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.


PhD, BSc (Hons), FIET, CEng, F.Inst.P, CPhys


Tomographic imaging of carbon dioxide in the exhaust plume of large commercial aero-engines
Upadhyay Abhishek, Lengden Michael, Enemali Godwin, Stewart George, Johnstone Walter, Wilson David, Humphries Gordon, Benoy Thomas, Black John, Chighine Andrea, Fisher Edward, Zhang Rui, Liu Chang, Polydorides Nick, Tsekenis Alex, Wright Paul, Kliment Joshua, Nilsson Johan, Feng Yutong, Archilla Victor, Rodriguez-Carmona Javier, Sanchez-Valdepenas Jesus, Beltran Marta, Polo Valentin, Armstrong Ian, Mauchline Iain, Walsh Douglas, Johnson Mark, Bauldreay Joanna, McCann Hugh
Applied Optics Vol 61, pp. 8540-8552 (2022)
A custom, high-channel-count data acquisition system for chemical species tomography of aero-jet engine exhaust plumes
Fisher Edward M D, Tsekenis Stylianos-Alexios, Yang Yunjie, Chighine A, Liu Cheng, Polydorides Nick, Wright P, Kliment J, Ozanyan K, Benoy Thomas, Humphries Gordon, Wilson David, Lengden M, Johnstone Walter, McCann Hugh
IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement Vol 69, pp. 549-558 (2020)
Laser transmitter for cubesat-class applications
Crabb Jonathan R, Stevens G, Michie C, Johnstone W, Kehayas E
A new RAM normalized 1f-WMS technique for the measurement of gas parameters in harsh environments and a comparison with 2f/1f
Upadhyay Abhishek, Lengden Michael, Wilson David, Humphries Gordon Samuel, Crayford Andrew P, Pugh Daniel G, Johnson Mark P, Stewart George, Johnstone Walter
IEEE Photonics Journal Vol 10 (2018)
All-optical fiber multi-point photoacoustic spectroscopic gas sensing system
Zhang Congzhe, Yang Yuanhong, Lin Yuechuan, Tan Yanzhen, Lengden Michael, Humphries Gordon, Johnstone Walter, Lut Ho Hoi, Jin Wei
Proceedings 26th International Conference on Optical Fiber Sensors The 26th International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors (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)

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


Industrial CASE Account - University of Strathclyde 2021 | Clark, Stuart
Lengden, Michael (Principal Investigator) Johnstone, Walter (Co-investigator) Clark, Stuart (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2025
Laser Imaging of Turbine Engine Combusion Species (LITECS) (Programme Grant)
Johnstone, Walter (Principal Investigator) Burns, Iain (Co-investigator) Lengden, Michael (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2024
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Gough, Andrew
Lengden, Michael (Principal Investigator) Johnstone, Walter (Co-investigator) Gough, Andrew (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2022
CIDAR for CleanSky 2 (Combustion species Imaging Diagnostics for Aero-engine Research)
Lengden, Michael (Principal Investigator) Burns, Iain (Co-investigator) Johnstone, Walter (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2021
EngD Gooch and Housego Optical Coherence Tomography
Flockhart, Gordon (Principal Investigator) Johnstone, Walter (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 30-Jan-2021
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)
01-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2021

More projects


Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Royal College

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