Dr Thangavel Thevar

Dr Thangavel Thevar
Dr Thangavel Thevar
Dr Thangavel Thevar

Senior Lecturer

Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 273776
Office Address

Room 377

School of Engineering, Fraser Noble Building, University of Aberdeen, Old Aberdeen AB24 3UE, Scotland, United Kingdom

School of Engineering


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 Digital Holography for imaging of marine plankton and micro-particles; Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for subsea applications; and laser based instrumentation. Recently he led a team of researchers to develop the most advanced underwater holographic camera (weeHoloCam) in the world (https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/15104/). 

weeHoloCam Deployment in North Sea


Plankton images North Sea 2

Laser lab 1A.jpg

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Coordinator of MSc Oil & Gas Engineering (2007 - 2020)
  • Undergraduate Level 1 Coordinator
  • Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) member
  • Students' Progression Committee member
  • School Laser Safety Officer
  • School Appeals Officer
  • Personal Tutor
  • PhD Student Mentor
External Memberships
  • 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 IET
  • Member of IEEE
  • Reviewer for optics based journals

Latest Publications

  • An Ultracompact Underwater Digital Holographic Camera for Study of Marine Microorganisms

    Thevar, T., Eerkes-Medrano, D., Burns, N., Ockwell, M., Watson, J.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
  • Machine-Learning-based Size Estimation of Marine Particles in Holograms Recorded by a Submersible Digital Holographic Camera

    Liu, Z., Giering, S., Thevar, T., Burns, N., Ockwell, M., Watson, J.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
  • RamaCam: Autonomous in-situ monitoring system of marine particles by combining holography and Raman spectroscopy

    Takahashi, T., Liu, Z., Thevar, T., Burns, N., Sangekar, M., Lindsay, D., Watson, J., Thornton, B.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
  • An ultracompact underwater pulsed digital holographic camera with rapid particle image extraction suite

    Thevar, T., Burns, N., Ockwell, M., Watson, J.
    IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 566-576
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Advanced subsea imaging technique of digital holography: In situ measurement of marine microscale plankton and particles

    Liu, Z., Giering, S., Takahashi, T., Thevar, T., Takeuchi, M., Burns, N., Thornton, B., Watson, J., Linsday, D.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings

View My Publications


Research Overview

  • Digital holographic camera for imaging plankton
  • Engineering applications of holography

  • Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)

  • Development of solid-state lasers for scientific, industrial, and medical applications

  • Laser based instrumentation

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Engineering.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me


Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Laser Physics
  • Marine Technology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

Application of digital holography for in-situ imaging of plankton and marine microparticles.

Funding and Grants

  • 2023 - DEFRA funded project - Early warning system for infective sea lice: Development of holographic imaging for in-situ monitoring (£358,929) - Principle Investigator
  • 2022 - Defence & Security Accelerator (DSTL) funded project - Development of machine learning software to classify holographic images of plankton (£290,647) - Principal Investigator
  • 2020 – SFC Innovation voucher (AFB racing; with S. Aphale) – Anti-pathogen air purification system (£5000)                      
  • 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
  • EG4012 BEng Individual Project (contributor)
  • EG4015 MEng Individual Project (contributor)
  • EG5908 Individual Project MSc Oil & Gas Engineering (contributor) 

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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals