Early Career Researchers Committee

Committee Members

Raja Abdullah
(Committee Chair)
Uni. Birmingham

Raja is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Birmingham in Metal Binder Jetting (MBJ), an additive manufacturing process, in which the absence of a heat source during printing eliminates residual stresses. He is also researching the potential applications of Direct Laser Deposition (DLD) hybrid manufacturing.

Amirhossein Sadeghian
(Committee Secretary)
Coventry University

Amirhossein is studying for his PhD at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), Coventry University. His topic of research is laser welding of dissimilar materials used for electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing. In particular, he is looking at laser welding of thin sheets of aluminium and copper.


Research interests: Laser materials processing, Welding, Additive Manufacturing, Metallurgy

Neda Baktash

Neda is a Laser Development Engineer at TRUMPF Laser UK, Southampton. She works on high power pulsed fibre lasers for different material processing applications. Neda has worked on spatio-temporal beam tailored fibre lasers and also on the Petawatt Vulcan laser at RAL’s Central Laser Facility.


Research interests: High Power Pulsed Fibre Lasers, Laser Material Processing

Romali Biswal
Cranfield University

Romali is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the in-process impact peening technology research, which enhances the mechanical properties of large-scale additive manufacture parts by grain refinement. This project is aimed at revolutionising large scale additive manufacturing technology.

Ioannis Bitharas
Heriot-Watt University

Ioannis is a Research Associate at Heriot-Watt University. His research focuses on understanding and improving novel laser and plasma-based processes, such as additive manufacturing, welding and surgery.


Research interests: Additive Manufacturing, Multiphysics Modelling, Optical Diagnostics, Laser-Material Interactions, Arc Welding

William Buchanan
Graham Engineering

Will has a background in sheet metal working and currently works for Grahams Engineering Ltd, who complete projects for customers in the nuclear industry amongst other industrial sectors. He has a special interest in automated and robotic laser welding processes as well as hand held laser welding.


Research interests: All aspects of Fibre Laser Welding


Martin Buckthorpe
Uni. Southampton

Martin is studying for a PhD at the Zepler Institute, University of Southampton. The aim of his research is to investigate power scaling methods of Thulium-doped silica fibre lasers emitting at two-micron. He is also studying the application of this technology to several industrial applications.

Helen Elkington

Helen is a Research Engineer within the Laser Processing team at The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. Over the next few years, she will be working on developing the high power water jet guided laser system for cutting, drilling, and machining advanced composite materials.


Research interests: Laser Machining, Laser-Material Interactions, Composites, Circular Economy

Anju Jolly
Coventry University

Anju is a joint PhD student at Coventry University and the University of Mons, Belgium. Her research investigates the feasibility of electrochemical methods for surface defect mitigation on metal additively manufactured (AM) parts and to improve the overall mechanical performance of the built parts.

Mitchell Leering

Mitchell is an Advanced Research Engineer within the Laser Processing group at The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. His current research focuses on developing rate-based machining capabilities at the MTC in laser micro-hole drilling and remote laser cutting.


Research interests: Laser Machining, Laser-Materials Interactions, Finite Element Analysis, Hydrogen, Electrification

Venkat Vivek Pamarthi
Warwick University

Vivek is a process monitoring and modelling researcher currently in the third year of his PhD at the Laser Beam Welding Group at Warwick Manufacturing Group, UK. His research interests focus on modelling crack susceptibility of laser welding and developing novel in-process monitoring of cracking using image processing techniques. 


Research interests: In-Process Monitoring of Laser Welding, Beam Shaping

Donald Risbridger
Heriot-Watt University

Donald is a Research Associate at Heriot Watt University. His research focuses on automating optical alignment tasks using both robotic instruments and software-controlled solutions. These methods are compared to manual adjustment methods used by laser experts through human behaviour analysis.


Research interests: Optical Systems Design, Automation, Ultrafast Laser Processing, Laser Surgery, Machine Learning

Kuladeep Rajamudili
Cranfield University

Kuladeep is a Research fellow at the Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre, Cranfield University. He currently works in laser, plasma and hybrid additive manufacturing for the research programme New Wire Additive Manufacturing (NEWAM).

David Rico-Sierra
Cranfield University

David is a Research Fellow in additive manufacturing at the Welding Engineering and Laser Processing (WELP) centre. This is an applied research organisation working in collaboration with manufacturing industries on topics such as industrial scale additive manufacturing using wire and arc-based technology and laser welding processing.

Jean-Michel Romano

Jean-Michel works for IREPA LASER in France as an R&D engineer, having completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham researching laser-based manufacturing of easy-to-clean and non-fouling surfaces.

Ghazal Sheikholeslami

Ghazal is a laser engineer and Course Director for BEng/MEng Mechanical Engineering courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Marco Simonelli
University of Nottingham

Marco is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham with experience in laser powder bed fusion, drop on demand metal 3D printing, alloy design via experimental and computational methods, advanced microscopy techniques, tensile and fatigue testing of metal alloys.

Tianzhu Sun
University of Warwick

Tianzhu is an assistant professor at WMG, the University of Warwick. His research activities are focused on advanced joining techniques for automotive alloys.

Daniel Wilson
University of Manchester

Daniel is a specialist technician at the University of Manchester, currently working towards completion of his PhD on the theme of analog control methods for lasers with the view to manufacturing stereo audio records for turntables using a single laser beam.

Qamar Hayat
University of Warwick

Qamar’s background is in Metallurgical Engineering. In his current role at WMG, University of Warwick, Qamar leads projects centred around advancing the development of new laser welding processes for Aluminium alloys and advanced steels.


Research Interest: Material Characterisation, Micromechanical Testing, Laser Welding, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Laser Beam Shaping

Anand Mohan
University of Warwick

Anand is a CAE simulation and VR/AR researcher at the Digital Lifecycle Management Research Group. His current project aims to advance smart manufacturing by eliminating barriers and accelerating the widespread use of collaborative robotics technology.


Research interests: Multi-physics FEM/CAE Simulation, Process Monitoring, and Closed-loop Control Quality Control

Priyanka Ghosh

Priyanka is an Advanced Research Engineer within the Laser Processing team at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. Her research focuses on high-power laser processing of advanced materials and developing in-process monitoring and control techniques for laser material processing.


Research interests: Laser Machining, Laser-material Interactions, In-Process Monitoring of Laser Drilling, Finite Element Analysis, Sustainable Manufacturing


How was the Committee set up?

The Early Career Researchers (ECRs) Committee was set up in October 2017 to increase the visibility and engagement of younger members within AILU. The aim is that, as the careers of ECRs develop through industry and academia, they will maintain contact with AILU and encourage the next generation of industrial laser users.

There are added benefits for the Committee members, such as increased networking with peers at other academic/research institutions and businesses, profile-raising, and the addition of new skills to enhance CVs.

The initial focus of the ECR initiative was to produce a column of articles and features for the AILU’s magazine, “The Laser User”.


What’s happening now?

The role of the ECRs had expanded since the Committee was formed. Members regularly submit short features to their dedicated page in the magazine, and in addition, contribute in-depth 2-page R&D articles as well as observations on other authors’ articles.

Committee meetings are held twice a year, usually December and June. The meetings are held face-to-face with online access and hosted by one of the members. The meetings often involved a tour of the facilities at the different institutions – the image shows a recent tour round the facilities at WAM, University of Warwick.

Have a look at our LinkedIn page








Interested in joining?

Committee meetings are very informal and relaxed and you will be made very welcome. There are between 15-20 members of the committee at any one time and it is open to anyone who fulfils the following criteria:

  • current Masters and PhD students
  • researchers who are within 5 years of a completed postgraduate degree
  • those in the early stages of their career in industry
  • others for whom supervisors/line managers would like to make a special case

If you are interested in joining please contact info@ailu.org.uk