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The Dodd-Walls Centre is a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence with world-class researchers working in the areas of Photonics and Quantum Physics.

Our research explores the limits of control and measurement at the atomic scale through the use of laser light, the generation and manipulation of light at its most fundamental quantum level, and the processing and physical nature of information in this quantum realm. The DWC has research teams built around four themes: Sensors and Imaging, Sources and Components, Quantum Fluids and Gases, and Quantum Manipulation and Information, and dedicated outreach teams. We have significant government investment to support our research, industry initiatives, and educational programmes. We regularly host international conferences and distinguished visitors, and provide students and postdoctoral fellows with opportunities to be involved in all these programmes.

We are currently seeking new PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows to join our group.

Scholarships are offered on a rolling basis. The major criteria are excellence and experience in one of our research areas. A PhD can be started at any time, and students generally complete in 3-4 years. International PhD students pay the same costs as domestic students and are eligible for scholarships.

To apply for a postgraduate scholarship, choose a potential supervisor from our list of DWC researchers or the list of specific projects below, and contact them by e-mail, providing a CV and academic transcript and names of two referees. If you have any queries, please contact us at recruit@doddwalls.ac.nz

For your application to be considered, please send CV, transcripts, two letters from referees, research outline and supporting statement from Dodd-Walls Centre supervisor to recruit@doddwalls.ac.nz by 1 March, 1 July or 1 November 2017.

We will also be appointing postdoctoral researchers to begin in 2017, and welcome expressions of interest from researchers and students nearing completion of their PhD. Postdoctoral candidates should have experience of working in photonics, quantum physics, or a related discipline, and a strong track record of publications.

We have research projects in the following areas: 


Quantum Physics

- numerical modelling of lasers and optical cavities

- manipulation and control of single atoms

- mode-locked fibre lasers

- quantum computation

- optical frequency combs and cavity solitons

- Bose-Einstein condensates

- THz devices and applications

- multi-component BECs in designer potentials

 - optical sensing including optical coherence tomography

- finite temperature BEC dynamics

- nonlinear optics in waveguides

- quantum dynamics of ultra-cold Bose and Fermi gases

- cavity QED


- optical rogue waves


- laser micromachining



Postgraduate Scholarships Available

We are offering numerous fully-funded Ph.D. scholarships across our major research themes with closing date of 1 March, 1 July and 1 November 2017.

·        Photonic Sensing and Imaging

·        Photonic Sources and Components

·        Quantum Fluids and Quantum Gases

·        Quantum Manipulation and Quantum Information


Scholarship projects for Theme 1a. Photonic Sensors and Imaging (PSI)

1a.3) Optical Biopsies using Optical Coherence Tomography

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a real time, non-invasive and non-contact imaging modality for translucent and transparent tissue capable of providing morphological images at the micron scale resolution at more than 1mm depth penetration. First developed in 1991 for measuring the human retina, OCT's fields of application has been extended to a wide variety of tissues and non-biological structures. Conventional OCT is based on measuring the back reflection of light induced by changes of refractive index in the sample. Although the information gain of purely structural images is high, poor contrast can make structures difficult to be identified. Therefore OCT was extended to exploit other light properties for better contrast and quantitative measurements. In this contest, we would like to develop optical biopsies using OCT and new contrast agent such as chromatic dispersion and speckle. The project will make use of the existing OCT systems based in Auckland and the modeling software developed by the biophotonics group in Otago.

Contact: Dr. Frederique Vanholsbeeck, University of Auckland, f.vanholsbeeck@auckland.ac.nz

1a.8) Nonlinear Microscopy

Nonlinear microscopy is a growing field with an ever-increasing range of applications and uses. Traditionally the sources required have been bulky laser systems restricting its use. Most recently we have demonstrated that compact fibre bases sources offer a compelling alternative and this project aims to further develop fibre based instruments into practical compact sources and then using them to demonstrate improved imaging of biological materials. The student will begin by testing existing mode-locked fibre sources before designing and building an improved source optimised for imaging. Next he will look at including a all-fibre source into a traditional microscopy before using their source for a range of imaging. Second harmonic generation, Raman generation and other nonlinear techniques will be used to create a multi-modal tool that provides structural information with greater precision than conventional techniques.

Contact: Dr. Frederique Vanholsbeeck, University of Auckland, f.vanholsbeeck@auckland.ac.nz and Professor Neil Broderick, University of Auckland, n.broderick@auckland.ac.nz

1a.9 Measurement and modelling of energy levels in low-symmetry quantum-information candidate materials

Background Many candidate materials for quantum-information applications utilize rare-earth ions doped into low-symmetry crystals such as Y2SiO5 (YSO). Modelling of energy levels in such systems is challenging. Crystal-field fits to electronic energy levels in low-symmetry systems seldom give sufficiently accurate wave functions to model the hyperfine and Zeeman splittings. These splittings are, therefore, often modelled using a spin-Hamiltonian approach. However, spin Hamiltonians are not readily transferrable between different electronic levels, or between ions. We have recently reported crystal-field analyses for C2v sites in CaF2 co-doped with Sm3+ and Na+ or Li+ ions.1 A combination of optical and EPR data was used to obtain well-determined parameters.  We are now applying these methods to Er3+ ions the low-symmetry (C1) sites of YSO. Our fits combine magnetic and hyperfine measurements with electronic energy-level data. We have supplemented literature data with hole-burning and site-selective laser spectroscopy measurements.

This Project The aim of this project is to extend these methods to other ions that are strong quantum-information candidates (such as Pr3+ and Eu3+), to other ions where EPR data is available (such as Ce3+ and Nd3+) and to Ho3+, where the hyperfine interactions are particularly strong. The aim is two-fold: 1.  Extend the measurements on these systems using laser, spectroscopic, and cryogenic facilities available at Univerity of Canterbury and University of Otago. 2. Determine accurate crystal-field parameters that can be applied to the entire rare-earth series.
Measuring magnetic and hyperfine splittings of energy levels is time consuming. This makes the process of  testing  systems for suitability for applications very time consuming. The crystal-field parameters that will be determined in this project will enable accurate calcualations of magnetic and hyperfine splittings for energy levels, and this will have a significant impact on the development of quantum-information applications.

Reference S.P. Horvath, M.F. Reid, J.P.R. Wells, M. Yamaga,  High precision wavefunctions for hyperfine states of low symmetry materials suitable for quantum information processing. J. Luminescence, 2015, in press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jlumin.2015.02.045

Contact: Professor Jon-Paul Wells, University of Canterbury, jon-paul.wells@canterbury.ac.nz  and Dr. Jevon Longdell, University of Otago, jevon.longdell@otago.ac.nz

1a.10 Resonant enhanced sensing (experimental)

We aim at establishing a new type of resonant enhanced sensing by utilizing high quality optical resonators. Our group fabricates some of the world’s best crystalline optical resonators. These resonators allow us to translate a number of environmental changes (such as pressure, chemical reactions, electric field potential, etc.) into frequency changes, which can be very precisely detected. The Resonant Optics group at the University of Otago is newly established and equipped with a state-of-the-art laboratory and we are looking for an engaging PhD student to take on this challenging and potentially highly rewarding task.

Contact: Dr Harald Schwefel (harald.schwefel@otago.ac.nz), University of Otago

1a.11 Fiber sensing for earthquake

We will develop new distributed optical fibre sensors capable of measuring temperature and vibration along kilometre lengths of optical fibres in hostile environments. These will be tested and used to monitor the Alpine Fault in the South Island using the DFDP-2 borehole. Our project will result in an improved understanding of the behaviour of the Alpine Fault and provide insight into newly discovered slow slip events that act to relieve stress on the plate boundary. The new generation of optical sensors will have multiple applications in geophysics and seismic surveys as well as other applications in structural health monitoring. Finally we will explore the limits of optical sensing technology for geophysics looking at new modalities and new fibres and what is possible in the future.

Contact: Dr Kasper Van Wijk (k.vanwijk@auckland.ac.nz and Professor Neil Broderick n.broderick@auckland.ac.nz, University of Auckland



Scholarship projects for Theme 1b. Photonic Sources and Components (PSI)

1b.2) THz Metamaterials

The PhD project is about Metamaterials (MM) and novel waveguides in the THz region. We want to develop new MM structures and evaluate different fabrication methods. The existing TDS THz spectrometer will be used to characterise the materials. One aim is to use MM to develop low-loss single-mode THz waveguides but we will try waveguides with simple metal inclusions as well. Once we have optimised our waveguide design, we want to try and extend the useful region for them to the mid IR. While the project is mainly experimentally, numerical simulations need to be performed to underpin the experimental results. Therefore the student is expected to have some background in THz spectroscopy (or at least experimental laser physics) but should also be able to handle numerical simulations with MatLab (or similar) and commercial FDTD software packages.

Contact: Assoc. Prof. Rainer Leonhardt, University of Auckland, r.leonhardt@auckland.ac.nz

1b.4) Actively Coupled Waveguide Networks

The pumping of evanescent waves for two coupled nonlinear waveguides was recently studied and shows remarkable stable complex dynamics of light propagation, as compared to related parity-time (PT) systems. The project aims at several important extensions of this result. First, a one-dimensional network (chain) of actively coupled waveguides will be investigated, including the number of unstable modes as a function of the active coupling. The corresponding critical wavelength will define the onset of nontrivial spatio-temporal light propagation regimes. Another twist will be to introduce a network of weakly coupled active dimer units, allowing to use the principle of the anti continuous limit similar to the observation of discrete breathers. In a final step these approaches will be generalized to one- and two-dimensional networks with nontrivial flat band geometry.

Contact: Prof. Sergej Flach, Massey University, s.flach@massey.ac.nz

1b.6) From stability to chaos, via Exploding Solitons

The fibre laser group at the University of Auckland is pursuing a range of investigations into the modes of operation of fibre lasers and how they transition from one regime to another. We have recently performed the first measurements of exploding solitons in a fibre laser and are looking to extend this work to see where these lasers sit on the continuum between stability and chaos. Other topics of research within the fibre laser group include investigations of optical rogue waves and the mode-locking of novel fibre lasers. Candidates interested in the dynamical behavior of light when driven by a combination of gain, dispersion and nonlinearity should apply, as well as those interested in applying such lasers for material processing.

Contact: Prof. Neil Broderick, University of Auckland, n.broderick@auckland.ac.nz

1b.7) Photophysics of Molecular Dragons

Molecules that can control the flow of excess vibrational energy after photoexcitation can be turned into molecular dragons: focusing their non-Boltzman relaxation energy towards therapeutic targets . Phthalocyanines and porphyrins are good candidates for molecular dragons because they have a large number of substitution sites that allows them to be tailored for these applications. The designs of these systems relies on a thorough understanding of the dynamics in the photoexcited state of the molecule, which can be studied using femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy such as femtosecond transient absorption, time-resolved Raman and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. The successful candidate will have a strong interest in photophysics, photochemistry, and free-space laser spectroscopy setups. The project will use all three of these methods to evaluate dragon-like behaviour in molecules synthesised by collaborators.

 Contact: Assoc. Prof. Cather Simpson, University of Auckland, c.simpson@auckland.ac.nz

1b.8) Pulse Patterns in nonlinear optical resonators with delay

Nonlinear optical resonators, whether they are passive fibre cavities or active lasers, support a wide range of pulse types and patterns including stable mode-locking resulting in optical frequency combs, harmonic mode-locking, soliton explosions, soliton rains and optical rogue waves. While the formation of a single pulse is well studied, explorations of multiple pulse dynamics in such systems are comparatively rare. The goal of the project is to investigate the interplay between different pulses and  effects of delay in an attempt to predict the resulting pulse patterns. This work will be predominantly theoretical in nature, starting with the analysis of simple delay equations describing pulse dynamics. However, it will be pursued in tandem with a recently initiated experimental programme at the University of Auckland, so that comparisons with data are feasible. The successful candidate is expected to have some research experience in a relevant area (Physics or Applied Mathematics) as well as be able to use appropriate numerical software tools.

Contact: Prof. Neil Broderick, University of Auckland, n.broderick@auckland.ac.nz

1b.9) Dynamics of novel optical frequency comb sources

 Optical frequency combs are light sources whose spectrum consists of thousands of equally-spaced spectral components, each an ultra-stable laser in its own right. They have a myriad of applications ranging from the detection of extra-solar planets to atomic clocks so accurate that they won’t gain or lose a second in billions of years. The laser physics group at the University of Auckland is pursuing world-leading research on novel frequency comb sources, focussing in particular on systems involving passive (micro)resonators. This project builds on our group’s established theoretical expertise, and aims at using numerical simulations to explore the nonlinear dynamics that underpin the formation of frequency combs in microresonators and other novel platforms. The project is predominantly theoretical, but will be pursued in tandem with a recently initiated experimental microresonator programme.  The successful candidate will have strong interest in laser physics and nonlinear optics, and is expected to be familiar with Matlab or some other numerical computation platform.

Contact: Assoc Prof Stephane Coen, University of Auckland, s.coen@auckland.ac.nz, Dr. Stuart Murdoch, University of Auckland, s.murdoch@auckland.ac.nz, Dr Miro Erkintalo, University of Auckland, m.erkintalo@auckland.ac.nz

 1b.10) Dynamics of nonlinearly coupled optical cavities

Very recently, theoretical groups — coming from many body physics and quantum mechanics — have tackled the question of quantum correlations in photonic dimers under spontaneous symmetry breaking conditions. We will take this work as the starting point to look at coupled optical cavities in a number of different regimes. The cavities can be passive or active (i.e. lasers) and also have varying sizes so that quantum effects can play a large or vanishingly small role. This work is a collaboration between the laser dynamics group at the University of Auckland and the Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures in Paris and would suit a student with a strong interest in mathematical modeling and nonlinear dynamics.

ontact n.broderick@auckland.ac.nz or b.krauskopf@auckland.ac.nz


Scholarship Projects for Theme 2a. Quantum Fluids and Gases (QFG)

2a.1) Spin Fluids and Multicomponent gases in designer potentials (experiment)

The Light & Matter group at Otago invites applications from motivated, talented individuals with an outstanding academic record to join our dedicated scientific team as a PhD student. The successful candidate (if any) will pursue experimental studies of dynamics of ultracold Bose and Fermi gases in reconfigurable optical designer potentials and will enjoy the benefit of an existing experimental backbone in a very well equipped laboratory. Collaborative skills are essential and collegiality is a core value to us. This in return means that you can expect a high degree of support for your commitment.

Contact: Dr. Niels Kjærgaard (niels.kjaergaard@otago.ac.nz), University of Otago

 2a.3) Dynamics of solitons and vortices in spin-orbit coupled Bose-Einstein condensates (theory)

Solitons and vortices are nonlinear waves with exceptional stability properties that have been observed in atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. The purpose of this project is to investigate the dynamics of these waves under the influence of artificial gauge fields, which have become available to ultra-cold gas experiments in recent years. We seek a PhD candidate with a strong background in theoretical physics or applied mathematics to investigate the problem in hydrodynamics/nonlinear field theory. The project is a collaboration between Massey and Victoria University and the candidate could be based either in Auckland or Wellington.

Contact: Prof. Joachim Brand (j.brand@massey.ac.nz), Massey University Auckland and Prof. Uli Zuelicke (uli.zuelicke@vuw.ac.nz), Victoria University Wellington

 2a.5) Ultracold atoms, synthetic fields and disorder

 Laser cooling (Nobel Prize 1997) and the realisation of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in 1995 (Nobel Prize 2001) revitalised atomic physics. The reason for this revitalisation has been the advent of an unprecedented level of control over the external degrees of freedom (position, momentum, etc.) of ultracold atoms in addition to the internal. Synthetic Fields: A new possible level of control is now emerging. It has recently been demonstrated that spatially-varying light fields can induce a Berry Phase in ultracold atoms. This Berry Phase can be engineered to mimic the behaviour induced in the kinetic energy term of a charged particle in a magnetic field, thus creating a synthetic vector potential or synthetic magnetic field. We will systematically investigate the effects of synthetic magnetic fields on ultracold atomic gases. Negative magneto-resistance: In particular, we will implement synthetic magnetic fields to investigate their effects upon 2D ultracold gases in the presence of disorder. Disorder, introduced through the use of bi-chromatic lattices or laser speckle, has been shown theoretically to lead to Anderson Localisation in non-interacting gases. Debate remains about experiments and, in particular, the role of inter-particle interactions which can lead to self-trapping (as opposed to localisation). Anderson Localisation is an interference phenomenon and is enhanced by time-reversal symmetry where closed paths in reversed directions can interfere. In the presence of a magnetic field this symmetry is broken and time-reversed paths are different. Thus application of a magnetic field can enhance transport in disordered systems by suppressing interference and hence localisation – negative magneto-resistance. We aim to demonstrate negative magneto-resistance in disordered systems under the application of synthetic magnetic fields. This would confirm that interference was playing a dominant role in suppressing transport.

Contact: Prof. David Hutchinson, University of Otago, david.hutchinson@otago.ac.nz

2a.6) Two-dimensional atomic de Broglie waves (experiment)

The ultra-cold atom team at the University of Auckland is looking for a motivated, talented individual to perform experiments on ultra-cold atoms propagating in an arbitrary potential in a two-dimensional system. Two-dimensional physics is a fascinating field, where many pre-conceived ideas and assumptions are no longer valid. The apparatus to generate arbitrary potentials, generated by a strong laser field shaped by a spatial light modulator (SLM) and interacting with ultra-cold atoms from a BEC, is currently operational. Current experiments include the investigation of Anderson localisation in two dimensions, which is implemented by programming a “starry sky” potential into the SLM. The successful applicant will extend these investigations to the regime where the atoms are interacting, as well is perform experiments on one of the many theoretical proposals exploiting deBroglie wave propagation in two dimensions.

Contact: Dr. Maarten Hoogerland, University of Auckland m.hoogerland@auckland.ac.nz

2a.7) Quantum gauge fields with interacting atoms (experiment)

The Quantum Gauge Fields team at the University of Auckland is looking at Quantum Simulation, i.e., the simulation of complex quantum systems using ultra-cold atoms. We are looking for a talented, motivated individual to extend the current measurement plans to atoms with interactions that can be modified using a “Feshbach resonance”. Briefly, in the ultra cold regime atoms interact via s-wave scattering which can be characterised by the “s-wave scattering length”. We aim to use a well-known resonance in the 85 Rubidium isotope. By combining the interaction of these atoms with a (quasi-) standing wave of laser light and small to moderate magnetic fields, we can simulate the motion of charged particles in arbitrary electromagnetic fields, as well as study the effects of their interactions. 

Contact: Dr. Maarten Hoogerland, University of Auckland m.hoogerland@auckland.ac.nz

2a.8) Computational approach to ultra-cold atomic gases with exact diagonalisation quantum Monte Carlo (theory)

Can the computer simulation of walkers who randomly hop, die, or multiply help to solve the hard problems of physics? Many of the difficult problems of condensed matter physics, increasingly being explored with quantum degenerate atomic gases, involve strong quantum correlations between particles. They are consequently not well approximated with mean-field theories of effective quasiparticle pictures. The aim of this project is to develop new approaches and algorithms for computing the ground state and time-evolution of ultra-cold fermions or bosons by combining exact-diagonalisation and quantum Monte-Carlo approaches. These can be formulated as the population dynamics of random walkers. The research will be carried out at Massey University’s Auckland-based NZ Institute for Advanced Study with strong collaborative links to the partner universities in the Dodd-Walls Centre and with the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Germany.

Contact: Prof. Joachim Brand, j.brand@massey.ac.nz, Massey University Auckland



Scholarship Projects for Theme 2b. Quantum Manipulation and Information (QMI)

2b.1) Cavity QED with solid state "atoms"

There is a rapidly growing field of research in quantum optics involving "artificial atoms" formed in solid-state systems interacting with quantised (cavity) light fields. Examples of such systems include nitrogen vacancy (NV) centres in diamond nano-crystals, and rare-earth-ion dopants in monolithic crystalline resonators. We are seeking a PhD student in theoretical quantum optics to model and investigate these systems and their potential application to (i) devices for single-emitter quantum control of light, (ii) preparation of nonclassical states of both matter and light, and (iii) the study of interacting many-body quantum systems.We are also seeking a PhD student in experimental quantum optics to implement some of these applications with monolithic, rare-earth-ion doped microwave resonators.

Contact (theory): Assoc. Prof. Scott Parkins, University of Auckland, s.parkins@auckland.ac.nz

Contact (experimential): Dr. Jevon Longdell, University of Otago, jevon.longdell@otago.ac.nz

2b.2) Photonic extensions of the Bose-Hubbard system

The Bose-Hubbard system is a standard model of many-body physics. It describes a collection of massive bosons that move within a lattice by tunnelling between lattice sites in the presence of an on-site repulsive interaction. The model exhibits the well-known superfluid-to-Mott-insulator quantum phase transition, which was observed for a gas of ultracold atoms in an optical lattice in 2002. Photons are bosons and natural candidates to substitute for bosonic atoms; thus, various photonic analogues of the Bose-Hubbard system have been suggested, e.g., based on lattices of Jaynes-Cummings systems  in cavity or circuit QED. Photonic analogues introduce a fundamental complication, however, as photons are massless; they have zero chemical potential; if the equilibrium temperature goes to zero, they are absorbed and disappear. Photonic extensions of the Bose-Hubbard system must therefore add a drive to offset photon loss. While they might mimic certain features of equilibrium quantum phase transitions, they are, at root, dissipative systems, driven away from thermal equilibrium. The connections between thermal equilibrium quantum phase transitions and their dissipative cousins is still far from clear. This project will explore these connections theoretically, initially by simulating the behaviour of SMALL, driven and lossy photonic lattices.

Contact: Prof. Howard Carmichael, University of Auckland. h.carmichael@auckland.ac.nz

2b.5) Building single molecules atom by atom

Design and control of quantum systems at the individual atom level has fascinated scientists for decades. Such capabilities enable fundamental studies of quantum processes at the microscopic level and may pave the way for future quantum technologies. A rapidly advancing platform in this field is neutral atoms in far-off resonance optical traps. The project aims at exploiting this platform to build individual molecules atom by atom. This will be done by photo-associating individually prepared atoms into molecules in particular quantum states.

Contact: Dr. Mikkel Andersen, University of Otago, mikkel.andersen@otago.ac.nz

2b.8) How do bacteria do quantum mechanics at room temperature?

It has recently been discovered that some bacteria that have evolved in low-light environments use quantum mechanical effects to enhance energy transfer from photoreceptors to energy production action centers in photosynthetic complexes. This is remarkable as environmental conditions normally inhibit such long-lived quantum behaviour - quantum experiments are usually done at low temperature in laboratory systems deliberately isolated from the external, hot, disruptive environment. We investigate theoretically, using stochastic techniques drawn from quantum optics, how complexes in these bacteria stabilise this quantum behaviour against this background of thermal noise and identify if similar mechanisms might feasibly be utilized in man-made counterparts for light harvesting, or for transmission of quantum information.

Contact: Prof. David Hutchinson, University of Otago, david.hutchinson@otago.ac.nz

2b.9) Generating single photons on demand

In the ultra-cold atoms lab at the University of Auckland we are looking for a talented and motivated individual to work with nanoscopic optical fibres and resonators to generate single photons on demand. We trap ultra cold atoms in the evanescent field surrounding and optical fibre, which has been tapered down to a diameter of 400 nm, much less than the wavelength of the light that is propagating in the fibre. In this manner, we achieve strong coupling of the atoms outside the fibre to the optical field inside the fibre. The successful applicant will use single photon detectors coupled to fibre resonators interacting with ultra cold caesium atoms. The extension of this work will aim towards quantum networks, where a number of such resonators is coupled together by optical fibres.

Contact: Dr Maarten Hoogerland, m.hoogerland@auckland.ac.nz, University of Auckland

2b.10) Making microwaves visible (experimental)

The first generation of quantum computers will most likely be based on superconducting microwave circuits. Within these devices the quantum information is encoded in a microwave field. In order to connect such devices to a future quantum communication network based on optical fibres these microwave photons need to be converted into the optical domain. We have realized a first step in this direction within a highly nonlinear optical resonator and are looking for an excellent PhD student to push the boundaries of the experiment to realize efficient quantum state bi-directional transfer between the optical and microwave domain.

Contact: Dr Harald Schwefel (harald.schwefel@otago.ac.nz <mailto:harald.schwefel@otago.ac.nz>), University of Otago


Further information regarding admission to the PhD programmes of the Dodd-Walls Centre Partner Institutions can be found here.


Related Scholarship Projects

These scholarships are offered by DWC researchers with grants related to DWC themes.


Theme 1a-related scholarship

Bacteria are everywhere and are involved in many processes relevant to our everyday life yet it is hard to monitor accurately and in real time bacterial concentration. Recently, the physics department in collaboration with the microbiology department has developed an all-fibre spectroscopic system called the optrode that is able to detect and quantify bacteria. It provides an alternative to the conventional plate count techniques with advantages of portability, sensitivity, near real time measurements and ability to detect a high dynamic range of bacteria concentrations in its natural environment. The next challenge is to be able to identify specific type of bacteria. One avenue is to immobilise the microorganism using functionalised fibres or microfluidic devices. This work is funded by a grant in collaboration with a company that is likely to commercialise the device. This research will be carried out in collaboration with microbiologists who will provide samples and knowledge of microorganisms and bacterial processes.

Contact: Dr Frederique Vanholsbeeck, University of Auckland f.vanholsbeeck@auckland.ac.nz


Postdoctoral Fellowships

We will post information here as postdoctoral fellowships become available. If you are interested in an upcoming postdoctoral fellowship, please contact the researcher listed.


2017 Postdoctoral Fellowships

Postdoctoral appointments to be advertised in 2017 are listed below, and we welcome expressions of interest from researchers and students nearing completion of their PhD.

Postdoctoral candidates should have experience of working in photonics, quantum physics, or a related discipline, and a strong track record of publications.


Upcoming positions include:


Theme 1a: Photonic Sensing and Imaging

DWC1a5PDF: Postdoctoral fellowship in photonic sensing applications, including rock physics, medical imaging with photoacoustics, sensing the ripeness of fruit with laser ultrasound. Available mid-2016. Contact Kasper Van Wijk