Dr Kate Sugden

Kate Sugden

Reader, Placement Tutor

Phone number: +44 (0)121 204 3498

Email: k.sugden@aston.ac.uk

Room number: North Wing 312


I joined Aston University in 2004 as a Medici Fellow having spent seven years in industry and became a Reader in 2015. I am currently the Placements Tutor for Electronic Engineering.

My main research interests are in fibre optic sensing, fibre Bragg gratings and fs materials processing.

After my PhD and a two year stint as a research fellow I worked for ADC in Australia for a year transferring fibre Bragg grating technology into a production environment. When I returned to the UK I worked as a director for two fibre optic companies, first for Oxford Fiber Optic Tools, and then we raised the Venture Capital funding to form a second company, Indigo Photonics, in 2001. I am currently a founding director of Astasense Ltd.

My teaching interests lie in the delivery of courses that holistically develop a broad range of engineering skills. Engineering is a multifaceted, doing subject, you can’t just read text books and expect to be a good engineer. My formal teaching is targeted at Foundation and First year level students. My courses are designed to give students experience of real engineering tasks and learn in a problem based way. I also supervise Final, Masters and PhD level research projects.

Qualifications & education
  • BSc (Hons) Physics, University of Birmingham, 1989

  • MSc (distinction), St Andrews University, 1991

  • PhD in Fabrication and Applications of Fibre Bragg Gratings, Aston University, 1996


  • 2001 - 2003: Technical Director Indigo Photonics Ltd

  • 1999 - 2001: Technical Director Oxford Fiber Optic Tools Ltd

  • 1997 - 1998: Senior Physicist ADC Pty Ltd, Canberra, Australia

Teaching activity

  • EE1ESE: Electronic Systems Engineering

  • EE1EPE: Engineering Projects and Entrepreneurship

Research Interests

  • Fibre Bragg gratings

  • Fibre optic sensing

  • Fs machining

Recent Funding

  • Marie Curie IEF, FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IEF-275703-IFOCS, In-fibre optical cavitiy structures for telecommunications and sensing (2011-2013)

  • PhD CASE Award NPL (2008-2011)

  • PhD CASE Award Oxford Lasers (2006-2009)

  • Technology Programme INETEGRATED WING (2006-2009)

  • Technology Programme CONSTRUCT (Airbus, BAE Systems, Insensys, Deutsch, Aston University, Messier-Dowty, Ultra Electronics SCS, Ultra Electronics) (2006-2009)

  • Technology Programme Fs Machining FIMA (Oxford Lasers, Fiberlogix, Aston University) (2006-2009)

  • PhD CASE Award Avery Weigh-Tronix (2005-2008)

  • DTI LINK Programme ROADS (Sensa, BP, National Grid, Southampton University, Aston University) (2004-2008)

PhD Supervision

PhD projects I currently supervise:

  • Michal Zubel - POFBGs

Member of Professional bodies


Excellent Different Distinctive