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Professor Walter Johnstone

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Personal statement

Prof. Walter Johnstone is the Research Professor of Photonic Systems in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering with responsibility only for research leadership and implementation. Prior to his current status, he held senior management positions as Deputy Head then Head of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (2006-11) followed by appointment to the post of Vice Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Engineering (2011-16). He is also a founding director of the Spin-out Company, OptoSci Ltd.


Has expertise in:

    Laser spectroscopy, in particular tunable diode laser spectroscopy, and its applications to accurate measurements of gas concentration, temperature and pressure in harsh, particularly high temperature, envoronments such as fuels cells and gas turbine (aero) engines at temperatures up to 1000oC.


CIDAR : combustion species imaging diagnostics for aero-engine research
Archilla V., Aragón G., Wright P., Ozanyan K., Black J., Polydorides N., McCann H., Lengden M., Burns I., Johnstone W., Polo V., Beltran M., Mauchline I., Walsh D., Johnson M.
Aerosol Technology, (2018)
CIDAR project - development of a non-intrusive capability for aircraft engine measurements
Archilla V., Aragón G., Wright P., Ozanyan K., Black J., Lengden M., Burns I., Johnstone W., Polo V., Beltran M., Johnson M.
Aerosol Technology, (2018)
Constrained models for optical absorption tomography
Polydorides Nick , Tsekenis Alex, Fisher Edward, Chigine Andrea, McCann Hugh, Dimiccoli Luca, Wright Paul, Lengden Michael, Benoy Thomas, Wilson David, Humphries Gordon, Johnstone Walter
Applied Optics Vol 57, pp. B1-B9, (2017)
Measurement of CO2 concentration and temperature in an aero engine exhaust plume using wavelength modulation spectroscopy
Benoy Thomas, Wilson David, Lengden Michael, Armstrong Ian, Stewart George, Johnstone Walter
IEEE Sensors Journal Vol 17, pp. 6409-6417, (2017)
Calibration-free WMS using a cw-DFB-QCL, a VCSEL, and an edge-emitting DFB laser with in-situ real-time laser parameter characterization
Upadhyay Abhishek, Wilson David, Lengden Michael, Chakraborty Arup L., Stewart George, Johnstone Walter
IEEE Photonics Journal Vol 9, (2017)
Trace gas sensing using DFB laser and QCL with miniaturized 3D-printed photoacoustic gas cells
Bauer Ralf, Flockhart Gordon M. H., Johnstone Walter, Lengden Michael
International Conference on Fibre Optics and Photonics 2016, (2016)

more publications


Fundamental principles of Optics and Photonics, optical telecommunication systems, photonics systems and its applications in general.

Research interests

Professor Johnstone is Head of the Photonic Systems research team and his work has led to more than 200 technical publications and several patent applications. Recent research in laser spectroscopy applications focusses on accurate measurement of gas concentration, pressure and temperature in extreme environments, such as in the combustion zones and exhaust plumes of aero (gas turbine) engines at high temperature and high gas velocity. As well as carrying out basic research, his group is involved in the engineering of such systems for in situ industrial deployment, and sensing systems based on his research are now commercially available.

Professional activities

Institute for System Level Integration (External organisation)
Journal of Measurement Science and Instrumentation (Journal)
Editorial board member
Glasgow Research Partnership Joint Research Initiative on Electronics, Communications and Power Systems (External organisation)
Photonics 2008
Invited speaker
Optosci Ltd (External organisation)

more professional activities


EngD Gooch and Housego Optical Coherence Tomography
Flockhart, Gordon (Principal Investigator) Johnstone, Walter (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 30-Sep-2021
CIDAR for CleanSky 2 (Combustion species Imaging Diagnostics for Aero-engine Research)
Lengden, Michael (Principal Investigator) Burns, Iain (Co-investigator) Johnstone, Walter (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Mar-2018 - 31-Aug-2020
In-situ Chemical Measurement and Imaging Diagnostics for Energy Process Engineering (Platform Grant)
Johnstone, Walter (Principal Investigator) Burns, Iain (Co-investigator) Lengden, Michael (Co-investigator) Stewart, George (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 30-Sep-2021
EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant - DTA, University of Strathclyde | Paterson, Alan
Uttamchandani, Deepak (Principal Investigator) Johnstone, Walter (Co-investigator) Paterson, Alan (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 01-Apr-2017
Fibre Laser Imaging For Gas Turbine Exhaust Species (FLITES) | Benoy, Thomas
Johnstone, Walter (Principal Investigator) Lengden, Michael (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Nov-2012 - 19-Jan-2017
Collaborative Training Account / RA3745
Johnstone, Walter (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Jan-2004 - 30-Sep-2012

more projects


Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Royal College Building

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