Group members
  • Group Leader
  • Prof. G. S. Buller

    Prof. Gerald S. Buller

  • Research Fellows
  • Dr. A. McCarthy

    Dr. Aongus McCarthy

  • Dr. R. J. Donaldson

    Dr. Ross J. Donaldson

  • Research Associates
  • Dr. R. J. Collins

    Dr. Robert J. Collins

  • Dr. A. Maccarone

    Dr. Aurora Maccarone

  • Dr. C. C. Novo

    Dr. Catarina C. Novo

  • Dr. P. Vines

    Dr. Peter Vines

  • Ms. R. Tobin

    Ms. Rachael Tobin

  • Postgraduate Students
  • Mr. D. W. Canning

    Mr. David W. Canning

  • Mr. P. Connolly

    Mr. Pete Connolly

  • Ms. Z. Greener

    Ms. Zoë M. Greener

  • Ms. K. Kuzmenko

    Ms. Kateryna Kuzmenko

  • Mr. U. Zanforlin

    Mr. Ugo Zanforlin

Professor Gerald S. Buller

Contact info:

email: G.S.Buller[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 3069
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 8083

Prof Gerald S. Buller was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1965. He graduated with BSc (Hons) Natural Philosophy from the University of Glasgow in 1986 and PhD in Physics from Heriot‑Watt University in 1989. In 1990, Prof Buller became a Lecturer in Physics at Heriot‑Watt University, was promoted to Reader in 2000 and made a Professor in 2006.

Gerald Buller’s research interests are mainly associated with photon‑counting technology and applications, including quantum communications, quantum imaging, time‑of‑flight ranging and imaging. He also has wider interests in semiconductor optoelectronic devices and optical thin film multilayer structures.

Gerald co‑founded TeraHertz Photonics Ltd. in 1998 and Helia Photonics Ltd. in 2002. He is currently Chairman of Helia Photonics Ltd.. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Prof Buller was the founding Head of Heriot‑Watt’s Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS) and led IPaQS from 2012 until 2015. In 2015, Professor Buller was awarded a prestigious EPSRC Established Career Fellowship in Quantum Technology. Professor Buller is a member of the Management teams of the EPSRC Quantum Enhanced Imaging (QuantIC) Hub and the EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub.

Prof Buller's outside interests are mountain biking, gym training, swimming and painting/drawing.

Heriot‑Watt Research Gateway

Dr Robert J. Collins

Contact info:

email: R.J.Collins[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 3056
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Robert John Collins was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1981. He graduated from Heriot‑Watt University (Edinburgh) with a MPhys (Hons) in Physics in July 2003. After a year spent working in the commercial sector, Robert completed a PhD at Heriot‑Watt University in July 2008 under the supervision of Prof Gerald S. Buller.

Robert is a Research Associate currently working on experimental implementations of quantum information protocols. He has previously worked on depth imaging, with Dr Aongus McCarthy, and single–photon sources. He is a member of the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE.

In his spare time, Robert enjoys badminton, swimming, hill walking and photography.

Heriot‑Watt Research Gateway

Dr Ross J. Donaldson

Contact info:

email: R.Donaldson[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 8120

Ross Donaldson is from Perth, Scotland. He graduated with a BSc in Engineering Physics from Heriot‑Watt University in 2012.

During his time as an Undergraduate, Ross undertook two summer research placements at the University. His first was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, where he designed a vacuum system for the Ultrafast Dynamics Group. His second placement saw his investigating polarisation‑based quantum communications.

Following his Undergraduate degree, he started his PhD in 2012 with the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University. His research topic was quantum communication technology, something he had become intrigued about during his second summer research placement. During his PhD he worked on experimental demonstrations for two quantum communication technologies; quantum digital signatures, and quantum state comparison amplification. In 2016, he defended his Thesis title: Quantum‑Security in Optical Fibre Networks.

After his PhD, Ross took on his first role as a post‑doctoral research associate (PDRA), where he developed an experiment to improve the state comparison amplifier through quantum state correction with a measurement and feed‑forward mechanism. His second role as a PDRA saw him move into free‑space quantum communications, where he investigated the novel single‑photon detector technology for free-space/satellite‑based applications.

Ross is now a Research Fellow funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. During the Fellowship, Ross will investigate novel photonic technology to enable practical optical ground stations for satellite‑based quantum communications.

Ross has research interests in quantum technology, optical and photonic technology, and space/satellite technology. He is a member of the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Heriot‑Watt Research Gateway

Dr Catarina C. Novo

Contact info:

email: c.novo[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 8003

Dr Catarina Novo is from Aveiro, Portugal and studied Integrated Masters in Chemical Engineering at University of Aveiro. After her graduation, Catarina worked as a researcher (post-masters) at University of Porto on a Chemical Engineering Project regarding the pulp and paper industry and later on at University of Aveiro and Instituto de Telecomunicações (Aveiro), widening the scope of the research embracing optical fibre sensors projects.

In 2014, Catarina moved to Edinburgh to do her PhD within the Applied Optics and Photonics Group, Heriot‑Watt University. The scope of the research was based on microstructured optical fibres and ways to functionalise the fibres to use as optical fibre sensors, using ultrafast laser machining.

In October 2018, Catarina initiated a postdoctoral research associate position in Precision Laser Machining at Heriot‑Watt University and in May 2019 she joined the Single‑Photon Group to work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Applied Free‑Space Quantum Communications.

Catarina also enjoys being involved in outreach activities and travelling.

Dr Aurora Maccarone

Contact info:

email: a.maccarone[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 3056
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Dr Aurora Maccarone was born in Palermo Italy in 1983.

She graduated in 2007 with a BSc in Physics and in 2011 with MSc in Material Physics from the University of Palermo.

In 2012, Aurora started a PhD with the Single‑Photon Group studying studying underwater imaging under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller in collaboration with Professor Yvan Petillot and Professor Andrew Wallace.

In her spare time, Aurora enjoys traveling, cooking and music.

Dr Aongus McCarthy

Contact info:

email: A.McCarthy[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 3056
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Aongus McCarthy is from Ferbane, Co. Offaly, Ireland. He graduated with a BSc from University College Galway in 1989, a Diploma in Electronic Engineering from the Institute of Technology in Carlow, Ireland in 1990 and received a BSc in Physical Optoelectronics from Essex University, England in 1991. Between 1991 and starting his PhD at Heriot‑Watt University in 1997, he spent two years as an Associate on a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) run Teaching Company Scheme (now known as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) between Coventry University and Signam Limited in Warwick. He was then employed by Signam and was the leader of the R & D Design Team that developed a pre‑production prototype of a thermal transfer printer for printing onto non‑absorbent polyester type materials.

He received a PhD degree in Physics from Heriot‑Watt University in 2002. His work focussed on the development of a polymer based integration platform for a high‑speed optoelectronic crosspoint switch demonstrator which incorporated direct laser written multimode waveguides and mirror surfaces. Since becoming a Research Associate, Aongus has designed, assembled and tested an optical routing module for a multiple‑wavelength time‑of‑flight sensor based on time‑correlated single photon counting, developed a polymer‑based, multi‑layer planar lightwave circuit platform, and is currently working on the optical and optomechanical design of a multi‑parameter fluorescence lifetime imaging microscope.

His research interests include optical interconnects (free‑space and guided‑wave), optical and optomechanical design, direct laser writing techniques and microscope systems. Aongus has been a member of the Optical Society of America (OSA) since 1999 and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society (IPS) since 2002.

Heriot‑Watt Research Gateway

Dr Peter Vines

Contact info:

email: P.Vines[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 3056
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Peter Vines grew up in Dorset in the south of England. He graduated with a BEng in Electronic Engineering from the University of Sheffield in 2005 and went on to complete a PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the same university in 2011. His PhD focussed on IR detection and spectroscopy using Quantum Dot Infrared Photodetectors (QDIP) and low noise InAs avalanche photodiodes (APD).

After completing his degree he continued his detector research in Sheffield working as a Research Associate. In 2012 he joined the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University where is working on infrared single photon counting using Single Photon Avalanche Detectors (SPAD). He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and SPIE.

In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing, hiking and sailing.

Heriot‑Watt Research Gateway

Ms Rachael Tobin

Contact info:

email: r.tobin[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 3056
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Rachael was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1988 and grew up in Danderhall, Midlothian where she attended Dalkeith High School.

She moved to Arizona, USA for four years after high school where she studied Japanese Language and earned an Associate of Arts degree in 2010. After this, she undertook a BSc (Hons) in Physics at Heriot‑Watt University, graduating in June 2015.

In June 2015, she joined the Single‑Photon group at Heriot‑Watt University working on image processing for time‑of‑flight depth measurements under the supervision of Prof Gerald S. Buller.

In her free time Rachael enjoys playing flute and violin, gaming, board games, and reading sci‑fi and fantasy.

Mr David W. Canning

Contact info:

email: dwc1[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 4687
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Mr David W. Canning was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1989. Having gained an undergraduate degree in theoretical physics from the University of St. Andrews in 2013, he went on to work for Hewlett‑Packard Enterprise Services (now DXC Technology) as a systems programmer. He moved on from this position in order to gain a more rounded education in computer science via postgraduate study in high performance computing at the University of Edinburgh.

David is working towards a PhD under the supervision of Prof Gerald S. Buller with the support of a scholarship from the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Quantum Communications Technologies. He will be helping work towards experimental realizations of quantum amplifiers, quantum digital signatures, and free‑space quantum key distribution.

Besides work, David enjoys playing drums and percussion, playing and watching football, and running.

Mr Pete Connolly

Contact info:

email: pc23[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: To be confirmed
Fax: To be confirmed

Pete Connolly grew up in Staffordshire, England, before studying for a degree in Advertising at the University of Northampton, earning a BA (Hons) in 2008. After working in advertising, Peter returned to education and graduated with an MSc (Hons) in Physics from the University of Birmingham in 2016.

In October 2016 he joined the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University working on next generation imaging using sparse single‑photon data under the supervision of Prof. Gerald S. Buller.

In his spare time Pete plays football, practices taekwondo and enjoys travelling.

Ms Zoë M. Greener

Contact info:

email: zmg1[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 4687
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Zoë M. Greener was born in 1995 and grew up in Hampshire. She moved to Edinburgh in 2013 and completed her undergraduate degree at Heriot‑Watt University receiving an MPhys (Hons) in June 2018.

In September 2018 she joined the Single‑Photon group at Heriot‑Watt University, studying single‑photon and quantum enhanced imaging. She is also collaborating with Ms Kateryna Kuzmenko on integrated Ge on Si SPADs on Si platforms.

During her free time she enjoy playing hockey, dancing, skiing, and anything outdoorsy.

Ms Kateryna Kuzmenko

Contact info:

email: kk3[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 4687
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Kateryna was born in 1989 and grew up in Kholmy, Ukraine. She graduated with a BSc in Applied Physics in 2010 and MSc with honours in Physical Electronics in 2012 from the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Ukraine.

Between 2012 and 2015 she worked as an engineer in the scientific and research laboratory of standards and reference materials of optical and physical values at the Scientific and Production Institute of Metrological Provision of Properties Measurement of Substances and Materials of State Enterprise "Ukrmetrteststandard" in Kyiv, Ukraine.

In 2015, she joined the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University working on integrated Ge on Si SPADs on Si platforms under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller.

In her spare time Kateryna enjoys reading Sci‑Fi literature, ball dances, movies and music.

Mr Ugo Zanforlin

Contact info:

email: uz2[anti-spam](at)[remove]hw.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 4687
Fax: +44 (0)131 451 3136

Ugo Zanforlin was born in Abano Terme (Italy) in 1989. He graduated from the Università degli studi di Padova (Italy) with a MSc (Hons) in Physics in 2015.

In June 2016 Ugo joined the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University working on quantum digital signatures, quantum amplifiers and random number generators under the supervision of Prof. Gerald S. Buller in collaboration with Dr Ross J. Donaldson, Dr Robert J. Collins and Mr David W. Canning. He has been a member of the Optical Society of America (OSA) since 2016 and covered the role of officer for the Heriot‑Watt OSA student chapter in 2017.

In his spare time Ugo enjoys playing the piano, mountain biking, reading, cooking and gaming.