CAPPA recently undertook a collaborative partnership with ProPhotonix through the Irish Research Council’s Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme. Combining excellent research with workplace experience, the Irish Research Council’s Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme is a unique national initiative. It provides students in all disciplines an opportunity to bring great research ideas into an Irish employment partner with the support of a higher education institution. Both Irish enterprises and work placed researchers benefit greatly from the programme. Employment partners host excellent researchers who dedicate their time to a specific research project related to the organisation.
Ciara O’ Hara was awarded the Irish Research Council’s “Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme” which involved her undertaking research in Cork Institute of Technology through the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis, while also undertaking employment in ProPhotonix. Ciara’s research centred on the development on modular UV LED based modules with advanced sensing capabilities. During her two year period with CAPPA and ProPhotonix Ciara’s research focused on “LED Based Collimating Line-Light Combining Freeform and Fresnel Optics”. Ciara’s Master’s thesis focused on how illumination for line-scan machine vision systems is required to produce a highly asymmetric elliptical beam pattern, to maximise system speed and accuracy. The use of LED emitters with symmetric Lambertian emission patterns is challenging in this context, requiring significant beam reshaping. A design for a collimated line-light, with long working distance, utilizing LEDs with symmetric Lambertian emission patterns, is presented. Using a combination of Fresnel lenses and total internal reflection (TIR) optics, an elliptical beam with a high degree of collimation is achieved. TIR elements are designed based on an adaption of a freeform lens design method. Practical performance of the design is verified experimentally using a prototype unit. In addition, the design is compared, using ray tracing software, to line-lights constructed using commercially available symmetric and elliptical TIR lenses, and its superior performance is confirmed. The optical design described is fully manufacturable and suitable for both small and large scale production.
The Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme is designed to educate researchers to masters and PhD level with an insight into business aspects of research and innovation and facilitate research collaboration, knowledge transfer and networking between Irish based enterprise and researchers at Irish Higher Education Institutions. The programme allows early-career researchers to develop new skills and, at the same time, provides employers with talented individuals. Partnerships like this can benefit a range of organisations. Both CAPPA and ProPhotonix greatly benefitted from Ciara’s work in this area as it enabled them to explore research areas that they had previously been unable to explore and build a relationship between enterprise and researchers.
You can find out more about the work CAPPA conducts with the Irish Research Council and with industry here.
The Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) is a research centre of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), conducting both applied and fundamental research on photonics for applications in areas as diverse as telecommunications, medical devices, food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The activities of CAPPA have two main foci: Innovation for Industry and Advanced Research. CAPPA’s “Innovation for Industry” provides photonics solutions to companies in a variety of sectors and is primarily driven through the Enterprise Ireland funded CAPPA Technology Gateway. CAPPA’s “Advanced Research” focuses on CAPPA conducting internationally-recognised academic research on topics such as the non-linear dynamics of lasers and ultrafast laser physics, and the understanding of the dynamics of novel semiconductor materials and devices.
ProPhotonix Limited, headquartered in Salem, New Hampshire, is a high technology designer and manufacturer of LED illumination systems and laser diode modules for industry leading OEMs and medical equipment companies. In addition, ProPhotonix distributes premium diodes for Ushio, Osram, QSI, Panasonic, and Sony. ProPhotonix serves a wide range of markets including machine vision, industrial inspection, security, and medical markets. ProPhotonix has offices and subsidiaries in the U.S., Ireland, U.K., and Europe.