement methods, and further developing the fitting method and software initiated at Southampton. (i) Developing the optical sampling technique (ii) Developing reference-free reconstruction technique for the aspheric and toric surfaces; (iii) Southampton University will provide access to confocal air bearing scanning system, and to the numerical methods developed in a previous Ph.D programme. (iv) Developing established numerical fitting methods (v) Using air-bearing system with Chromatic aberration sensor to measure both aspheric and toric surfaces

The School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Southampton has an international reputation for research excellence. In the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise, the School (in collaboration with the Institute of Sound & Vibration Research) ranked second in the total number of Unit 28 academics whose research was deemed world leading or internationally excellent.

The School is a diverse community which is committed to creating an inclusive working and learning environment in which all individuals are equally treated and valued, and can achieve their potential. The School considers all studentship applications in relation to academic criteria and regardless of the individual's race, nationality, gender, or beliefs.

Entry requirements: Candidates will have a first class or upper second class degree (or its equivalent) in relevant disciplines, e.g. Physics, or Engineering. The successful candidate will work with a group of highly motivated, first class research students in the areas of Electro-Mechanical Engineering.

Commencing 1 October 2011, Applications welcome at any time, final closing date for applications: 1st August 2011.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Professor John McBride, Electro-Mechanical research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 592895.

How to apply: An on-line application form (or hard copy version) with guidance notes can be accessed here:

Please read the notes carefully before applying. Applications will only be considered on receipt of a completed application form.

You can attach your supporting documents to the on-line application. If you are unable to do this, please send by email to Julia Zimbler (or send by fax or post if you are unable to send them electronically):
Julia Zimbler, Postgraduate Admissions, Graduate School Office, School of Engineering Sciences, Room 4009, Lanchester Building, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.
Fax: +44 (0) 2380 59 5167.

Please ensure you include a personal statement in your application, stating why you particularly want to do a PhD, why you think you are suited to a research degree and what particularly attracts you to this project.

Please also visit for further information about the Faculty of Engineering and its research activities.

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