The science of measurement
Dr Hussam Muhamedsalih gave a hands-on demonstration of a state-of-the-art optical interferometry system, designed and patented by the University, to visitors at the Science Museum in London

The University's Dr Hussam Muhamedsalih demonstrating the optical interferometry system to the museum's visitors.


VISITORS to the Science Museum in London have been given a hands-on demonstration of world-leading technology developed at the University of Huddersfield that is capable of carrying out ultra-precise measurement of tiny, complex surfaces – delivering the results in less than a second.

The museum organises a popular series of evening sessions, one of which celebrated the history and the future of engineering, including metrology, the science of measurement.  Dr Hussam Muhamedsalih – who is a Senior Research Fellow at the University’s Centre for Precision Technologies and its EPSRC Future Metrology Hub – was invited to take part.

After curator Alex Rose and participation co-ordinator Zoë Lake Thomas had described some of the historic measurement technology that belongs to the Science Museum’s collection, Dr Muhamedsalih demonstrated the latest optical interferometry system that he and his University of Huddersfield colleagues have developed and patented.

He showed how a series of measurements of a tiny sample of material – less than the width of a human hair – could be carried out in under a second.  Visitors to the event were then given an opportunity to operate the technology themselves, demonstrating its user-friendliness.

Another major advantage of the device, explained Dr Muhamedsalih, is its robustness.  This means it can be operated in non-ideal conditions, such as a harsh manufacturing environment.  The interferometer developed at the University of Huddersfield can be embedded into a production line so that metrology and the correction of errors can be conducted during manufacture, resulting in much less waste of material.

Research is continuing, with the aim of making the technology even faster, carrying out its measurement in less than a thousandth of a second.  This would mean no interruption to production.

Dr Muhamedsalih – whose distinctions include a Fellowship awarded by the London-based Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers – enjoyed demonstrating the University of Huddersfield’s technological breakthrough to a succession of visitors at the Science Museum event.

“It was a big success, with a lot of people attending throughout the evening.”