Duncan Spence is a research scientist in the miniature atomic clocks team within the Time & Frequency department at NPL. He joined NPL in May of 2021 and has been primarily working on the test & evaluation of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and other optical components for use in MACs (miniature atomic clocks). He graduated from the University of Surrey in 2017 as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics with Industrial Placement. During his industrial placement he operated as a technical sales engineer for Toptica Photonics UK. After graduating he worked in an agricultural lab, developing and carrying out UKAS accredited analytical methods.
Duncan’s specialist area of research is characterising scientific lasers. In addition to the test and evaluation of VCSELs for innovate UK projects he is also working on the standardisation of linewidth measurements in the UK within the Quantum Test and evaluation (QT&E) project.
Duncan has represented NPL when engaging with industry for QT&E at conferences and during engagement meetings.
Areas of interest
- Miniaturising and optimising atomic clocks for use in GPS-deprived areas, banking, etc.
- Developing VCSEL test and evaluation services to a UKAS accreditable level (ISO 17025)
- Standardising linewidth measurements across the UK by creating a best practice guide that will allow industry to validate their laser characteristics in a defined way
- Mental health, to improve the quality of life of anyone coping with mental health issues