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Former group members
  • Dr A. Halimi

    Dr Abderrahim Halimi

  • Dr Abderrahim Halimi

    Abderrahim Halimi received the Eng. degree in electronics from the École Nationale Polytechnique (National Polytechnic School of Algiers), Algeria, in 2009, and both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in signal processing from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, Toulouse, France, in 2010 and 2013, respectively. From October 2013 to September 2015, he was a Post‑Doctoral Research Associate with the University of Toulouse and the University of Technology of Troyes, France, under the support of the HYPANEMA ANR Project.

    From 2015 to 2018, he was a Post‑Doctoral Research Associate within the Single‑Photon Group of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot‑Watt University. Since May 2018, he has been an Assistant Professor within the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences in Heriot‑Watt University.

    His research activities focus on statistical signal and image processing, with a particular interest in Bayesian inverse problems with applications to hyperspectral imaging, satellite altimetry and single‑photon depth imaging. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society and IEEE Signal Processing Society.

  • Dr A. Pawlikowska

    Dr Agata Pawlikowska

  • Dr Agata Pawlikowska

    Agata Pawlikowska graduated from the Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland with a BSc in Physics in 2005 and from Imperial College London with an MSc in Optics and Photonics working on holographic optical trapping. Between 2008 and 2010 she worked in industry on the design of a minature camera.

    In 2011, Agata started an EngD with the Single‑Photon Group and Selex Galileo (now renamed as Leonardo) studying 3D imaging and LIDAR under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller. She completed this in 2016 and took up a fulltime position with Leonardo.

    In her spare time, Agata enjoyed yoga, dance and making ceramics.

  • Mr C. S. Parry

    Mr Colin S. Parry

  • Mr Colin S. Parry

    Colin Samuel Parry was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1986. He graduated from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Physics in 2007.

    After his graduation, Colin decided he wished to continue working in the field of physics and accepted a PhD position at Heriot‑Watt University in Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller and following on from previous work by Dr Robert J. Collins. He left the group in 2008 for personal reasons.

    In his spare time, Colin was club secretary for local Stirling Albion supporters team, Beechwood Albion, for whom he played in goals. He also enjoyed badminton and reading historical fiction.

  • Dr F. Izdebski

    Dr Frauke Izdebski

  • Dr Frauke Izdebski

    Dr Frauke Izdebski was born in Duesseldorf, Germany in 1983. She graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Oldenburg/Ostfriesland/Wilhelmshaven (FH‑OOW) in Emden (Germany) with a Dipl.‑Ing. (FH) in Photonics in August 2008 and in 2009 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices from the University of St. Andrews and Heriot‑Watt University.

    In 2009, Frauke started a PhD with the Single‑Photon Group studying quantum imaging, under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller, which she completed in 2013.

    In her spare time, Frauke enjoys hiking and music.

  • Dr G. Intermite

    Dr Giuseppe Intermite

  • Dr Giuseppe Intermite

    Dr Giuseppe Intermite was born in Reggio Calabria Italy in 1983.

    He graduated from The University "Mediterranea" of Reggio Calabria (Italy) in 2006 with a BSc and in 2009 with an MSc in Electronic Engineering.

    In 2011, Giuseppe started a PhD with the Single‑Photon Group studying near infrared photon‑counting using Ge‑on‑Si heterostructures under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller completing it in 2015.

    In his spare time, Giuseppe enjoys fishing, hiking, reading and music.

  • Dr K. J. Gordon

    Dr Karen J. Gordon

  • Dr Karen J. Gordon

    Dr Karen Jane Gordon was born in Baillieston (near Glasgow) Scotland in 1976. She graduated with BSc (Hons) in Applied Physics with Computing from Napier University Edinburgh in 1998, MSc in Optoelectronics and Laser Devices from the Unversity of St Andrews in 2000, and the PhD in Physics from Heriot‑Watt University under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller in 2004.

    From 2003 to 2007 she undertook a Post‑Doctoral position at Heriot‑Watt University continuing her PhD work on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). Since 2007 Karen has worked for Selex ES (now renamed as Leonardo) in Edinburgh.

    Dr Gordon’s research interests while working with the Single‑Photon Group included quantum key distribution, single‑photon detection and quantum dots as single photon emitters.

  • Dr N. R. Gemmell

    Dr Nathan R. Gemmell

  • Dr Nathan R. Gemmell

    Dr Nathan R. Gemmell graduated from the University of Surrey, England, in 2004 with a BSc in Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics, after five years working in the industrial sector he returned to Surrey to complete an MSc in Radiation Detection and Instrumentation.

    In 2011 Nathan started a PhD under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller and Professor Robert H. Hadfield studying superconducting nanowire single photon detectors, and their applications including biophotonics, ranging, depth profiling and imaging. He completed this in 2015.

    In his spare time Nathan enjoys films, reading, and music.

  • Dr N. J. Krichel

    Dr Nils J. Krichel

  • Dr Nils J. Krichel

    Nils J. Krichel was born in Erkelenz, Germany in 1985 and lived in Cologne until he began his studies on Physics at RWTH Aachen University in 2004. During an exchange term at Heriot‑Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland) in 2007, he worked on the group’s time‑of‑flight laser ranging projects, following the work of Dr Ross D. Harkins.

    Nils graduated with a MSc with Distinction in Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices from the University of St Andrews and Heriot‑Watt University in 2008. In September 2008, he started a PhD under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller, continuing his work on time‑of‑flight laser ranging within the group, following the work of Dr Aongus McCarthy and Dr Robert J. Collins.

    He is a member of the Institute of Physics, German Physical Society (DPG) and SPIE. Since 2011 Nils has worked for Helia Photonics in Livingston, Scotland.

    In his spare time, Nils enjoys rock climbing, cycling and hillwalking.

  • Dr P. J. Clarke

    Dr Patrick J. Clarke

  • Dr Patrick J. Clarke

    Dr Patrick J. Clarke graduated from The National University of Ireland, Galway in 2006 with a BSc in Physics and Astronomy, from The University of Limerick in 2007 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Physics and in 2008 from St Andrews University with an MSc in Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices.

    In 2008, Patrick started a PhD with the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University studying quantum key distribution, following the previous work undertaken by Dr Robert J. Collins. He left the group in 2013 after grduating with a PhD in Physics to work at BeiHang University.

    In his spare time, Patrick enjoys Gaelic football, hurling, reading, swimming, cycling and music.

  • Dr P. A. Hiskett

    Dr Philip A. Hiskett

  • Dr Philip A. Hiskett

    Dr Philip A. Hiskett was born in Southport, England. He graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Physics from the University of Leeds (England) in 1994; an M.Sc. in Optoelectronic and Laser Devices from Heriot‑Watt University (Scotland) in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Heriot‑Watt University in 2000. His Ph.D. supervisors were Professor Gerald S. Buller (at Heriot‑Watt) and Professor Paul D. Townsend (then at BT). His thesis was entitled "An investigation into the photon‑counting performance of InGaAs/InP separate absorption, grading and multiplication avalanche photodiodes at a wavelength of 1.55µm". In 2000, Phil was awarded the MacFarlane Prize for Best Ph.D. Thesis in Heriot‑Watt University for the year 2000.

    From 2000 to 2002, Phil was a research associate in the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University during which time he worked on:

    • An investigation into of the photon‑counting performance of novel semiconductor devices fabricated from AlGaAs/GaAs,
    • An investigation into the photon‑counting performance of novel semiconductor devices fabricated from Si/SiGe,
    • The construction and testing of a long wavelength (1550nm) quantum key distribution receiver,
    • The construction and testing of multiple‑wavelength time‑of‑flight sensor.

    In 2002, he joined the quantum key distribution team at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), USA where he worked primarily on the design, construction and testing of two fibre‑optic‑based quantum key distribution systems. He also contributed to the software development of one of these systems. In 2007, he returned to the Single‑Photon Group at Heriot‑Watt University to work on a quantum key distribution system operating at gigahertz clock rates at a wavelength of 850nm. In 2008 he left the group to join Selex ES (now renamed as Leonardo).

    Phil’s research interests include optoelectronic devices, detector design, free‑space optics (design and construction), quantum key distribution, photon‑counting and he has considerable experience in software development in C/C++ and LabView programming languages.

    Phil’s outside interests include photography and travelling.

  • Dr R. D. Harkins

    Dr Ross D. Harkins

  • Dr Ross D. Harkins

    Dr Ross D. Harkins was born in Newtownards, Northern Ireland in 1978. He graduated with Mphys (Hons) Physics from Heriot‑Watt University in 2001 and a PhD from the same institution in 2005. He then left the group to work in indsutry.

    Ross’s spare time activities included training for the British and Four Nations Powerlifting Championships, reading, films, travel, eating out and socialising.

  • Dr R. E. Warburton

    Dr Ryan E. Warburton

  • Dr Ryan E. Warburton

    Dr Ryan Ellis Warburton was born in Liverpool, England, on the 17th May 1982. During his childhood Ryan also lived in France before settling in Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway where he lived until he started at Heriot‑Watt University in September 2000.

    In 2008, Ryan completed a PhD under the supervision of Prof Gerald S. Buller in InGaAs/InP Infra‑Red Single‑Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADS) and graduated in 2009. Additionally, Ryan worked with the Optics Group at the University of Glasgow and also with Strathclyde University on a joint project "Full field coherent quantum‑imaging". This project exploited the use of spontaneous parametric down‑conversion to create entangled photons for use in quantum imaging applications as well as more established experimental violations of the EPR paradox. In 2015 Ryan joined the Experimental Quantum Optics group.

    In his spare time, Ryan enjoys mountain biking, music (listening, production and DJing) and photography.

  • Dr S. Pellegrini

    Dr Sara Pellegrini

  • Dr Sara Pellegrini

    Sara Pellegrini was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1972. She graduated with full grades in Microelectronics Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 1998 and in 2006 she completed a PhD in Physics at Heriot‑Watt University under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller.

    Sara worked on the Time‑of‑Flight project at Heriot‑Watt University for a full year before finishing her studies in Italy. She then started working on the design, fabrication and characterisation of InGaAs/InP Infra‑Red Single‑Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADS) for single photon detection at 1.55µm wavelength. She was also involved in time‑resolved photoluminescence measurements on quantum wells and quantum dots employing SPADs. In 2007 she left the group to join STMicroelectronics.

    During the first 3 years of her PhD Sara was assistant co‑ordinator of the successful European funded project EQUIS.

  • Dr S. Butera

    Dr Silvia Butera

  • Dr Silvia Butera

    Dr Silvia Butera was born in Palermo Italy in 1983.

    She graduated in 2006 with a BSc in Physics and in 2009 with MSc in Material Physics from the University of Palermo in Italy.

    In 2010, Silvia started a PhD with the Single‑Photon Group studying infrared photon‑counting using single‑photon avalanche diode detectors under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller. She completed this in 2015.

    In her spare time, Silvia enjoys going to the gym, reading and music.

  • Mr S. Chen

    Mr Songmao Chen

  • Mr Songmao Chen

    Songmao Chen is from Xi'an, China. He received his Bachelor degree of Engineering, with a major in Artificial Intelligence and Technology, from XiDian University in 2014. Then, in the same year, he began to study at the Chinese Academy of Science as a postgraduate. From 2016, he has been working towards a PhD at the Chinese Academy of Science while also working as a research associate at Heriot‑Watt University on single‑photon imaging.

    Songmao has experience in signal and information processing, including image recovery. His expertise covers image deblurring, image quality assessment, image reconstruction, and advanced algorithms. Now he is focusing on single‑photon image processing.

    While at the Chinese Academy of Science, he was a student welfare officer in the Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics and sought to ensure a welcoming environment for students within the structures of the university.

    Outside of work, his interests include hiking, travelling, music, history, and calligraphy.

  • Dr Veronica Fernandez

    Dr Veronica Fernandez

  • Dr Veronica Fernandez

    Veronica Fernandez was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1977. She received a BSc. with honours (5 years) degree in physics with electronics from the University of Seville, Spain, in June 2002.

    In July 2006 she graduated with a PhD in physics under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller at Heriot‑Watt University and then spent one year continuing her work in quantum key distribution at gigahertz clock rates, following the previous work done by Dr. Karen J. Gordon before joining Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Spain.

  • Dr X. Ren

    Dr Ximing Ren

  • Dr Ximing Ren

    Dr Ximing Ren was born in Guangdong, mainland China in 1985.

    He graduated in 2008 with a B.Eng. in Optical Information Engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology, China and in 2011 from Beihang University, China with M.Eng. in Electronics Science and Technology.

    In 2011, Ximing started a PhD with a prize scholarship from the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) with the Single‑Photon Group studying time‑of‑flight laser‑ranging under the supervision of Professor Gerald S. Buller. He graduated in November 2015.

  • Dr R. J. Collins

    Dr Robert J. Collins

  • Dr Robert J. Collins

    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.

  • Dr P. Vines

    Dr Peter Vines

  • Dr Peter Vines

    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.

  • Dr K. Kuzmenko

    Dr Kateryna Kuzmenko

  • Dr Kateryna Kuzmenko

    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. She successfully defended her PhD thesis earning her doctorate in May 2019.

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

  • Dr C. C. Novo

    Dr Catarina C. Novo

  • Dr Catarina C. Novo

    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 C. Zhang

    Dr Chunmei Zhang

  • Dr Chunmei Zhang

    Chunmei comes from a small village in Shandong, China. Chunmei joined the Single‑Photon Group as a Research Associate in December 2019 to study satellite quantum communications.

    She worked for five years as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Optics and Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), after she obtained her master degree in Optics from the University of Electronic Sciences and Technology of China. During her time at CAS, she got involved in the R&D of the commercial laser confocal biochip scanner and UV mask aligners.

    Chunmei earned her Doctorate from the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences, Heriot‑Watt University. Her thesis, Ultrathin Metasurface Devices for Phase and Polarization Control, focused on the development of nanoscale optical devices with unusual functionalities that are difficult or impossible to realize with conventional optical components.

    Outside of work she enjoys gardening, music, reading and playing with her cat.