Meet the team: Midlands Centre for Data-Driven Metrology

University of Nottingham

Dr Samanta Piano (Director, Midlands Centre for Data-Driven Metrology)


Dr Samanta Piano is Associate Professor in Metrology, Director of the Centre and Head of the Manufacturing Metrology team at the University of Nottingham (UoN). Her research interests concern the development of innovative and unconventional optical techniques and 3D probing systems for high-precision coordinate metrology to be used in industrial applications. She is currently investigating how artificial intelligence approaches can be used for camera calibration in 3D measurement systems. She is a former Marie Curie and UoN Advanced Research Fellow who has contributed to several forefront areas of experimental condensed matter physics, materials science, atomic and optical physics, metrology and nanotechnology. She has published in international peer reviewed journals, including three papers in the prestigious Physical Review Letters, one in Applied Physics Letters, and six refereed book chapters. She is currently co-supervising five PhD students, working on novel optical measurement techniques, defects in additive manufacturing and machine learning techniques for 3D optical measurements.



Prof David Branson III 


Prof Branson is a chaired Professor of Dynamics and Control, Deputy director of the Manufacturing Metrology Team and director of the Nottingham Advanced Robotics Laboratory in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, UK. He has held industry, research and teaching positions in the United States, United Kingdom and Italy providing extensive experience in the design, modelling and control of complex, multi-body, non-linear systems. Current research applications focus primarily on manufacturing and healthcare including: the integration of advanced metrology and machine learning to improve positioning performance in industrial robots; soft robotic based continuum surfaces undergoing large, actuated deformations; production of novel textile and biomaterials; and robotic production methods in Industry 4.0 environments.



Dr Luke Todhunter



Dr Luke Todhunter is General Manager of the Midlands Centre for Data-Driven Metrology at the University of Nottingham. He obtained his doctorate in manufacturing technology in 2020 for his work on surface topography software validation, and his undergraduate/masters in theoretical physics in 2015. Luke spent two years as a research fellow with the Manufacturing Metrology Team at the University of Nottingham, where he specialised in mathematical reference frameworks, simulations and modelling for measurement instrumentation, before taking on a research management position on a Horizon 2020 project for zero-defect manufacturing and sensor integration for high-value production lines in 2020. 



Dr Sofia Catalucci


Dr Sofia Catalucci is a Research Fellow in In-Process Optical Sensing at the University of Nottingham, as part of the Manufacturing Metrology Team and The Midlands Centre for Data-Driven Metrology. She obtained her Ph.D. in Manufacturing Engineering in 2021 for her work on the development of knowledge-driven algorithmic point cloud smart processing solutions for measurement optimisation, implemented into optical systems in form of performance indicators. The indicators were developed to guide instruments towards automated measurement planning, corrections of tasks in real-time, and assessment of measurement quality and uncertainty for application in flexible manufacturing environments. Sofia is currently conducting industrial research into optical sensing technologies and, as a continuation of her Ph.D. project, she is developing methods for fast data analysis, particularly for in-process measurement applications. Her expertise is in point cloud processing and analysis, including filtering, segmentation, registration, and uncertainty evaluation.





Dr Adam Thompson


Dr Adam Thompson has been a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Nottingham (UoN) Manufacturing Metrology Team (MMT) since October 2018. Prior to this position, Adam completed his PhD in UoN’s MMT as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacture, entitled “Surface texture measurement of metal additively manufactured parts by X-ray computed tomography”, for which he was awarded the Gertrude Cropper Scholarship postgraduate prize by UoN. In his 5 years as an active researcher, Adam has published over 20 papers and a book chapters, and presented his work at over 30 international conferences. Adam’s research background is in surface texture measurement of additively manufactured parts, authoring papers on the measurement of metal and polymer parts. Adam also has expertise across metrology, having undertaken postdoctoral projects in performance verification of fringe projection and X-ray computed tomography measurement. Adam also has a deep understanding of co-ordinate and in-process measurement principles, having taught numerous undergraduate and postgraduate courses in basic advanced metrology and performed research activities in the area. Prior to his PhD, Adam taught high school physics.





Dr Francisco Ulises Hernandez Ledezma



Dr Ulises Hernandez is Research and Engagement Fellow in the Midlands Centre for Data-Driven Metrology at the University of Nottingham and his responsibilities include the engagement with SMEs, deliver short research projects and showcase the research capabilities of the research group. He obtained a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Nottingham and recently completed a senior leader master degree program underpinned by an executive MBA at Nottingham Trent University. Ulises studied a MSc in optical-mechatronics, a BSc in Physics and he has worked as R&D engineer in the industry for 3 years. His R&D work has demonstrated the practical applications of optical fibre technology in the fields of sports, healthcare and now he is exploring their applications into optical metrology and the digital manufacturing sector.



Loughborough University

Prof Peter Kinnell



Peter is a Professor in Metrology and held an EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowship in Collaborative Metrology for High Value Manufacturing. He is the assoc. Director of the Intelligent Automation Centre at Loughborough University where he leads the research team working on 3D vision for robust intelligent measurement. He is currently working on the creation of new sensing technology, new algorithms for advanced data processing, and implementing measurement systems within automation and manufacturing systems.



Prof Niels Lohse



Niels is a Professor in Manufacturing Automation and Robotics. He is the Director of the Intelligent Automation Centre at Loughborough University. His research interests are in the field of intelligent automation and include manufacturing system modelling, human-machine interaction, distributed control, diagnostics and design decision-support with a primary focus on modular and evolvable production systems and applications of artificial intelligence techniques in manufacturing.




Coventry University

Prof Trevor Toman



Professor Trevor Toman is currently a Professor in Metrology at Coventry University. Trevor joined CU in 2006 to launch and manage the new Metrology Development, which was a three-year funded project to deliver Metrology facilities for CU for teaching and research and to deliver measurable improvements for manufacturing businesses within the West Midlands area. Since joining CU Trevor has developed working relationships for delivery of training, education and research in metrology to a wide range of organisations, both nationally and internationally.

Trevor has also been actively involved with various academic and industrial committees including Academic Chair on The Executive Committee for the Coordinate Metrology Society of North America, various BSI committees, technical and supervisory groups within the Catapults and is a member of several professional metrology bodies. Trevor is also the lead academic on several externally funded research projects. 



Dr Lorena Caires Moreira



Dr Lorena Caires Moreira is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), Coventry University (UK). Her areas of interest are emerging technologies such as IoT, intelligent systems and extended reality (XR) technologies to optimise people, process and businesses’ connectivity and performance, also accounting for social and environmental KPIs, e.g., wellbeing and sustainability. Relevant projects are People-Centred Productivity, Net Zero and Digital Manufacturing Metrology. Lorena has won prizes for her work including ‘I love my Staff’ award in 2019, Best Paper Awards at international conferences and has been working in the delivery of several UK and internationally funded projects. 



Dr Lara Harris



Dr Lara Harris is a Research Fellow in digital twin measurement systems at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), Coventry University. She has a background in industry-led research and was previously an Industry Collaboration Fellow in the UKAS accredited Acoustics Laboratories at the University of Salford, working on projects for commercial clients and supporting the calibration team. Before returning to academia, Lara worked as an engineer in the automotive and industrial safety sectors. Her roles spanned a wide range of responsibilities across commercial R&D and product delivery, contributing to products at every stage from conception through to production. She worked closely with suppliers and manufacturing teams, developing a particular interest in the quality impacts of process measurement and control.





Dr Ranveer Matharu


Dr Ranveer Matharu completed his PhD study in Electrical Engineering from The University of Queensland in 2012. He has experience of working in both fast-paced research and teaching environments with interests in imaging and sensing using interferometry. His contributions to research include building and designing of optical systems that make use of VCSELs (Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers) and broadband sources utilising laser feedback interferometry (self-mixing effect) and low coherence interferometry, respectively. He has also experience with machine vision systems for manufacturing metrology with current interests associated with the internet of things (IoT), through the integration of sensors to attain optimum efficiency in industrial and manufacturing environments.

Ranveer joined Coventry University in 2018, prior to this, he worked as a Research Associate at Loughborough University developing in-process metrology to support real-time adaptive process control for high-value manufacturing systems. His research interests include vision systems, robotics, interferometry, semiconductor lasers and sensor integration at both hardware and software levels.





Dr Hua Guo


Dr Hua Guo acquired his MSc. in Automotive Engineering at Coventry University. Later at Coventry, he was also rewarded with a PhD in Mechanical and Automotive Engineering. The project was partially funded and supported by Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Limited, the research area was finite element modelling, simulation and analysis on Aircraft tyre and rubber-like materials.

Since 2014, He works under Professor Trevor Toman, as a researcher and metrologist in the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME), taking the responsibilities in developing and delivering academic-industrial collaborated projects, funded by Innovate UK, EPSRC, other public and private funding bodies from the metrology perspective. He manages the AME metrology laboratory, under the guidance of ISO 17025 standard towards UKAS accreditation, also participates a lot and leads some of the industrial orientated commercial metrology consultancy activities. Those include and not limited to product and process development and problem solving for local SMEs and OEMs in various industrial sectors.

Thanks to those valuable experiences, his areas of interests and expertise have expanded to Dimensional Metrology, GD&T and Quality Control, Product, Manufacturing and Metrology Process Development, CAE simulation and correlation, Laboratory Management, Academic-Industrial Collaboration in Higher Education and Research.

Under the banner of MCDDM, Hua’s efforts will be focused on supporting local SMEs to solve problems through consultancy activities, and to further develop the capabilities of those companies through collaborated research.