Dr Thangavel Thevar

Dr Thangavel Thevar

Senior Lecturer

Dr Thangavel Thevar
Dr Thangavel Thevar

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273776
The University of Aberdeen Room 377
School of Engineering, Fraser Noble Building, University of Aberdeen, Old Aberdeen AB24 3UE, Scotland, United Kingdom


Dr. Thangavel Thevar is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen. He graduated from the same University with a First Class Honours in Electrical Engineering in 1989 and with a PhD in Laser Engineering in 1993. Prior to joining University of Aberdeen in 2005, he had about 10 years of industrial R&D experience in the USA in the area of solid-state laser development and holographic applications. During this time, he developed flashlamp pumped alexandrite lasers, diode pumped alexandrite lasers, ruby holographic lasers and Raman converters (US patent 8,494,012 B2). He also worked on a number of US government contracts to develop non-destructive inspection methods for military aircraft and the space shuttle. The technologies involved were holographic interferometry, laser vibrometry, and speckle interferometry. A novel NDT technique based on laser vibrometer used in conjunction with an acoustic excitation source was successfully tested on aircraft parts provided by British Aerospace, Boeing, Northup Grumman, and Sikorsky Helicopters. In addition, he spent some time in NASA Langley Research Centre on sabbatical working with Dr. Norman Barnes to develop diode pumped Thulium YALO lasers.

Thanga’s current research include Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for subsea applications; Digital Holography for imaging of marine planktons and micro-particles; and non-destructive testing.


Research Interests

  • Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)
  • Development of solid-state lasers for scientific, industrial, and medical applications
  • Engineering applications of holography
  • Laser based non-destructive testing

Research Grants

  • 2019 - Consultancy project - Ocean Tools Ltd. - Development of subsea leak detection system (£10, 800) - Principle Investigator 
  • 2019 - Defence & Security Accelerator (DSTL) funded project - Development of an ultra-compact subsea holographic camera for rapid three dimensional imaging and processing of marine organisms and micro-particles (£180, 377) - Principal Investigator
  • 2018 - NERC UK-Japan collaboration in Marine Science: RamaCam - In situ holographic imaging and chemical spectroscopy for long term scalable analysis of marine particles in deep-sea environments (£400,000); Aberdeen share (£100,000) - Principal Investigator
  • 2016 - Consultancy project (with Dr S. Aphale) - McGregor Tech (UK) Ltd - Techniques to detect defects in hot welds (£17,000) - co-Principal Investigator
  • 2015 - EU Horizon 2020 Twinning Programme: STRONGMAR Project (Euro 1 million); Aberdeen share (Euro 125, 000) - co-Principal Investigator
  • 2014 - Defence Science Technology Laboratory funded project: Data and image processing of digital holograms (£126,214) - co-Principal Investigator
  • 2014 - NRP Pools Engagement in European Research (PEER) award (£4,000)
  • 2013 - UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) Exchange Project:Development of Optical Fibre based devices for Sensing Applications (£30,010) - co-Principal Investigator
  • 2011 - SFC Horizon Fund: Knowledge exchange in the area of subsea sensor systems (£525,000) – co-Investigator.
  • 2011 - Consultancy project (with N. Kaliyaperumal) for Hydro Aluminium: Non-destructive techniques for identification and quantification of elemental changes in extruded aluminium (£11,800) – co-Principal Investigator
  • 2007 - KTP funded project: Development of a laser based solution to the problem of detecting free-spans in subsea pipeline installations (£110,641) – Principal Investigator
  • 2006 - SFC funded SRDG feasibility study grant: Innovative instrumentation technologies for 21st century oil and gas industries in Scotland (£57,299) – co-Principal Investigator)

Teaching Grants:

  • 2013 - Royal Academy of Engineering - Visiting Teaching Fellow Award (£5,000)
  • 2012 - Royal Academy of Engineering - Visiting Teaching Fellow Award (£5,000)
  • 2011 - Royal Academy of Engineering - Visiting Teaching Fellow Award (£5,000)
  • 2010 - Royal Academy of Engineering - Visiting Teaching Fellow Award (£5,000)
  • 2008 - PTDF Student Award (£11,250)
  • 2007 - PTDF Student Award (£22,500)

Teaching Responsibilities

  • EG1008 Principles of Electronics
  • EG2503 Electrical & Mechanical Systems
  • EG3043 Control Systems
  • EG5563 Electrical Systems for Renewable Energy
  • EG4012 BEng Individual Project (contributor)
  • EG4015 MEng Individual Project (contributor)
  • EG5908 Individual Project MSc Oil & Gas Engineering (contributor) 
Further Info

External Responsibilities

  • Technical programme Chair, IEEE/OES Oceans Conference 2007
  • Organising Committee, European Optical Society Topical meeting, 2009
  • Organising Committee, IEEE/OES Oceans Conference 2017
  • Committee member of Instrument Science and Technology Group (Inst. of Physics)
  • Member of Optical Society of America (OSA)
  • Member of Institute of Physics
  • Reviewer for optics based journals

Admin Responsibilities

  • Coordinator of MSc Oil & Gas Engineering
  • Undergraduate Level 1 Coordinator
  • School Laser Safety Officer
  • School Appeals Officer
  • Personal Tutor
  • PhD Student Mentor

Work Experience

  • 1993 - 1997: Lecturer, Singapore Polytechnic
  • 1996: Sabbatical at NASA Langely Research Center
  • 1997-2000: Research Scientist, Hologrpahics Inc., USA
  • 2000-2005: Senior Scientist, Light Age Inc., USA
  • 2005 - Present: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen


  • Raman Converting laser systems (US 8,494,012 B2) - Bruce Boczar (US); Donald F. Heller (US); Marc Klosner (US); Brian A. Pryor (US); Thangavel Thevar (UK).

List of Publications

  • "Identification of microplastics in a large water volume by integrated holography and Raman spectroscopy", Applied Optics, vol. 59, no. 17, pp. 5073-5078, 2020.
  • "Identification of British one pound counterfeit coins using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy", Optical Engineering, Vol. 55, No. 4, 044104, 2016.
  • “Fluorescence Spectroscopy of Rhodamine 6G: Concentration and Solvent Effects”, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular Spectroscopy, vol 121, pp. 147-151, 2014.
  • “Preliminary results in the development of a multi-colour pulsed laser for holography”, IEEE 3D-TV Conference, October 2013.
  • “Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for Identification and quantification of elemental composition of subsea structures”, European Optical Society Conference, Sept. 2012.
  • "Holographic metrology for the study and evaluation of vibration in complex structures", Imaging Science Journal, Vol. 56, No. 2,  Pg. 107-112, 2008.
  • "3DTV: 3D time-varying scene capture technologies – a survey", IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, Vol. 17, No. 11, Pg. 1568 - 1586, 2007.
  • "Remote optical non-destructive inspection techniques for metal and composite structures", Journal of Non-destructive Evaluations, Vol. 26, No. 2-4, Pg. 71-78, 2007.
  • "Advances in laser transmitter sources for ocean-atmosphere sensing", Proceedings IEEE, IEEE/OES Oceans Conference, June 2007.
  • "Diode pumped, continuous wave Tm:YAlO3 laser", Applied Optics, Vol. 45, No. 14, Pg. 3352-3355, 2006.
  • "Simultaneous visible and near-infrared emission from a pulse-stretched alexandrite laser source", Proceedings of SPIE, Vol. 5332, Pg. 69-76, 2004.
  • "Efficient, broadly tunable deep UV and mid-IR solid-state laser source", Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Proc. CLEO, May 2002.
  • "A new computational remote acoustic impact NDT system for the inspection of composite materials and detection and quantification of corrosion", INSIGHT - The Journal of the British Institute for NDT, Vol. 42, No. 1, Pg. 22-25, 2000.
  • "A new computational imaging method for the remote detection and quantification of hidden corrosion", The Imaging Science Journal, Vol. 47, Pg. 37-41, 1999.
  • "A Computerized non-contacting NDT system using an impacting acoustic wave applied to detecting corrosion and subsurface defects in composite and metal structures" Journal of Canadian Society for NDT, Vol. 20, No. 5, Pg. 15-21, Oct. 1999.
  • "Application of holography to acoustically induced vibration fields", Proc. ASME, PVP-Vol. 389, Pg. 331-340, 1999.
  • "A non-contact laser based computation method of NDE of composites and other structures" - SPIE Conference on Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Materials and Composites, March 1999.
  • "Detection and quantification of corrosion by a remote NDT system" - Proc. ASNT Research Conference, Pg. 187-189, Oct. 1998, USA.
  • "Automatic analysis of data derived from scanning acoustic/laser Doppler velocimeter" - Proc. Second Joint NASA/FAA/DOD Conference on Aging Aircraft, Aug. 1998, USA.
  • "A new non-contacting NDT system for detection of debonds in composite and metal structures" - Proc. Second Joint NASA/FAA/DOD Conference on Aging Aircraft, Aug. 1998, USA.
  • "A new remote air coupled acoustic impact system for the NDT applications to composite and bonded metal structures" - Proc. ASNT Research Conference, Pg. 350-353, March 1998, USA.
  • "A new non-contacting NDT system for detection of debonds in composite and metal structures" - Proc. ASNT Research Conference, Oct. 1997, USA.
  • "Longitudinal mode selections in a dye Q-switched ruby laser: a comparison between theoretical and experimental results" - Proc. SPIE, Vol. 2889, Pg. 60-69, 1996, USA.
  • "Application of holographic interferometry in high resolution measurements" - Singapore Polytechnic Technical Journal, No. 3, Pg. 3-9, 1996, Singapore.
  • "Operational characteristics of a dye Q-switch for a pulsed ruby laser" - Journal of Optics and Laser Technology, Vol. 24, No. 6, Pg. 323-327, 1992, UK.
  • "Design requirements of a pulsed ruby laser system for an underwater holographic camera" Proc. IEE, No. 342, Pg. 231-233, 1991, UK.