• School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Interested in researching within a multidisciplinary project to develop a novel polymer waveguide biosensor capable of single biomolecule detection for very early, rapid and low cost detection of pathogens behind COVID19, Avian Influenza and many other illnesses?

    Or perhaps to your curiosity lies within investigating how micro and nanoplastics impact the human body.

    Either way, if you are highly motivated and have a good CV (or better), then get in touch!

    Personal profile

    Research Projects/Collaborations

    COST Action ICPLASTIC (18/09/2024 - 17/09/2028)

    UN IAEA CRP D15021 Assessing the Fate and Environmental Impact of Plastics in Soil and Crop Ecosystems Using Isotopic Techniques (2023-2027)

    COST Action PRIORITY (19/10/2021 - 18/10/2025)

    MONPLAS MSCA-860775 – H2020 ITN Research Project (01/2020-12/2023)

    CanDo ICT-610472 – FP7 STReP Research Project (01/2014-08/2017)

    POSITIVE ICT-257401 – FP7 STReP Research Project (09/2010-08/2013)

    INTOPSENS ICT-223932 - FP7 STReP Research Project (09/2008-08/2011)

    SABIO IST-026554 – FP6 STReP Research Project (01/2006-12/2008)

    ePIXNET IST-004525 FP6 Network of Excellence (01/09/2004-01/09/2008)

    LASERPOM FP6 CRAFT Research Project COOP-CT-2004-513275 (10/2004-10/2006)

    ATOMCAD FP5 TMR Network- HPRN-CT-1999-00048 (02/2000-08/2004)

    NanoFab FP4 TMR Network- ERBFMRXCT970129 (12/1997-11/2002)

    CAD and verification of MM- and Submm-Wave Circuits FP4 TMR Network- ERBFMRXCT960050 (09/1996-08/2000)


    Research Fellow, Aston University (2020-)

    Marie Curie COFUND Research fellow, Aston University (2018-2020)

    Senior Researcher “Universitat de Valencia” (2011-2017)

    Researcher “KTH - Kungliga Tekniska högskolan” (2009-2010)

    Senior Researcher “Universitat Politecnica de Valencia” (2006-2009)

    Postdoctoral Researcher, “Universitat de Barcelona” (2004-2006)

    Postdoctoral Researcher, “Sigma Plus” (2002-2004)

    Postdoctoral Researcher, “Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona” (2000-2002)

    Postdoctoral Researcher, “Universidad de Cantabria” (1999-2000)

    Graduate Trainee, Philips Semiconductors (1998-1999)

    Research Interests

    Optofluidics and nanophotonics: the integration of novel photonic and plasmonic sensors within microfluidic devices for near proximity analyte flow, novel transduction mechanisms and spectral analysis. Of particular interest are those based on porous membranes, as substrates and templates for nanocolumns and QD/metal nanoparticles polymer-based composites. Within biosensing these can provide real time responses, the use of small sample/reagent volumes and added functionality, whilst for samples with micro and nanoplastics they can segregate them for angle resolved polarimetric SERS analysis.

    Membership of Professional Bodies

    CPhys, MInstP, IEEE, SPIE

    PhD Supervision

    Fast and specific detection of micro and nanoplastic by flowthrough plasmonic sensing - Aisha Bibi (09/20-)

    Portable and low cost photoluminesent (PL) micro- and nanoplastics detection - Atif Iqrar (10/20-)

    Development of a polarimetric based optical biosensor using a freestanding porous membrane biosensing – Jesus Alvaréz Alavaréz (09/10 – 7/13), maximum qualification (17/09/13).

    Funding Applications and Awards

    £2000 EPSRC IAA Impact Primer Award for doctoral candidate secondment to QUB

    £10000 EPSRC Research impact acceleration fund to continue Raman software and interface development.

    2,464€ Erasmus+ funding for doctoral candidate secondment to IPHT and QUB

    £100,343 AIPT capital funding for an angle resolved polarimetric Raman micro spectrometer

    £9500 Research England priming fund for doctoral candidate secondment to QUB

    3.9M€ H2020 MSCA ITN project MONPLAS, 2020-2023 – Awarded/Management of whole project and legal principle researcher or PR (Aston)

    4.0M€ FP7 ICT project CanDo, 2014-2017 – Awarded/Management of whole project and legal principle researcher or PR (UV)
    Q-Nanotics (Spanish Ministry of Education) project, 2012-2015 – Proposal contribution, awarded/legal PR - head of group (UV)
    2.9M€ FP7 ICT project POSITIVE, 2010-2014 – Awarded/Management of whole project and legal PR (UV)
    10K€ VINNOVA award, 2010 – Awarded grant, legal PR - head of group (KTH)
    2.6M€ FP7 ICT project INTOPSENS – Awarded/Management of whole project, legal PR - head of group (KTH)
    SINADEC (Spanish Ministry of Education) project, 2009-2011 - Proposal contribution, awarded/PR - head of group/PR (UPV)
    2.4M€ FP6 IST project SABIO – Management of whole project
    6.0M€ FP6 IST NoE ePIXnet JRA Sensors – Partner manager
    NANOPOLAR (Spanish Ministry of Education) project, 2006-2009 – Proposal contribution, awarded/PR - head of group/PR (UB)

    Teaching Activity

    2022 –  Graduate course: Interdisciplinary research, results and grant writing module (Aston University)

    2020-2022 EE3OEL and AP4OEL Optoelectronics Module leader (Aston University)

    2015, 2016 – Supervision of Physics for Biologists laboratory (University of Valencia)

    2008-2009 - ‘GCSE’ and ‘A’ Level tutoring at British Private School

    1998 - Support role in preparing and running Masters laboratory on materials selection

    1997 - Support role in preparing and running Masters laboratory on materials selection

    1996 - Support role in preparing and running Masters Workshop on crystallography

    1995-1996 - Support role in preparing and running Masters laboratory on microscopy

    1995 - Support role in preparing and running a computation analysis workshop

    1994 - Support role in preparing and running various 1st year physics laboratories

    1993 - Support role in preparing and running various 1st year physics laboratories



    Postgraduate Certificate Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Distinction) – Aston University in 2019

    Assistant professor/lecturer accreditation

    Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU) – Since 2018

    Spanish National Agency for Evaluation of Quality & Accreditation (ANECA) – Since 2016


    Project Reviewer

    FETOpen, MCSA IEF, ICT and NMP evaluator in EC FP7 and H2020.
    Nanoscience projects evaluator in the “Blanc programme” of the French National Research Agency (ANR).


    Nanophotonic biosensor based on surface Plasmon interference – Peter Debackere, 15/12/09


    Senate member

    PI representative of AIPT management group

    Committee member of Agile Workspaces Working Group at Aston University 2021-present

    Committee member of EPS Induction Working Group at Aston University 2021

    Editorial board member of the International Journal of Foods and Biosystems Engineering
    International Program Committee member of Allsensors 2016-present
    International Program Committee member of Photoptics 2015-present
    International Program Committee member for International Conference on Sensors Engineering and Electronics Instrumental Advances (SEIA) 2015-present
    Scientific Committee of International Conference on Food and Biosystems Engineering (FABE) 2015, 2017
    International program committee member of Eurosensors XXV
    European Silicon Photonics Cluster
    Expert in Nanofutures key node group of Design, Modelling and Testing of Materials
    Student Representative of Liverpool University Engineering and Physical Sciences Graduate School Committee (1995-1998)
    Secretary of Department of Materials Science and Engineering (University of Liverpool) Staff-Student Liaison Committee (1995-1998)
    Faculty (Science and Engineering) representative for University Guild Council for University of Liverpool (1995-1998)

    Academic/Professional Contacts

    Prof. J. Vollertsen, Aalborg University; Prof. P. Bienstman, Ghent University/IMEC; Prof. L. Pavesi and Dr P. Bettotti, U. Trento; Prof. C. Elliot, Queens University Belfast; Prof. H. Goosens, University of Antwerp; Dr C. Angulo Barrios, Politecnica de Madrid; Dr. L. Vivien, IEF/Universitie Paris Sud; Prof A. Russom, KTH; Prof J. Popp and C. Krafft, Jena University; Dr. M. Chiari, Consiglo Nazionale Delle Ricerche; Drs C. Bosshard and H. Knapp, CSEM; Dr T. Krahn, Bayer Worldwide Healthcare; Dr. H. Becker, Chipshop;  Dr. K. Beyer, Charité (Berlin); Dr. M. Makki, Mobidiag; Dr. H. Zoller, Medical University of Innsbruck; Dr. G. Skorski, Phylogene SA (France); Dr. P. Pourquier ID-VET Sarl (France); Profs Löhr and Heuchel, Karolinska Institute; Prof M. Nilsson, Stockholm University


    GKS; AstraZeneca; Pfizer; Novartis; Bayer; Roche (Healthcare and Diagnostics); R-Biopharm; Janssen R&D; Merck; Abbot; Biomerieux; GE Healthcare; Siemens; Renishaw; Alcatel-Lucent; Honeywell; STMicroelectronics; Sagem; Telefonica; IBM; HP; Philips; 3M; Thermo Scientific; Sony; Veeco; Danone; CocaCola; Nestlé; HeinzKraft; Tetrapak

    Contact Details

    Room: NW617
    Phone: 0121 204 5494
    Email: [email protected]

    Scholarship and Fellowship

    Interested in applying for a European Postdoctoral Fellowship to carry out your research activities abroad, acquire new skills and develop your career at one of the UK’s largest photonics research centres, including secondments at strategic partners, followed by a 6-month placement at one of Europe’s leading industrial companies?

    If so, and you have a promising CV, Dr Daniel Hill (PI of H2020 MONPLAS, FP7 CanDo, FP7 Positive and others) and Dr Kaiming Zhou (PI of Innovate UK project and MSCA Postdoctoral fellow host) of the Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies (AIPT) at UK’s Aston University are looking to support you in developing your application to the following call (opening on 23/4/24, closing on 11/9/24) to work on a project related to optical (hollow) fibre biosensing combined with Raman spectroscopy through machine learning for biomedical applications:


    Among its numerous accolades, Aston University won The Times Higher Education Awards: Outstanding Entrepreneurial University" in 2020 and the Guardian’s University of the Year in 2021. AIPT is one of the largest photonics research centres in the UK, with 100+ staff and current grant funding amounting to €32M+, of which the majority comes from EU projects. AIPT’s success has been built on significant achievements in high-speed optical transmission, signal processing, wide-band amplification, nonlinear photonics, fibre grating technology, fibre lasers, bio- and medical photonics, and in various fibre optic sensing applications. AIPT has an impressive portfolio of project funding, industrial and international collaborations, five spin-out companies, highly cited research papers and 60 patents, all demonstrating excellence in the field. AIPT maintains active and fertile collaborations with industrial companies and academic institutions throughout the world through accumulating valuable experience in supervising and administrating diverse research projects, fostering new research and industrial collaborations.

    Education/Academic qualification


    Award Date: 23 Dec 2019

    PhD, Growth initiation processes for GaAs and AlGaAs in CBE, University of Liverpool

    Award Date: 14 Dec 1998

    MPhil, The commissioning of a cosmic-ray telescope based on reverse biased pn junction silicon detectors and characterising a double-metal silicon detector from data taken in a beam test at CERN, University of Liverpool

    Award Date: 19 Dec 1995

    BSc, Physics with Astrophysics, University of Leeds

    Award Date: 20 Jul 1993


    • TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
    • Photonics
    • Optical Sensing
    • Biophotonics
    • polymer nanotechnology
    • Nanomaterials
    • Metamaterials
    • Nanocomposites
    • optics, spectroscopy, lasers


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