Dr Collard is an interdisciplinary post-doctoral researcher working on the Nanobright project in IIT Lecce since 2019. He graduated with a 1st class honors degree in mathematics at the University of Leicester in 2013 and then completed a PhD with a thesis titled "Shape transformations in optically trapped particles and minimal surfaces: An experimental and theoretical study" at the University of Leicester in 2017. From 2017-2019 he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham school of physics working on Raman spectroscopy and lipid vesicles.
In September 2019 he joined the European FET OPEN project Nanobright, aimed at developing a new generation of optical neural interfaces to bring plasmonics to the human brain. During the project he has been responsible for developing two bespoke optical setups designed to achieve spatially resolved plasmonic sensing at the tip of hair thin optical fiber. This resulted in two main peer reviewed publications in APL photonics (Editors pick, 2021), where a holographic method was used to finely tune the emission angle from an optical fiber and Small (2022), where he demonstrated spatially resolved, sub-cellular resolution plasmonic sensing at the tip of a fiber optic. A patent is also pending on the latter work. Overall, he is interested in developing novel biosensers for the brain based on plasmonics, Raman spectroscopy, holography and optical fibers and more recently machine learning.
Throughout his career, he has collaborated with researchers from a diverse range of scientific backgrounds and has assisted in the supervision of numerous undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has presented his work at numerous conferences (OSA, Optogen, MNE) and funding events (Medtech) and has also acted as a peer reviewer for Optica publishing group, Light science and applications and Elsevier.