Thomas Mann


Thomas is a PhD student in the Applied Photon Science Group at the Institute of Materials Engineering within the Faculty of Engineering.

I completed my BSc in Physics at the University of Bristol in 2014. In my final year I was the team leader in a group industrial project, in collaboration with a local recording studio, researching novel resonant materials for low frequency sound absorption. Being interested in the application of science I began a MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds the following year. My dissertation was on the design and development of a photonic non-invasive glucose monitoring system, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was fascinated by the underlying technology and when the oppertunity to do a PhD in the optical optimisation of the photonic sensor arose, I decided to cut short my masters degree. 

Research interests

Keywords: Computational electromagnetic modelling, CEM, Femtosecond laser implantation, thin film, glucose, laser, photonics, diabetes, biophotonics, materials engineering, optics

Funding: EPSRC

Project outline

Diabetes mellitus is a serious health and economic global issue. It has been estimated that the disorder aff ects over 382 million people and is directly responsible for 1.5 million deaths annually worldwide. In addition to this, the prevalence of diabetes cases is showing an alarming rate of increase, with the WHO predicting that diabetes will rise from the 15th highest global cause of death to the 7th by 2030. In order to control blood sugar level, diabetics must take fingerprick blood samples throughout the day and self-administer a dose of insulin. Frequent testing with, invasive, fi nger prick devices is not favourable as testing is painful, cumbersome and dicult to execute discretely in public. This research aims to develop a non-invasive blood glucose monitor through the use of a photonic sensor. Such a sensor would allow continuous self-monitoring of blood sugar levels providing diabetics with a far greater control, which in turn aids in reducing long term complications. The sensor is fabricated via femtosecond pulsed laser implantation (fs-lpi) technique, developed at the University of Leeds.


  • BSc (Hons) Physics, University of Bristol, 1st Class, 2014

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied Photon Science