Harry Penketh submits his thesis!

Congratulation to PGR Harry Penketh, who recently submitted his thesis titled ‘“Control of white light emission for illumination and imaging”.

Harry discusses his project in more detail, and offers his advice for students at the start of their PhD journey:

“I have submitted my thesis, although perhaps submitted to my thesis would be a more accurate statement.

To shed some light on my delightfully vague thesis title: this project was sponsored by Dyson and therefore large sections of the research conducted remain protected by a non-disclosure agreement. Working around NDAs aside, I appreciate the broader perspective and additional development opportunities this close industry collaboration has produced.

As is no doubt the case with any job (yes, I’m going to call it a job), doing a PhD comes with its own unique rewards and challenges. In a cohort-based PhD programme one hears a good deal of the latter, but less often in my experience do we reflect on the many great perks that come with the job. I feel privileged to have been able to work with my excellent supervisors Jacopo and Bill and to have had those days (usually in a lab with a new toy) where it didn’t feel like work at all.

My honest and possibly controversial advice for (some) new students: don’t work too hard. How many problems will you solve by spending an extra 6 hours staring desperately at a screen that would have just clicked into place with a refreshed set of eyes and a cup of tea? Look after yourself and don’t forget to find enjoyment in the PhD process.

I’m currently enjoying a break from conventional work and getting stuck into some long overdue property renovation. I hope to remain in Exeter in the medium-term at least.

Harry was involved with various outreach activities during his time with the CDT, including co-organising the mini conference Exeter-Bath Knowledge Transfer in October 2019 with fellow CDT PGRs Iago Rodriguez Diez and Ben Hogan, and students from the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials (CPPM) at University of Bath.

Harry has co-authored the following publications:


Harry has presented at the following conferences and workshops:

  • Harry Penketh, poster presentation (on the topic of emitters in wavelength scale reflectors) at Dyson CDT industry visit, Malmesbury, England, 1st November 2017
  • Harry Penketh, poster presentation (on the topic of emitters in wavelength scale reflectors) at Complex Nanophotonics Science Camp 2017, Windsor, England, 25th July 2017


CDT students co-organise Exeter-Bath Knowledge Transfer conference

During October 2019, some of our CDT students hosted a one-day student conference at the University of Exeter. This was co-organised with some PhD students from the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials (CPPM) from University of Bath- the “Exeter-Bath Knowledge Transfer”. The aim of this event was to bring together researchers from both institutions and share the research that is being carried out in optics and photonics. In total, 23 students attended this event (9 from Bath, 14 from Exeter) and had the opportunity to present their work and learn about each other’s research projects. This event was useful for interchanging ideas and to begin establishing a network between the CPPM and CDT.

The program of the conference consisted of several oral presentations, some white board explanations and a poster session. At the end of the conference, our students gave a tour around some of the laboratories and the nanofabrication clean room facilities. Finally, a social was held at the Imperial to end a successful day.

The Exeter-Bath Knowledge Transfer event was organised thanks to seed funding that Iago Rodriguez Diez, Harry Penketh, Ben Hogan and students from the CPPM obtained from the collaborative discussion-led incubator workshop “Light@Bath”. This workshop took place in May at University of Bath for the International Day of Light and was supported by the EPSRC-funded project Reimagining Recruitment. The purpose of the event was to bring together researchers who work in photonics in order to exchange ideas, propose problems that are yet to be solved and generate collaborations. The outcome of this workshop was the organization of the one-day conference “Exeter-Bath Knowledge Transfer”.

Iago, one of our CDT students who co-ordinated the event, reported:

“This event was a very nice opportunity for getting to know what another research centre working in photonics does with light. As the main Exeter co-organizer of the event, this was a very good practice for me to challenge my organization and time management skills in terms of personal development. Thanks to everyone involved in the event!”