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PhD Student Susanna Challinger Wins Prestigious Industrial Fellowship


Susanna Challinger of KP Technology has been awarded an Industrial Fellowship worth £80,000 to help fund her project and bring technologies to fruition. The award was one of ten granted by The Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851 to the UK’s most promising young doctoral engineers and scientists.

Susanna’s PhD is titled “Novel methods of electrical characterisation of materials including fingerprint detection” and is being supervised by staff from the University of St Andrews. Susanna aims to advance the instrumentation and techniques used in detecting the electrical characteristics of materials including surface work function, ambient pressure photoemission spectroscopy and extending the application of the micro-tip Scanning Kelvin probe in forensics.

Her project uses a combination of a Kelvin probe detector and two tuneable Ultra-Violet and Visible Light beams to excite electrons for non-contact / non-destructive measurement. This will be applied to the characterisation of semiconductors and perovskite solar cells to help improve their performance.

The project builds upon KP Technology’s considerable research experience in high resolution work function imaging including recovery of latent fingerprints from metallic surfaces. She will examine the effects of heating, to simulate the impact of firing, on the recovery of nano-scale fingerprint traces from metals and fired cartridges. Success would represent a major breakthrough in criminal investigations.

Susanna says “I am delighted and honoured to be awarded an 1851 Industrial Fellowship as an employee of KP Technology and PhD student at University of St Andrews. I am very much looking forward to the exciting and challenging time ahead.”

The Industrial Fellowships provide recent graduates with the means to develop innovative technology with commercial potential, ideally leading to a patent, while completing a PhD or EngD. Each Fellow receives up to £80,000 worth of funding over three years for their work, to be carried out in collaboration with an academic institution and a business partner.


Written by Dr Rachel Sheridan Published on 14 October 2016

KP Technology
Burn Street, Wick, Caithness, KW1 5EH, Scotland

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