Gordon Flockhart, MInstP, MOSA


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am an Associate Director of the Engineering Academy in the Faculty of Engineering and Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. The Engineering Academy is a widening access programme providing students with an alternative pathway into higher education. I have experience teaching at all levels of higher education from 1st to 5th year undergraduate students and postgraduate taught students and supervision of postgraduate research students. 

My area of expertise is photonics and in particular the application of optical sensors for industrial measurement applications. Optical sensing and instrumentation is increasingly used in advanced technologies and I have the pleasure of introducing the field of photonics to 4th and 5th year undergraduate students.


Office: Centre for Microsystems and Photonics, R219B (Royal College Building)

Expertise & Capabilities

  • Photoacoustic imaging
  • Laser ultrasonics
  • Optical fibre sensors
  • Low coherence interferometry
  • Frequency swept interferometry
  • Fibre Bragg grating fabrication, characterisation and sensing applications
  • Erbium distributed feedback fibre laser design, fabrication, characterisation and sensing applications
  • Sensing applications of novel optical fibres
  • Optical sensing and metrology systems

Research Interests

I am a member of the Centre for Microsystems and Photonics and my research investigates the application of photonic technologies for measurement applications. Optical sensing technologies provide a range of different advantages compared to conventional electrical sensors. For some applications, these advantages allow optical sensors to provide a unique solution whereas conventional electrical sensors may not meet the required specification. I enjoy the challenge of developing optical sensing systems where photonics, electronics and software systems are integrated. As a researcher this exposes me to a wide range of technologies and the applications of my research can be quite varied from underwater acoustics to bio-medical applications.



Teaching Interests

My teaching primarily covers analogue electronics, photonics and the integration of them both. I teach at all levels of our undergraduate degrees. I am responsible for developing the academic programme to provide  a successful transition to university for our Engineering Academy programme. I have also developed a new postgraduate class for the Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics. I also supervise 4th year undergraduate research projects, MSc projects and postgraduate PhD students and EngD research engineers.

I currently contribute to the following classes:

  • EF014 EEE Engineering Academy
  • EE473 Photonic Systems
  • EE979 Systems Engineering Project
  • 19496 4th Year Indvidual Projects

I have previously taught:

  • EE107 Small group tutorials
  • EE269 Electronic and Electrical Principles 2
  • EE312 Instrumentation and Microcontrollers


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Heriot-Watt University

Master of Physics, Heriot-Watt University


  • Optical Sensors
  • Fiber Optics
  • Interferometry
  • Fibre Bragg grating
  • Optical fibre sensors
  • Photonics
  • Fibre optics
  • Lasers
  • Photoacoustics

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Research Output

Tools for synthesising and characterising Bragg grating structures in optical fibres and waveguides

Cranch, G. A. & Flockhart, G. M. H., 20 Mar 2012, In : Journal of Modern Optics. 59, 6, p. 493-526 34 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 8 Citations (Scopus)

    Distributed feedback fiber laser strain sensors

    Cranch, G. A., Flockhart, G. M. H. & Kirkendall, C. K., Jul 2008, In : IEEE Sensors Journal. 8, 7, p. 1161-1172 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

  • 173 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)



    Bridging the Hardware-Software Divide for Postgraduate Researchers

    Gordon Flockhart (Speaker)
    6 Nov 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    External Examiner - PhD Thesis

    Gordon Flockhart (Examiner)
    26 Apr 2018

    Activity: Examination typesExamination