University of Hertfordshire

Professor Joseph Ulanowski

Group Leader, Professor

Joseph Ulanowski

Professor Joseph Ulanowski

Group Leader, Professor

Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom


My work centres on processes and applications related to light scattering. However, I keep a broad portfolio of activities, maintaining an interest on the development of instruments and experimental techniques while combining this with an underpinning of experimental work, computational modelling and fundamental theory. In terms of scientific disciplines, I have moved from an initial interest in applications of optical techniques in biophysics, through electromagnetic theory and inverse problems, to issues related to atmospheric measurement and climate change, among others. This has resulted in a range of scientific and technical outcomes, some of which are given below.

Scientific achievements:

* demonstrated that dehydration was responsible for the heat resistance of bacterial spores.

* showed that magnetic anisotropy accounted for the alignment of asbestos fibres in magnetic fields. This is now the basis for the first portable instrument for asbestos detection.

* co-developed a generalized description of non-paraxial electromagnetic beams.

* developed the first realistic analogues for atmospheric ice crystals.

* co-developed a new electromagnetic scattering model, called RTDF.

* produced the first optically-correct lab demonstration of atmospheric halos.

* measured for the first time the scattering asymmetry parameter of a single microparticle.

* interpretated polarimetric observations to show, for the first time, the presence of aligned aerosol particles in the atmosphere.

* demonstrated that the majority of ice particles encountered in temperate clouds had rough or irregular surfaces.

 New instrument and technique development:

 * developed the first optical trap based on a diode laser, which later became the first stand-alone “laser tweezers” microscope.

* co-developed one of the first neural network techniques for deriving microparticle parameters from light scattering.

* developed a technique for the measurement of light scattering from single microparticles in randomized orientation and determined their scattering phase functions.

* led the development of the first “disposable” aerosol radiosonde, used among others for detecting the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic ash plume.

* developed a non-contact technique for quantifying particle surface roughness.

* developed a technique for sizing small particles using laser speckle.


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