Professor Kate Sugden

Deputy Dean

Kate Sugden

Phone number: 0121 204 3498 

Email: [email protected]

Room number: MB138D


I joined Aston University in 2004 as a Medici Fellow having spent seven years in industry and became a Reader in 2015.

My main research interests are in fibre optic sensing, fibre Bragg gratings and fs materials processing. I work across a number of sectors including energy, smart urban environments / smart cities, optical metrology and biomedical.

After my PhD and two years as a research fellow I worked for ADC in Australia for a year transferring fibre Bragg grating technology into a production environment. When I returned to the UK I worked as a director for two fibre optic companies, first for Oxford Fiber Optic Tools, and then we raised the Venture Capital funding to form a second company, Indigo Photonics, in 2001. I am a founding director of Astasense Ltd.

My teaching interests lie in the delivery of courses that holistically develop a broad range of engineering skills. Engineering is a multifaceted, doing subject, you can’t just read text books and expect to be a good engineer. My formal teaching is targeted at first and second year students. My courses are designed to give students experience of real engineering tasks in the context of electronic product design, allowing them to learn in a problem based way. I also supervise Final, Masters and PhD level research projects.

  • BSc (Hons) Physics, University of Birmingham, 1989

  • MSc (distinction), St Andrews University, 1991

  • PhD in Fabrication and Applications of Fibre Bragg Gratings, Aston University, 1996

  • 2001 - 2003: Technical Director Indigo Photonics Ltd

  • 1999 - 2001: Technical Director Oxford Fiber Optic Tools Ltd

  • 1997 - 1998: Senior Physicist ADC Pty Ltd, Canberra, Australia

  • Fibre Bragg gratings

  • Fibre optic sensing

  • Smart environments
  • Fs machining

  • Optical metrology
  • Internet of Things
  • PhD Case Award Arden Photonics (2017-  )
  • Marie Curie IEF, FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IEF-275703-IFOCS, In-fibre optical cavitiy structures for telecommunications and sensing (2011-2013)

  • Network Rail, Power Over Fibre (2015-16)
  • PhD CASE Award NPL (2008-2011)

  • PhD CASE Award Oxford Lasers (2006-2009)

  • Technology Programme INETEGRATED WING (2006-2009)

  • Technology Programme CONSTRUCT (Airbus, BAE Systems, Insensys, Deutsch, Aston University, Messier-Dowty, Ultra Electronics SCS, Ultra Electronics) (2006-2009)

  • Technology Programme Fs Machining FIMA (Oxford Lasers, Fiberlogix, Aston University) (2006-2009)

  • PhD CASE Award Avery Weigh-Tronix (2005-2008)

  • DTI LINK Programme ROADS (Sensa, BP, National Grid, Southampton University, Aston University) (2004-2008)

PhD projects I currently supervise:

  • Michal Zubel - POFBGs

  • Yang Lu - OCT Phantom Design