AWARD-winning student Haydn Martin is carrying out research that could make the world a much tinier place.
The Huddersfield student is playing a key role in the development of new techniques for measuring almost unbelievably small surfaces – down to a thousand millionth of a metre.
And because it is only possible to manufacture what can be measured, the way will be opened up for even greater miniaturisation of machines and electronics.
“Everything is getting smaller, that’s a fact,” said Haydn. “But the science of metrology, or measurement, needs to keep up with the abilities of the manufacturers.”
Haydn is a research student – on the verge of completing his doctorate – at the University of Huddersfield.
He recently picked up the university’s research student of the year award.
The 29-year-old is in the right place to take the science of measurement on to the next level.
Huddersfield is the home of a world-leading Centre for Precision Technologies and Haydn’s supervisors, Professors Jane Jiang and Liam Blunt, are globally-recognised experts in the field.
In fact, Cumbrian-raised Haydn began as a student of electronics, but moved into the field of metrology when he came to Huddersfield, first for a Masters degree and now his PhD.
He will stay on as a Research Fellow and expects to collaborate closely with industry.
He is a co-inventor of a patented method of measuring tiny surfaces at nano-metric levels – that’s a thousandth millionth of a metre.
Now he has co-developed a method of using optical fibres in measurement. “It is a kind of an optical stylus. You are sweeping over the object but you are not touching it, which is critical.”
Among the other advantages are that optical fibres are relatively cheap and manufacturers would not need to install large and costly machines for measurement.
The result of using optical fibre measurement would be to cut costs and speed up production.