Delivering the 2nd FIGS Events’ Lecture, ‘Optical fibre sensors: a new monitoring approach for industry’ before an invited audience from different fields of science and technology in London, on 13 November, Professor Tong Sun DEng PhD, from City University London, took a complicated topic and turned it into what one attendee described as ‘optical fibre sensational’, clearly showing the impact she had on her spellbound audience.

A video of the presentation is now online at http://youtu.be/2NbOD1U9gCo and the full paper accompanying the lecture is available for free downloading from the FIGS Events’ website www.figsevents.co.uk.

In her presentation, chaired by John Newell MBE, Professor Sun explained that optical fibres have been explored widely for their sensing capability to meet increasing industrial needs, building on their success in telecommunications. Her lecture started with an introduction to fibre optics and the physics of the application of fibre optical sensors.

Her primary focus, however, was on their wide spectrum of applications which includes the instrumentation of arrays of optical fibre sensors into various types of structures, including concrete and limestone structures, propellers, pantograph and electrical motors, providing on-line static and dynamic condition monitoring. The lecture also considers the development of optical fibre chemical sensors for pH, chloride, humidity, cocaine and heavy metal detection for security and environmental applications.

FIGS Events Limited is an event management company which focuses on the organisation of technical events for professional institutions, research and development organisations and societies. As Director, Fiona Morris explains “Our passion is the determination to provide a strong platform for like-minded professionals to meet, discuss and promote innovation in their field. This passion has been the catalyst for the FIGS Events Lecture series.

“We aim to hold up to two events each year, they will have at their heart innovation, technology, science and human interface with technology, and at them we encourage our guests to discuss and debate the topic in an informal atmosphere.

“That informality is vital, for we want the events to be highly enjoyable and believe that the best discussions can arise out of an informal, enjoyable gathering in conducive surroundings and with plenty of pre- and post-lecture networking time. We particularly want people from different disciplines to appreciate each other’s perspective, and that was certainly the case with Professor Sun’s lecture. Many said how much they appreciated being out of their own professional ‘comfort zone’ – so, ‘mission accomplished’, and now we start planning the next in the lecture series.”

Professor Sun: A Background

Professor Tong Sun was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Engineering and Doctor of Engineering from the Department of Precision Instrumentation of Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China in 1990, 1993 and 1998 respectively. She was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at City University in applied physics in 1999 and was an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore from year 2000 to 2001 before she re-joined City University in 2001 as a Lecturer. Subsequently she was promoted to a Senior Lecturer in 2003, a Reader in 2006 and a Professor in 2008 at City University London.

Prof. Sun is currently the Director of Research Centre of Photonics and Instrumentation and is leading a research team focused on developing a range of optical fibre sensors for a variety of industrial applications, including structural condition monitoring, early fire detection, homeland security, process monitoring, food quality and environmental monitoring. She has been working closely with partners across disciplines from academia and industry, both in the UK and overseas. Prof. Sun is a member of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Chartered Physicist and a Chartered Engineer in the United Kingdom. She has authored or co-authored some 230 scientific and technical papers.

Further information on FIGS Events is available at www.figsevents.co.uk from enquiries@figsevents-iz07.temp-dns.com and from FIGS Events Limited, Suite 19771, Lower Ground Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PW, UK (postal address only). Tel: +44 (0)20 8304 2373.