Contact Professor David Lane

Areas of expertise

  • Counter-IED
  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Renewable Energy


David joined Cranfield University in 1985 after spending three years in industry. After completing a doctorate in 'Laser Interactions with Natural and Ion Beam Modified Optical Surfaces' he joined the University's lecturing staff, teaching physics on courses that range from undergraduate and diploma to MSc. During his PhD he developed ion beam analysis techniques that have been applied to film films, electronic devices, and biological and environment specimens.

In 1996 David helped establish the highly successful Forensic Engineering and Science MSc and was its Academic Leader from its first intake in 1998 and its Course Chairman from August 2004. In 2009 he expanded the University’s forensic education through the development of the new Forensic MSc Programme and was its Director until September 2012, and began his second term as Programme Director in October 2018.

David was made Professor of Applied Physics on 2017 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Chartered Physicist and a Professional Member of the Forensic Science Society.

Current activities

  • Programme Manager for the Forensic MSc Programme
  • Module manager the Trace Evidence module
  • More than 25 years experience teaching electrical theory to the Ammunition Technical Officer course.
  • Main research interest is X-ray imaging, materials analysis and the growth and analysis of compound semiconductors for thin film solar cells.
  • Thin film growth techniques include sputter coating, chemical bath deposition, spray pyrolysis, close space sublimation and vacuum evaporation.
  • Materials analysis is by XRF, SEM, XRD and spectroscopic ellipsometry.


  • AWE
  • DSTL
  • EU


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers


  • Lane DW, Hutchings KJ, McCracken R & Forbes I (2014) New Chalcogenide Materials for Thin Film Solar Cells [Chapter 6]. In: Materials Challenges : Inorganic Photovoltaic Solar Energy, London: The Royal Society of Chemistry, p. 160-208.