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Personal profile


  • Research Assistant UCL 1979-82
  • Experimental Officer UCL 1982-88
  • Director Optical Investments Ltd 1994-2015
  • Associate Research Fellow UCL 1988-95
  • Lecturer UCL 1995-97
  • Reader in Optical Science UCL 1997-2008
  • Royal Society Industry Fellow UCL 2003-07
  • Principal Research Associate UCL 2008-09
  • Professorial Research Associate UCL 2009-15
  • Visiting Professor Huddersfield 2015-16
  • Professor of Ultra Precision Surfaces,   Huddersfield 2016 - present
  • Honorary Senior Research Associate UCL 2016 - present

Major achievements:

  • Development of cryogenic CCD cameras
  • Developed novel Echelle Spectrograph and commissioned at the 3.9m AAT (Australia); design principles adopted for Utrecht Echelle Spectrograph on 4.2m William Herschel Telescope - Acted as consultant to Utrecht group.
  • Commercialisation of research in computer controlled polishing
  • Several Large Telescope design studies; Korean space camera tech. development
  • Formative research in CNC polishing; Gemini High-Res spectrograph studies
  • Developed High Res Optical Spectrograph and commissioned at 8m Gemini telescope (Chile)
  • Successful delivery of new 1.8m mirror and auxiliary optics for Birr Telescope refurbishment.
  • Bi-directional tech-transfer with Zeeko Ltd
  • Established National Facility for Ultra Precision Surfaces at OpTIC Centre, N. Wales
  • Successful technical proposal leading to securing of €5m E-ELT prototype mirror-segment contract
  • Advanced polishing and metrology research and its exploitation
  • Establishing new research programme under Huddersfield University

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Research in manufacture and metrology of precision and ultra-precision surfaces for optics and other precision applications
  • Research into process-automation and robotics, as applied to iterative rather than deterministic processes; leading towards the ultimate vision of a fully-autonomous manufacturing cell
  • Research into optical instrumentation techniques in general and astronomical instrumentation in particular

Research Degree Supervision

Click Here to see all postgraduate research opportunities with Professor David Walker


  • Optics and Photonics
  • Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Applied Optics
  • Interferometry
  • Measurement and Metrology
  • Metrology
  • Optical Metrology

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2013 2018

Research Output 1986 2018

  • 40 Article
  • 35 Conference contribution
  • 13 Conference article

Advanced techniques for robotic polishing of aluminum mirrors

Li, H., Walker, D., Zheng, X., Yu, G., Reynolds, C., Zhang, W. & Li, T., 15 Jun 2018, Optical Fabrication, Testing, and Metrology VI. Schröder, S. & Geyl, R. (eds.). SPIE, 13 p. 106920N. (Proceedings of SPIE; vol. 10692).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access

A Novel Hyper-Crossing Tool Path Generation Algorithm for Sub-Aperture Polishing

Reynolds, C., Walker, D., Yu, G. & Li, H., 10 Jul 2018, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation III. SPIE, Vol. 10706. 11 p. 107060F

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Tool Path Generation
Tool Path
1 Citations

Insight into aspheric misfit with hard tools: Mapping the island of low mid-spatial frequencies

Walker, D., Hsing-Yu, W., Yu, G., Li, H., Zhang, W. & Lu, C., 13 Dec 2017, In : Applied Optics. 56, 36, p. 9925-9931 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
aspheric optics
numerical control

Machine Acceleration Effects on Computer Controlled Polishing

Faehnle, O., Reynolds, C., Yu, G. & Walker, D., 1 Aug 2017, Optical Fabrication and Testing Conference Proceedings 2017. OSA - The Optical Society, 3 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Pressure distribution

More steps towards process automation for optical fabrication

Walker, D., Yu, G., Beaucamp, A., Bibby, M., Li, H., McCluskey, L., Petrovic, S. & Reynolds, C., 2017, Fourth European Seminar on Precision Optics Manufacturing. Fähnle, O. W., Rascher, R. & Wünsche, C. (eds.). SPIE, 8 p. 103260S. (Proceedings of SPIE; vol. 10326).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Optical Fabrication

Activities 1987 2016

CNC Polishing and Metrology: From E-ELT Segments to Commercial Optics

David Walker (Speaker)
7 Jun 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

18th International Symposium on Advances in Abrasive Technology

David Walker (Organiser)
4 Oct 20157 Oct 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Optical Manufacturing and Testing XI (Event)

David Walker (Programme Committee Member)
9 Aug 201511 Aug 2015

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial work

2nd Far Infrared Space Interferometer Critical Assessment Workshop

David Walker (Organiser)
28 Jan 201529 Jan 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

4th European Optical Society Conference on Manufacturing and Testing of Optical Components

David Walker (Member of programme committee)
22 Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...