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22 October 2010 | PR 10/163

Prestigious Royal Society Award for Loughborough University Professor

A Professor at Loughborough University has been awarded a Royal Society Brian Mercer Feasibility Award for developing a new technique to instantly and highly accurately measure the 3D shape of a surface.

Professor Jonathan Huntley attended a glittering ceremony in London where he was presented with the award, which provides initial support to test the feasibility of a project. It means Professor Huntley will receive a grant to investigate the technical and economical feasibility of commercialising an aspect of his research.

Professor Huntley explains: “Measuring a surface profile is a vital quality control procedure in many industries. For example, a device such as an asthma inhaler contains components that could deliver the incorrect dosage to the patient if certain dimensional tolerances have not been met. We have developed a new approach to measuring the surface dimensions of components such as these. It is based on a highly accurate optical technique called interferometry, but it avoids many of the problems of traditional interferometry, in particular its susceptibility to vibration and the need for polished surfaces.

“I am delighted our work has been recognised by such a prestigious organisation as The Royal Society. This award now means that we have the finance to help us develop the next prototype, which is vital in order to encourage further industrial interest in this technology. I now look forward to moving this project on to the next stage.”

Professor Huntley has been working on the project for four years along with the University’s Dr Pablo Ruiz and PhD student, Taufiq Widjanarko. The team comes from the Optical Engineering Research Group, for which the University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2000 and is based in the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Professor Huntley is also co-founder of a University spinout company Phase Vision Ltd, which manufactures optical 3D scanners for much larger components such as aircraft wings.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Debbie Hughes
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: D.L.Hughes@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

  1. Dr Brian Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these Royal Society awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.

    There are four Brian Mercer Feasibility Awards offered each year. For more information visit The Royal Society’s website at www.royalsociety.org/Brian-Mercer-Feasibility-Awards/

  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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