I am a freelance scientist based in Berlin, currently working as a consultant for M Squared Lasers, and an academic visitor in the Photonics Group, Department of Physics at Imperial College.
I was recently awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship, to be undertaken in the Center for Laser Materials (sponsored by Dr Christian Kränkel) at the Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ) in Berlin. This project (ErMIR) involves the development of cascade erbium-doped lasers for remote sensing applications.
You can come and hear me talk about my research at this year's Soapbox Science Berlin, Park at Gleisdreieck Möckernstraße: 1st June 2018 14:00 – 17:00!
I studied Physics at Imperial College, completing my BSc in 2006, before obtaining my MSc in Optics and Photonics in 2007. I stayed on at Imperial to complete a PhD in Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics in 2011, supervised by Prof Mike Damzen. During my PhD I developed high average power pulsed (modelocked and Q-switched) diode-pumped solid-state lasers, largely based on Nd-doped gain media operating at 1μm and 1.3μm, with the aim of producing highly-engineered laser systems for materials processing and biomedical imaging applications.
Post-PhD, I was awarded an EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondment where I spent a year working for an Imperial spin-out company, Midaz Lasers, working to develop "productised" laser systems based on the technology explored during my PhD. Immediately following this, I was awarded a Doctoral Prize Fellowship at Imperial to develop diode-pumped alexandrite lasers and amplifiers with a broad application-base in mind. Between 2012 and 2016 I was the Work Package Leader for a European Space Agency funded project: "Diode-pumped alexandrite Lasers for Remote Sensing", and was responsible for the management and day-to-day running of the technical tasks of the project.
Since January 2017 I have been based in Berlin. I was a research scientist at the Max Born Institute für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie for almost a year, developing optical parametric chirped pulse amplifiers (OPCPA) with Dr Mark Merö, for Attosecond Science and COLTRIMS experiments.
If you'd like to hear a brief, accessible explanation about using lasers to monitor the earth, you can watch this (slightly embarrassing) video and this (even more embarrassing) video from 2016's World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions.
In 2016, I became one of the World Economic Forum's Young Scientists, an honour that acknowledges and "brings together the most forward-thinking and advanced young scientific minds in the world".
Thomas GM, Minassian A, Damzen MJ, 2018, Optical vortex generation from a diode-pumped alexandrite laser, Laser Physics Letters, Vol:15, ISSN:1612-2011
et al., 2018, Diode-pumped Alexandrite laser with passive SESAM Q-switching and wavelength tunability, Optics Communications, Vol:410, ISSN:0030-4018, Pages:970-976
Thomas GM, Next generation space and airborne laser technology - plenary, SpaceLab 2015
Thomas GM, Damzen MJ, Next generation space and airborne laser technology - plenary, SpaceLab 2015
et al., Progress in diode-pumped Alexandrite lasers as a new resource for future space Lidar missions, International Conference on Space Optics