5 questions with Dr. Oliver Hadeler
7 January 2022
Introducing Dr. Oliver Hadeler who recently joined EEE as a Lecturer. We asked a few questions to get to know him better.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I studied physics at the University of Frankfurt in Germany. For my diploma thesis I worked on a calibration system for a particle detector at CERN. We used a UV-laser to simulate particle tracks. My interest in lasers led me to a PhD in optoelectronics at the University of Southampton. I enjoy working at the interface between physics and engineering, where you can use physical principles in real world applications. I have worked with fibre optic sensors, fibre lasers, liquid crystal telecommunication devices and superconductors. In recent years my academic focus has moved to sensors. At the University of Cambridge I was the Programme Manager and Teaching Fellow of the CDT in Sensor Technologies and Applications. I organised and led hands-on individual and team projects, introducing MRes students from diverse science and engineering backgrounds to sensor technologies.
How did you get into engineering?
Getting into engineering happened in stages. The Optoelctronics Research Centre in Southampton span across the Department of Electronics and Computer Science and the Department of Physics. My PhD supervisor was based in Electronics so I was more exposed to electrical engineers than physicists. After my PhD I joined the Liquid Crystal group in the Department of Physics in Southampton but we all moved to the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge a year later. I got more and more into engineering, especially by working with undergraduate engineering students in small group supervisions. I have never forgotten my roots as a physicist, though. For seven years I have been working with academics, post-docs and postgraduate students in the area of sensing across the natural sciences, engineering and medicine.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
I am looking forward to organising the 3rd and 4th year projects for next year. The large student cohorts coming through will allow us to rethink the way we run the projects, keeping them stimulating for the students without overloading their academic supervisors.
What/ who inspires you, and why?
I get inspired by the young people who are taking climate change seriously and want to find practical solutions.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I play the bassoon in a student-run orchestra. It is great to be part of a group of enthusiastic people. I love sailing, and if I can't get on a yacht or dinghy then I will seek out other watercrafts to get on the water.