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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P012248/1
Principal Investigator: Richardson, Professor DJ
Other Investigators:
O'Neill, Professor W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
TRUMPF Laser UK Ltd University of Queensland
Department: Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 October 2016 Ends: 30 September 2019 Value (£): 649,938
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Jul 2016 Energy Resillient Manufacturing 2 Interview Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This innovative proposal seeks a ten-fold improvement in the energy efficiency and speed of laser based manufacturing. Exploiting the most recent advances in optical fibre communication technology we will develop a new generation of fibre lasers offering unprecedented levels of simultaneous control of the spatial, temporal and polarisation properties of the output beam. This will allow machinists to optimise the laser for particular light:matter interactions and to maximise the efficiency of each pulse in laser-based materials processing for the first time, enabling a step-change in manufacturing control and novel low-energy manufacturing processes.

We believe that order of magnitide reductions in energy usage should be possible for many laser processes relative to the current generation of fibre lasers used in manufacturing today, (which themselves are already at least x2 more efficient than other diode-pumped solid-state lasers, and more than x10 more efficient than other laser technologies still in use in laser machine shops (e.g. flash-lamp pumped YAGs)). Importantly, the new control functionalities enabled should also allow laser based techniques to replace highly energy-inefficient mechanical processes currently used for certain high value manufacturing tasks and in particular in ultrafine polishing which will represent an important focus of the application work to be performed at the IfM.

Lasers offering such exquiste control of the beam parameters at high peak and average powers, have the potential to be disruptive in a number of application spaces beyond industrial laser processing - in particular in sensing, imaging, medicine, defence and high energy physics and we will look to investigate opportunities to exploit our technology in these areas as the project evolves.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk