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Dr Stuart Reid, RS Industry Fellow

Stuart Reid, RS Industry Fellow

RS Fellowship Title: High performance integrated MBE optical filters for NDIR sensor applications.

Fellowship Start Date: 1 October 2013 (4 years).

Studentship Title: Development of enhanced performance gas sensors for use in medical applications, funded by the Royal Society and SCI (PHDEN015).

Studentship Start Date: 1 July 2014 (3 years).

Research proposal background
Quantifying the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in respiratory gases is essential for the safe monitoring of patients under anaesthesia. The most common method for measuring CO2 levels in exhaled gases is through infrared absorption, where CO2 is observed to strongly absorb light at around 4.3µm. Current techniques are limited by various factors, particularly response time and from cross-talk from other anaesthetic gases e.g. nitrous oxide (laughing gas). In order to address these technological limitations, a new partnership has been initiated between UK industry and academia.

Scottish based SME, Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd, manufacture market-leading low-cost/fast-response CO2 sensors (trademarked as SPRINTIR) for a wide range of applications. The selectivity of these devices may be significantly enhanced through the incorporation of novel optical components (optical interference filters) using expertise based in the University of the West of Scotland.

Lewis Fleming

Student background
Lewis Fleming (pictured left) is one of the highest achieving undergraduate students to undertake the physics program in UWS in recent years. He was the first physics student at UWS to be awarded a Carnegie Trust Summer Scholarship award (2012) in addition to being awarded a prize for the best 4th year honours project. Obtaining funding from SCI was crucial to securing this level of student.

Stuart's academic background
Dr Stuart Reid is a Reader and Royal Society Industry Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. He has spent the last 12 years working in the field of gravitational wave astronomy, developing laser mirror and suspension technology that forms the heart of these instruments. Over the past 6 years, Reid has co-led a spin-off project, using nanoscale vibrations (or 'nanokicks') to control the differentiation of adult human stem cells. Collaborative work with Gas Sensing Solutions, on developing novel gas sensing technology, officially started in 2013.

Project update (and benefits of SCI support)
This project is ambitious and requires a careful balance between technological improvements and their associated cost (production costs of final gas sensor). For example, some of the initially proposed routes to developing the required technology have now been modified in order to reduce manufacture time (and thus cost). Having a full-time postgraduate student to progress this work, alongside support from the RS Fellow, is absolutely key to maximising the benefits of this project.

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