Applied Optics Group launches Marie Curie Doctoral School

Kent’s Applied Optics Group is co-ordinating the launch of a doctoral school to deliver research and training in the design and build of the next generation of tunable lasers for optical coherence tomography (OCT). Ophthalmologists use OCT to take cross-section images of the retina to detect eye disease or abnormalities.

The Marie Curie Doctoral School has been funded by the Innovative Training Network (ITN). The ITN is a €4.3million doctoral school grant to support Kent and its 13 other NETLAS consortium partners to foster training and educate researchers, while developing 12 novel Photonics technologies for several distinct areas of medical imaging and non destructive testing. The launch of the programme is a response to the challenges faced in the field to provide faster, deeper, higher resolution imaging and to enable more versatile testing.

Nearly a quarter of the grant has been awarded directly to Kent, where the doctoral school will be coordinated by Professor Adrian Podoleanu, Dr George Dobre and Dr Ramona Cernat of the Applied Optics Group based in the School of Physical Sciences. The research group will directly train five PhDs and coordinate the training of all ITN 15 PhDs with support of its NETLAS partners in Europe, during 2020 – 2024.

All postdoctoral researchers will benefit from a structured and comprehensive learning experience, including lab training and research, theoretical teaching, transferable skill development and network building, in academic and industrial settings.

Professor Philippe de Wilde, Kent’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: ‘The Applied Optics Group is among the world-leading research groups in the Division of Natural Sciences whose research has applications in medicine and healthcare. The new doctoral school will train future leaders not only in research, but also in innovation. This is important to make sure research delivers benefits for patients as soon as possible. Doctoral schools offer specialised training, and this training is stronger and more universal if it happens in an international context. I am particularly pleased to acknowledge EU funding for this doctoral school.’

Professor Podoleanu said: ‘Kent is focused on driving the next generation of applied optics technology and developing researchers’ expertise to achieve careers with front-line academic and private-sector employers. In four years’ time we intend to impact the world in terms of resolution and speed of application, and we look forward to welcoming researchers to begin this experience with us.’