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Dr Tim Drysdale

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer (Engineering/Electronics)
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • tim.drysdale

Professional biography

Timothy D. Drysdale graduated with his Ph.D. degree (2003) in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He was awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh & Scottish Executive Personal Research Fellowship in 2004, which he took at the University of Glasgow, and was appointed as a lecturer in 2006. In 2015, he joined the Open University in Milton Keynes as a senior lecturer.

Teaching interests

Academic lead for the £1.5M openEngineering Lab. Tim is pioneering the use of peer-to-peer video techniques to give instant lag-free interaction with remote laboratory equipment, from a web browser, anywhere in the world, without having to download any software.

Academic lead on the two new electronics courses T212 and T312 that are a flavour for the general engineering degree Q65. T212 goes live in October 2017, and is titled 'sensors, logic and actuators'



Impact and engagement

Tim presented 'The beautiful equations' at Orkney International Science Festival in Kirkwall, Sept 2016. The trip was funded by OU Scotland. You can use the interactive simulator here:

Tim presented the opening talk at the UK open source hardware users' group event 'Wuthering Bytes' at Hebden Bridge, Sept 2016, discussing progress with LabRTC, an open source version of his remote laboratory software.

Tim presented progress with the openEngineering Lab at National Instrument's annual international conference NI Week 2016 in Austin, Texas, including a live demo of a link back to his lab in Milton Keynes.

On behalf of the University of Glasgow team, Tim received an NMI Award for a programme of joint industry-academic research with Freescale Semiconductor Ltd, in 2012.

Tim gave the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen 2012, speaking on the ethics and technology of seeing through clothes (using terahertz technology).

Tim was a finalist in the Air NZ New Zealander of the Year in 2007, following his exhibition on Superhuman Vision at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London and Glasgow in 2006, as well as special one-off event in Buckingham Palace 'Science Day'. 

External collaborations

Collaborations producing papers in 2016:

Ben Allen, University of Oxford and Network Rail

Johanna Virkki, Tampere University of Technology, Dan Harrison & Dene Taylor, IIMAK USA.

Clement Vourch, Monageng Kgwadi, University of Glasgow

Georgios Maniatis, Trevor Hoey, University of Glasgow


Visiting Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong, Sept 2014.

Departmental Seminar, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, December 2014.

Research Activity

Externally funded projects

Internet of things- Smart Remote solar PV lab

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator13/Mar/201730/Nov/2017Royal Academy of Engineering
Over the last few decades, the applications of photovoltaic systems have grown rapidly and they are on their way to become a major energy source for India and Europe. Over the past few years the installed capacity increased 200 to 400% in Asia and Europe.. The year 2016 was another one for the books for solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, as it has experienced remarkable growth over the past decade and is on the way to becoming a mature and mainstream source of electricity. For the second year in a row, in 2017 PVs were the top new source of electricity generation in the European Union. The capacity of the systems installed during this year is sufficient to cover the annual power supply needs of over 40 million European and Asian households. Each year these PV installations save more than 36 million tons of CO2. It is thus argued that reducing the EU's and Asias current rate of fossil-fuel combustion can be assisted greatly by introducing coherent, comprehensive and coordinated energy education policies. PVs continue to prove their ability to compete in the energy sector as a mainstream power generation source. However, even if the most pessimistic scenario is taken into account, PVs will continue to increase their share of the energy mix in Europe and around the world, becoming a reliable source of clean, safe and ceaseless renewable energy for all. It has been suggested that education on solar systems must be one of the priorities of the energy policy, to promote the solar energy applications for sustainable development. It is impossible to successfully promote solar systems without appropriately educated people who will be involved in their design, sizing, and installation. The main part of a PV system is the PV panel itself, as it is the part responsible for the conversion of solar energy to electricity. Thus, the theory of PV panels has been included in the curriculum of most educational institutes with an engineering course. However, it is well known how important the role of hands-on experience is in engineering education and hence, the theoretical study should be combined with experimentation in order for the students to be able to apply the theory of a specific device in actual conditions. Nowadays, the traditional approach of educational sessions in real laboratories is changing, with the virtual and remote laboratories gaining ground. This is attributed to the rapid developments and adoption of computer, internet and control technologies. A remote laboratory offers the ability to perform an extensive set of educational experiments under real conditions through the internet and within a very short time. At the same time, the student can have a live view of the systems through a web camera, offering him/her a sense of personal presence in the place where the experiment takes place. This project suggests the development of an open access remote PV laboratory for educational purposes. The remote PV laboratory, which will consist of specialized PV equipment, sensors, monitoring and control hardware, will be installed outdoors at the facilities of the OU, and allowing the users from India to perform real-world tests and experiments with photovoltaic panels over the internet, in real time. The system should be accessible by everyone on the planet with an internet access . It also should be accompanied by appropriate educational material, for several target groups, such as students, postgraduates, professionals and educators, allowing it to be used by a broad variety of users directly. The design should also be modular, to be easy to modify and or upgrade.

MALTS: Multiple Antenna Line-of-sight radio link testbed for Transport Systems

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead19/Sep/201631/Mar/2017Department for Transport
1.1 The Transport Technology Research Innovation Grant (T-TRIG) is a scheme that enables the Department for Transport (DfT) to fully fund early-stage research projects in support of innovative ideas or concepts that facilitate a better transport system. 1.2 The scheme will fund research into a wide-range of novel and innovative solutions that use science, engineering and technology to advance the UK’s transport system. The purpose of T-TRIG is to stimulate ideas in transport technology and systems, encourage innovations, and support the advancement of technology-based transport products, processes and services. Funded projects may also have wider benefits for the Department, such as developing the evidence base for policies or informing decision-making. 1.3 T-TRIG will provide 100% funding and is open to micro, small and medium-sized businesses, academia and other organisations, to support research projects which could lead to enabling a safe, and efficient transport system. 1.4 The DfT is looking to explore and exploit technology, capabilities and knowledge that will address transport problems/issues and move transport forward in the UK. One way that we are approaching this is through delivery of short, sharp and potentially ambitious projects that are capable of delivering tangible benefits. 1.5 The Science and Research Division within the Department is running this competition. The division’s role is to support the Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) in raising the quality and use of analysis and research.


Probing microwave fields and enabling in-situ experiments in a transmission electron microscope. (2017-09-11)
Goncalves, F. J. T.; Paterson, G. W.; McGrouther, D.; Drysdale, T.; Togawa, Y.; Schmool, D. S. and Stamps, R. L.
Scientific reports, 7(1) (p 11064)
Prototype for multidisciplinary research in the context of the Internet of Things (2017-01-15)
López-Benítez, Miguel; Drysdale, Timothy D.; Hadfield, Simon and Maricar, Mohamed Ismaeel
Journal of Network & Computer Applications, 78 (pp. 146-161)
Possibilities of Fabricating Copper-based RFID Tags with Photonic-sintered Inkjet Printing and Thermal Transfer Printing (2017)
Rizwan, Muhammad; Adhur Kutty, Ajith; Kgwadi, Monageng; Drysdale, Timothy D.; Sydänheimo, Lauri; Ukkonen, Leena and Virkki, Johanna
IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 16 (pp. 1828-1831)
Performance comparison of inkjet and thermal transfer printed passive ultra-high-frequency radio-frequency identification tags (2016-11-24)
Kgwadi, Monageng; Rizwan, Muhammad; Adhur Kutty, Ajith; Virkki, Johanna; Ukkonen, Leena and Drysdale, Timothy D.
IET Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation, 10(14) (pp. 1507-1514)
Planar millimetre-wave antenna simultaneously producing four orbital angular momentum modes and associated multi-element receiver array (2016-11-19)
Vourch, Clement J.; Allen, B. and Drysdale, Timothy D.
IET Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation, 10(14) (pp. 1492-1499)
V-band Bull's eye antenna for multiple discretely steerable beams (2016-02-19)
Vourch, Clement J. and Drysdale, Timothy D.
IET Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation, 10(3) (pp. 318-325)
Diode-switched thermal-transfer printed antenna on flexible substrate (2016-02-01)
Kgwadi, M. and Drysdale, T. D.
Electronics Letters, 52(4) (pp. 258-260)
Nanoantenna enhancement for telecom-wavelength superconducting single photon detectors (2015-01-09)
Heath, Robert M.; Tanner, Michael G.; Drysdale, Timothy D.; Miki, Shigehito; Giannini, Vincenzo; Maier, Stefan A. and Hadfield, Robert H.
Nano Letters, 15(2) (pp. 819-822)
Rapid, energy-efficient synthesis of the layered carbide, Al4C3 (2015-01-01)
Kennedy, Jennifer L.; Drysdale, Timothy and Gregory, Duncan H.
Green Chemistry, 17(1) (pp. 285-290)
V-band Bull's eye antenna for CubeSat applications (2014-06-18)
Vourch, C. J. and Drysdale, T. D.
IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 13 (pp. 1092-1095)
Multi-Spectral Materials: Hybridisation of Optical Plasmonic Filters and a Terahertz Metamaterial Absorber (2014-02-14)
McCrindle, Iain J. H.; Grant, James; Drysdale, Timothy D. and Cumming, David R. S.
Advanced Optical Materials, 2(2) (pp. 149-153)
An internet of laboratory things (2017)
Drysdale, Timothy D. and Braithwaite, N. St.J.
In : 2017 4th Experiment@International Conference ('17) (6-8 Jun 2017) (pp. 236-240)

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