CMMPE group members - CMMPE alumni

CMMPE group photo archive:

(Click to enlarge)



November 2007

February 2003

CMMPE alumni (since 2007):

Jiahui Lu

Jiahui graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2008 with a BA in Information and Computer Engineering and an MEng in Information and Electrical Sciences. She joined the CMMPE group in the same year and is now studying for a PhD. Her current research is on ophthalmic imaging systems focusing on adaptive wavefront sensor technology and the use of adaptive liquid crystal lenses. She is a Christ's College alumni and a current member of Churchill College.

Katie Atkinson

Katie graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2009 wih a BA and MSci in Physics. She participated in the Cambridge-MIT exchange from 2007-2008. In 2010 she joined CMMPE as a PhD student. Katie is a member of St. Catharine's College.

Dr. Flynn Castles

Flynn studied experimental and theoretical physics as an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge (BA & MSci, Natural Sciences, 2006; MA, 2009), graduating with First Class Honours. He received a PhD, also from the University of Cambridge, for research at CMMPE. As a Research Associate at CMMPE he worked on self-assembled materials for use in devices. Flynn was a College Research Associate at Jesus College. Upon leaving CMMPE in 2013 he joined the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant.

Dr. Stephen Morris

Stephen read Physics and Space Science at Southampton University, where he obtained a Masters degree in Physics, before coming to Cambridge to study for a PhD in Liquid Crystal Photonics at the Department of Engineering. After completing his PhD in 2005, Stephen continued as a Research Associate at CMMPE working in collaboration with Pelikon Ltd. to produce a new hybrid display, which can be viewed in both low light and high light level environments. He then joined the COSMOS Basic Technology Programme in 2007, funded by the EPSRC, and became Programme Manager in 2008. Stephen was the Programme Manager for the COSMOS Technology Translation Research Project and the Student Facilitator for the Photonic Systems Centre for Doctoral Training. In 2010, he was awarded the Young Scientist award by the British Liquid Crystal Society for significant contributions to liquid crystal research. In 2011 he was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship for research on random amplifying media. He was also a Fellow and Director of Studies at St. Catharine’s College. Upone leaving CMMPE in 2013 Stephen joined the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford as a Lecturer.

Alex Guttenplan

Alex graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2012 with a BA and MSci in Chemistry, and joined the Cambridge NanoDTC in the same year. He joined the CMMPE for a NanoDTC mini-project, from December 2012 to February 2013, working on photonic nanostructures decorated with quantum dots.

Prof. Tong Zhang

School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, China

Tong Zhang visited CMMPE in 2012 as a Senior Visiting Fellow from Southeast University supported by the Chinese Scholarship Council. He received his B.E (Electronic Engineering) in 1990 and his Ph.D (Physical Electronics) in 2000 from Southeast University, China. After his PhD, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the National Key Laboratory of Solid-State Microstructure, Physics Department, Nanjing University from 2001 to 2002. He studied in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, USA as a visiting scholar from 2007 to 2008. He is currently a full professor in the School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University. He has been working in the field of polymer optics, integrated optics, microwave photonics, materials, devices and systems for over 10 years. His recent research includes work on plasmonics, nano-photonics, graphene and novel optical materials.


Dr. Philip Hands

Chancellor's Research Fellow, School of Engineering, Edinburgh University

Phil has an MSci in Physics (1999) and a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics (2003), both from Durham University. His PhD studied the quantum tunnelling conduction mechanisms in metal-polymer composites and their applications in array-based chemical vapour sensing (electronic noses). He also has postdoctoral experience at the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, Durham University, in the fabrication and applications of adaptive liquid crystal devices. In particular he developed adaptive lenses for applications in 3D displays, optical tweezing and adaptive optics for astronomy. He worked at CMMPE from 2007 to 2012, and was employed on the COSMOS project, developing the performance and applications of chiral nematic liquid crystal lasers. He was also responsible for the design and maintenance of the COSMOS and CMMPE group websites. Phil is a former College Research Associate (CRA) at Jesus College.


Dr. Joel Carpenter

Joel obtained his BEng (Hons) [Computer Systems], BSc [Physics] and MEng [Microwave Telecommunications] from The University of Queensland, Australia. Prior to joining the CMMPE he worked as a research assistant on the UQ/MIT iLab project and as a Microwave Design Engineer for Codan Limited. His PhD research improved the transmission capacities of multi-mode fibers using holographic techniques.


Dr. Qing Dai

Qing graduated from Imperial College, London with an MEng in Electronic & Electrical Engineering (2007). In 2008 he joined the CMMPE group as a PhD student, and his research concerned applications of carbon nanotubes, especially for liquid-crystal photonic devices.


Dr. Ranjith Rajesekharan

McKenzie Fellow, School of Physics, University of Melbourne

Ranjith obtained his Masters degree from Cochin University of Science and Technology, India. He then was working for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as a scientist/engineer before coming to Cambridge in 2007 for a PhD, which he completed in 2011. He then continued at CMMPE as a post-doctoral research associate for a further year until 2012. His area of interest is in the development of novel electro-optic sensors.


Dr. Christoph Bay

Christoph has a Dipl. Ing. (FH) in Electronics (2006) from Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences (Germany). During his undergraduate studies he specialised in communication electronics. He gained industrial experience while performing internships at DaimlerChrysler (Stuttgart, Germany), Bosch (Buehl, Germany) and Osram Opto Semiconductors (San Jose, USA and Penang, Malaysia). His CAPE-funded PhD was in the specific area of developing a holographic optical projection system, which can be used to expose a photoresist in a photolithographic processes.


Shunyi Tan

Tan received his Masters Degree in Micro and Solid Electronics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China (2007). He joined CMMPE in 2007, and his PhD research topic is on 3D displays, developing new display systems that can achieve high quailty 3D images.

Shabeena Nosheen

Shabeena completed an MSc in Chemistry (2000) from AJK University Muzaffarabad, followed by an M.Phil in Organic Chemistry (2002) from Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad (Pakistan). In 2005 she worked as a research assistant at CBMS Macquarie University Sydney (Australia). From September 2009 she was a visiting researcher at CMMPE working on new bimesogenic liquid crystals and laser dyes.


Dr. Oliver Hadeler

Research Associate, EPEC Superconductivity Group,
Dept. of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Oliver received a Diploma degree in Physics from the University of Frankfurt, Germany and a PhD in Optoelectronics from the University of Southampton. For his PhD he conducted theoretical and experimental work on DFB fibre lasers for telecommunication and sensor applications. During his time at Southampton University he also worked on fibre optic sensors for the oil industry at Sensor Dynamics Ltd, Winchester. He then became a Reseach Associate at CMMPE working on liquid crystal devices for fibre optic telecommunication networks. He also worked on both the Chiralse and COSMOS liquid crystal lasers project, and is a fellow of New Hall. Oliver left CMMPE in August 2010, and is now working in the EPEC Superconductivity Research Group, Department of Engineering, Unvirsity of Cambridge.


Dr. Xuesong Hu

Xuesong entered Shandong University, P.R. China in 2001, majoring in Physics. In 2003, by following the 2+2 undergraduate study programme, he moved to Schuster Laboratory, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester. He received his BSc in Physics from both Shandong University and University of Manchester in 2005. After completing his BSc, he joined the Centre for Photonic Systems, at Cambridge, as a Ph.D student, where his research was focussed upon optical switching in telecommunication applications. In 2006 he joined CMMPE, under the supervision of Prof. H.J. Coles. His research was concerned with ferroelectric liquid crystals and their applications in telecommunications. Xuesong was also a member of Downing College, and left CMMPE in the summer of 2010.


Dr. Carrie Mowatt (née Gillespie)

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Carrie has a PhD in ‘Dye doped liquid crystal lasers’ (2007) from Wolfson College, Cambridge and an MPhys in ‘Optoelectronics and laser engineering’ (2002) from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Her PhD studied the emission characteristics of liquid crystal lasers based upon both chiral nematic and blue phase I* materials doped with a range of laser dyes. She also has postdoctoral experience evaluating dichroic dyes for use in electroluminescent hybrid liquid crystal plastic displays. She has also worked on both the CHIRALASE and the COSMOS projects, developing liquid crystal lasers. Carrie is a Senior Member of Wolfson College. Carrie left CMMPE in March 2010 to pursue a career in academic publishing with the RSC.

Dr. Rick Chen

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Ltd.

Rick graduated from the University of Auckland with a MEng in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (2005). His MEng studied power electronics, particularly in inductively-coupled power transfer systems. He carried out his PhD on 3-D holographic displays between 2006 and 2010. Rick is also a member of Darwin College. He left Cambridge in Spring 2010 to work for semiconductor manufacturing company TSMC in Tiawan.


Dr. Jon Freeman

Light Blue Optics

Jon did his first degree in Applied Physics at UCL almost ¼ century ago. Since then he has worked for GEC, Marconi, Marconi Avionics, GEC Avionics and BAE Systems (they are all actually the same place –they either changed the name or got taken over). His lab was in the dark depths (well yellow actually) of the holographics and optics dept, developing such products as HOEs (holographic optical elements), NVGs (night vision goggles), HUDs (head up displays) and HMDs (helmet mounted displays). BAE Systems funded Jon for 3 years to do a PhD in Fourier holography based video projection. Jon is also a member of Trinity Hall. Jon graduated in summer 2010, and has since left CMMPE to join Light Blue Optics, developing holographic projectors in the commercial sector.


Dr. Su Seok Choi

LG Display, South Korea

Su Seok has an MSci in Polymer Science in Chemical Engineering (1999) from south Korea. He has since worked in the research and development of TFT-LCDs for 7 years in a major TFT-LCD company (1999-2005). During this period, he studied ferroelectric (and antiferroelectric) switching, reflective and transflective LCDs, in-plane switching and new processes/technologies for TFT-LCD applications. He has experience in the fabrication process and design of TFT-LCDs. He studied for a PhD at CMMPE between 2006 and 2009 (graduating in early 2010), studying wavelength tuning in N*LCs.



Dr. Catherine Dobson

Catherine received an MSci in Natural Sciences - Experimental and Theoretical Physics (2003) from the University of Cambridge. In 2003 she joined the Institute of Biotechnology at Cambridge and studied for a PhD, examining the geometry of holographic biosensors for use in in vivo and in vitro applications. After completing her PhD in 2007, she worked as a research associate at Imperial College, London in a multidiscipliniary collaboration creating point-of-care medical biosensor arrays for use in a number of conditions. She worked with CMMPE between July 2008 and November 2009 on the COSMOS project.


Dr. Jing (James) Chen

Jing Chen (James) graduated with a 1st class BEng (hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Nottingham University (2005), and then came to Cambridge to study for a PhD within the CMMPE group. His research interests include flexoelectro-optic response in chiral nematic liquid crystals, multi-colour switching of liquid crystals, polymer-stablized liquid crystals, tunable lasers, free-space optical communications, and next-generation LCOS technologies. James successfully received his doctorate and left CMMPE in the summer of 2009.


Dr. Poh Ling Neo

Poh Ling received her BEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. After spending two years in a variety of engineering-related disciplines, she then studied for her PhD at the University of Cambridge under the tutelage of Dr. T.D. Wilkinson. For her PhD work, she looked into the enhancement of transmission capacities in multimode fibres using holographic techniques. Her other research interests include laser modeling, multimode fibre system studies, optical MIMO, computer generated holography and optical correlators. Poh Ling returned to CMMPE as a Research Associate in October 2008, and then left for Hong Kong in July 2009.


Dr. Juergen Schmidtke

Research Associate, Biological and Soft Systems Group,
Department of Physics, University of Cambridge

Juergen obtained his diploma (1996) and doctorate (2000) in physics at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. His diploma was on structure formation in crystallising polymer melts, his doctoral thesis on viscous & elastic properties of polymeric & low molar mass nematic liquid crystals. He stayed in Freiburg to investigate the photonic properties of cholesteric liquid crystals (spontaneous emission & laser emission in dye doped systems, photonic defect modes, cholesteric elastomers as mechanically tunable photonic band gap materials). This was a joint project of the polymer physics group (Prof. Gert Strobl) & the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry (Prof. Heino Finkelmann). At CMMPE, he was employed on the CHIRALASE project, optimising the performance of cholesteric liquid crystal lasers. In June 2009 he moved to the BSS group in the Cavendish Labs (Dept. of Physics) to work on the COSMOS project.



Dr. Sonja Findeisen-Tandel

Sonja received a diploma degree (2003) and a PhD (2007) in Chemistry from the Martin-Luther University of Halle, Germany. Her doctoral thesis at the Institute of Physical Chemistry (Prof. W. Weissflog) was focussed on the field of liquid crystals. In addition to the synthesis, the main focal point was the characterisation of the liquid crystalline bent core mesogens by means of DSC, polarizing microscopy, X-ray measurements and electro optical investigations. Special attention was given to the influence of hydrogen bonding interactions on the mesophase behaviour of the mesogens. Following her PhD, Sonja worked as a research fellow at Halle University to investigate special electro-optical properties of crystalline mesophases of bent core mesogens. Sonja joined CMMPE in May 2008, and worked on the COSMOS project in synthesis and characterisation of materials leading to devices and lasing liquid crystals in general. She moved back to Germany in February 2009.


Colin Evans

Colin was awarded his masters degree in natural sciences, specialaizing in Physics, by the University of Cambridge in 2003. In 2004 he joined the group as a Ph.D student. His research is concerned with novel fluorescent dyes for use in liquid crystal systems. Colin was on a CASE studentship funded by the EPSRC and Merck NB-C. and was also a member of Churchill College.


Dr. Mikhail Pivnenko

Research Associate, Photonics & Sensors Group
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Mikhail received his MSc in Engineering from Kharkov University (Ukraine) in 1986. Between 1986 and 1996 he was involved in theoretical research on electrodynamics of condensed media. After completing his doctoral studies on the Physics of liquid crystals in 2001, he joined the Liquid Crystal Group at the University of Southampton. Mikhail then became a Research Fellow at the Centre of Molecular Materials for Photonics and Electronics (CMMPE) at Cambridge, studying liquid crystals, including blue phase materials, and liquid crystal lasers. He left CMMPE in 2008 to work for the Photonic and Sensors Group, University of Cambridge.

Dr. Bryan McLaughlin

Senior R&D Engineering: Electromagnetics, RF & Biological Systems
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Bryan has an MPhil in Electrical Engineering from Cambridge University and a BSC from Oklahoma State University. He completed his PhD at CMMPE in 2008. His research involved the develoopment of near-infrared fibre probes and dielectric relaxation spectroscopy sensors to quantitatively characterize the electrical and optical properties of liver tissue with respect to the amount of disease in the tissue. Towards this aim, he has developed a precision dielectric spectroscopy system and constructed miniature needle probes that can measure materials from 50MHz to 40GHz. He has also constructed fibre optic probes for diffuse reflectance measurements and uses monte-carlo simulations to resolve the absorption and scattering coefficients of materials under test. Bryan has previously worked for IBM Almaden and the Sandia Corporation and was funded by the British Marshall scholarship and the National Science Foundation. Bryan was also a member of King's College. He now works at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is working on antenna design, wireless sensors, acoustic telemetry, geolocation, and EEG electrode design.



Dr. Alison Morris (née Ford)

Research Technnologist,
Xaar, Cambridge, UK.

Alison received a Masters in Physics from Southampton University in 2001. She then joined CMMPE in 2002 as a PhD student at Wolfson College, after working at Sharp Labs Europe, to work on liquid crystal lasers. During this time Alison studied the emission properties of chiral nematic, chiral smectic, and blue phase lasers, and carried out an in-depth study into the performance characteristics for different bimesogenic liquid crystal lasers. She also successfully demonstrated wide temperature range blue phase liquid crystal lasers. Following graduation, Alison then worked as a postdoctoral research associate at CMMPE for one year on the CAPE partner project CHIRALASE. Alison now is a Research Technologist at Xaar, Cambridge, where she works on ink-jet technologies.


Dr. Yong-il Cho

Principal Research Scientist
LG Chemicals, South Korea

Yong-il Cho joined Prof. Coles at the the Southampton Liquid Crystal Institute in 2000 as a PhD student and subsequently moved to Cambridge when CMMPE was formed in 2002. He joined the group from LG Chemicals in South Korea to conduct research on slippery surfaces for TN and STN displays as well as the flexoelectro-optic effect. After graduating from Cambridge, Yong-il then returned to South Korea in 2005, and is currently at the Head Office of LG Chemicals, where he now is Principal Research Scientist.


Dr. Ben Broughton

Senior Researcher
Sharp Laboratories of Europe (SLE), Oxford, UK.

Ben graduated from Southampton University in 2001 with a first class Masters degree in Physics. He then joined CMMPE in 2002 as a PhD research student, studying polarisation controllers for telecommunication applications using liquid crystals. During this time Ben created a fast-switching polarization controller based upon the flexoelectro-optic effect in chiral nematic liquid crystals. After completing his PhD in 2005, he left CMMPE to work at Sharp Laboratories Europe where he is currently a Senior Research Fellow. At present, Ben is currently carrying out pioneering work on privacy screens in the liquid crystal group at Sharp.


Dr. Jon Willmott

Land Instruments, Dronfield, Derbyshire

Jon graduated from Southampton University with a Masters in Physics degree before joining Prof. Harry Coles' research group in 1999, at the Southampton Liquid Crystal Institute. For his PhD thesis Jon studied the nonlinear optical properties of chiral nematic liquid crystals including second harmonic generation and liquid crystal lasers. After completing his PhD, Jon joined Prof. Coles at the newly established CMMPE as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on high birefringence liquid crystals. In 2004 Jon left CMMPE to join Land Instruments, based in Derbyshire, as a Research Fellow.


Dr. Matt Clarke

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Matt graduated from Southampton University with a Masters in Physics degree before joining Prof. Harry Coles' research group in 1998, at the Southampton Liquid Crystal Institute. He studied new bimesogenic materials for the flexoelectro-optic effect as part of his PhD thesis which subsequently led to the development of high tilt angle mixtures. He later continued with Prof. Coles as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the newly formed CMMPE based at Cambridge University. Matt left CMMPE in 2004 to become the Software Engineer for the ISIS Neutron Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire.