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Dr Brett Patterson

Senior Lecturer in Physics
School of Natural Sciences

Brett teaches across a wide range of subjects on our courses in physics, astrophysics, and mathematics, covering both theoretical and experimental aspects of physics.

Brett joined UCLan in 2009, as a lecturer in physics and was promoted to senior lecturer a few years later. Subsequently he became Course Leader for Physics and Astrophysics, for a five-year period, during which he helped redesign the course structure, which was approved through a Periodic Course Review in 2017. Currently he is focussing on module development and provision of projects based in his photonics research lab.

Brett was awarded a PhD in Physics by the University of Cambridge in 1992 for his work on quantified Bayesian maximum-entropy data analysis, applied to imaging in radio astronomy and large-scale structure in optical astronomy. After a period back in his native Australia working on synthetic-aperture radar imaging, Brett returned to the UK and the University of St Andrews as a post-doctoral researcher in optical instrumentation. He assisted in the development of the world’s smallest Fourier-transform spectrometer, with no moving parts, and the development of a UV FT spectrometer for toxic gas detection that became a commercial product by Siemens Environmental Systems Ltd. Moving into astronomical instrumentation, Brett worked on adaptive optics, spectrometer and telescope design at the Astronomical Instrumentation Group at the University of Durham, and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Biophotonics is also a strong theme in Brett’s experience in optics, having developed a temperature sensor for medical diagnostics using fibre Bragg grating sensors, and subsequently working at Director of Biomedical Photonics at the Lions Eye Institute, Perth, Western Australia. Before joining UCLan, Brett worked as a Senior Laser Design Engineer at Coherent Scotland, developing a high-power ultra-fast laser for ophthalmic surgery.

  • Professional Certificate in University Teaching, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, University of Edinburgh, 2007
  • PhD in Physics, Thesis: “Maximum Entropy Data Analysis”, Mullard Radio-Astronomy Observatory (MRAO), Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 1992
  • BSc with First Class Honours in Physics, Thesis: “Sapphire-Loaded Microwave Cavity Resonators”, and a double major in maths & physics, Gravitational Radiation Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Western Australia, 1988
  • Adaptive Optics—sensor-free AO, multi-conjugate AO, AO for ophthalmology and astronomy
  • Microscopy—Multiphoton imaging, super-resolution, fluorescence lifetime imaging, digital holographic microscopy
  • Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopes—multi-wavelength SLO for stimulation and imaging of the retina, retinal pigment densitometry
  • Astronomical Instrumentation—Fourier-transform Spectrometers, Optical Aperture Synthesis Imaging
  • Bayesian Maximum Entropy Data Analysis—Image reconstruction, Estimation in parametric models, adaptive maximum entropy
  • Sonoluminescence
  • Chartered Physicist (CPhys), Institute of Physics
  • Member, Institute of Physics (MInstP)