Contact Dr Daniel Francis

Areas of expertise

  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Sensor Technologies


Daniel graduated in 2001 from the University of Sussex with a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics, followed two years later with an MSc with distinction in Applied and Modern Optics from Reading University. His MSc thesis work investigated the influence of polarisation on laser speckle patterns and was carried at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. After spending a year working at Reading University, helping to convert the MSc in optics to a distance learning course, he joined Cranfield University to pursue a PhD in speckle interferometry.

His PhD project involved the development of shearography instrumentation to make full-field surface strain measurements of dynamic objects which won the 2008 School of Engineering prize for best PhD. After completing his doctorate he was employed in the Engineering Photonics Group continuing research on shearography.

Following his successful viva in 2008 he took a year out to travel in Asia visiting Nepal, Laos and Japan amongst other countries. On his return to Europe in 2009, he completed an internship at Delft Technical University in the Netherlands working on a review paper on shearography.

In 2010, he rejoined the Department of Engineering Photonics employed on an EPSRC project developing speckle velocimetry odometry instrumentation for autonomous vehicles. In 2011 he began a TSB funded project - DIABLO (Detection of Infectious Agents By Laser Optics) and his contribution involves the development of novel, low volume gas cells for mid IR spectroscopy for biomedical applications.

Current activities

  • Gas detection using tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS).
  • Autonomous vehicle odometry using laser speckle velocimetry.
  • Displacement, shape and strain measurement using electronic speckle pattern interferometry (ESPI) and shearography


  • Cascade Technologies
  • Technology Strategy Board
  • EADS Astrium
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers