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Research Profile

  • Katherine Kirk joined University of Northampton in 2019 and lectures on the degree programme in Non-Destructive Testing which forms part of the NDT Apprenticeship scheme. She has one PhD student in non-destructive testing. She was formerly Professor of Physics and research group leader at University of the West of Scotland (2000-2018), where her research interests were thin film ultrasonic devices and applications. She has 200+ research outputs including 70 papers in refereed journals.

    Her PhD from University of Strathclyde was in High Temperature Superconductors, followed by research positions in nano-magnetism for data storage applications and ultrasonic non-destructive testing at University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde. She is co-inventor on patents in thin film ultrasonic transducer, ultrasonic anaesthetic needle guidance, and piezoelectric actuator for adaptive optics.

    She is a Council member of British Institute of Non Destructive Testing (Vice President 2021), and Chair of BINDT’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group. She also serves on the Institute of Physics committees, “Women in Physics” and IOP Scotland. She is a Fellow of the Women’s Engineering Society.

    Dr Kirk has led several projects in Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering and Physics, including “Giving Girls another Chance to Choose Physics and Engineering” which looked at the effect of entry criteria to engineering and physics degrees. She was awarded Royal Academy of Engineering outreach funding for a historical project “A Car for Women and Other Stories”, about Dorothée Pullinger, pioneer motor engineer in the early 20th Century.

  • ENG 3012 Thermographic Imaging – monitoring and testing using the information from thermal imaging cameras

    ENG3017 Advanced Inspection Methods and Techniques – digital radiography, advanced ultrasonics, and eddy current testing.

    • X.Meng, M.Lu, W.Yin, A.Bennecer, K.J.Kirk, “Evaluation of coating thickness using lift-off insensitivity of eddy current sensor” Sensors 21 (2), 419, 2021
    • X.Meng, M.Lu, W.Yin, A.Bennecer, K.J.Kirk, “Inversion of lift-off distance and thickness for nonmagnetic metal using eddy current testing”, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement 70, 1-8, 2020
    • A.A.Ghouri, Y.Alajlani, N.A.Ahmadi, D.Hutson, K.J.Kirk “Investigation of Lamb wave modes using broadband thin-film transducers and finite element modelling”, International Journal of Condition Monitoring 8 (4), 95-99, 2018
    • P.Muñoz-Escalona, M.Dunn, K.Kirk, “Girls’ Perception Towards Engineering Degree Based on Family Backgrounds”, in “Time for Change” Proc. 5th Annual Symposium of the United Kingdom & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network, ISBN: 978 1 85449 443 6, March 2018
    • A.A.Ghouri, K.J.Kirk, “Analysis of Acoustic Emission Data for Structural Health Monitoring of Engineering Geometries”, Proc. 1st World Conference on Condition Monitoring (WCCM 2017), ISBN: 9781510844759, October 2017.
    • R.Hou, Y.Q.Fu, D.Hutson, C.Zhao, E.Gimenez, K.J.Kirk, “Use of sputtered zinc oxide film on aluminium foil substrate to produce a flexible and low profile ultrasonic transducer”, Ultrasonics. May 2016, vol. 68, pp. 54-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2016.02.008.
    • K.J.Kirk, R.Hou, N.M.Pragada, L.Torbay, N.Schmarje, D.Hutson, “High temperature ultrasonic transducers using lithium niobate piezocomposite”, Insight – Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring, 57(4) Feb 2015, DOI: 10.1784/insi.2015.57.4.193.
    • X.S.Zhou, C.Zhao, R.Hou, J.Zhang, K.J.Kirk, D.Hutson, Y.J.Guo, P.A.Hu, S.M.Peng, X.T.Zu, Y.Q.Fu, “Sputtered ZnO film on aluminium foils for flexible ultrasonic transducers”, Ultrasonics, Vol. 54 (7), September 2014, pp 1991-1998, doi:10.1016/j.ultras.2014.05.006
    • X.S.Zhou, J.Zhang, R.Hou, C.Zhao, K.J.Kirk, D.Hutson, P.A.Hu, S.M.Peng, X.T.Zu, Y.Q.Fu, “Electrode loading effect and high temperature performance of ZnO thin film ultrasonic transducers”, Applied Surface Science, Vol. 315, 1 October 2014, pp. 307-313 doi:10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.07.114
    • D.A.Hughes, A.Sampathkumar, C.Longbottom, K.J.Kirk “Imaging and detection of early stage dental caries with an all-optical photoacoustic microscope, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 581 (1), 012002, 9, 2015
    • A.Sampathkumar, D.A.Hughes, K.J.Kirk, W.Otten, C.Longbottom, “All-optical photoacoustic imaging and detection of early-stage dental caries”, 2014 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, 1269-1272, 5, 2014
    • D.A.Hughes, S.Stewart, D.Hutson, K.J.Kirk, C.Longbottom, “High frequency dental imaging and in-vitro monitoring of acid dental erosion”, 2014 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, 1892-1895, 2014
    • K.L.Wlodarczyk, E.Bryce, N.Schwartz, M.Strachan, D.Hutson, R.R.J.Maier, D.Atkinson, S.Beard, T.Baillie, P.Parr-Burman, K.Kirk, D.P.Hand, “Scalable stacked array piezoelectric deformable mirror for astronomy and laser processing applications”, Review of Scientific Instruments 85 (2), 024502, 32, 2014
    • H.F.Pang, Y.Q.Fu, R.Hou, K.J.Kirk, D.Hutson, X.T.Zu, F.Placido, “Annealing effect on the generation of dual mode acoustic waves in inclined ZnO films”, Ultrasonics 53 (7), 1264-1269, 2013
  • Recent Presentations:

    • “Women making Aero Engines in Scotland in WW1”, K.J.Kirk, WES Scotland Cluster, 19th July 2020, online
    • “Women at Work: Engineering for Educated Women at Galloway Engineering Co. Tongland”, K.J.Kirk, N.Baker, K.Kosmala, 100 Years of Women in Engineering, STICK Annual Conference 2019 (Scottish Transport and Industrial Collections Knowledge Network), 6th November 2019, Glasgow Women’s Library, Bridgeton, Glasgow
    • “A Car for Women and Other Stories”, K.J.Kirk, N.Baker, A.Grace, K.Kosmala, E.Viza, N.Johnson-Symington, H.Robertson, “A Centenary of Women in Engineering” Conference, WES Scotland/ INWES Europe / EQUATE Scotland/ Scottish Engineering, 12/13th October 2019, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
    • “Bias and History in Engineering, Lessons from Dorothée Pullinger and ‘A Car for Women’”, K.J.Kirk, Hive Mind and Insider Knowledge, Ingenious Women, 25th September 2019, Glasgow
    • “A Car for Women and Other Stories”, K.J.Kirk, N.Baker, A.Grace, K.Kosmala, E.Viza, N.Johnson-Symington, H.Robertson, 7th Sept 2019, Doors Open Day, Kirkintilloch Town Hall, East Dunbartonshire
    • “Changing 1000 Small Things: Working for Diversity and Inclusion at BINDT”, K.J.Kirk, 5th Sept 2019, NDT 2019, British Institute of Non Destructive Testing Annual Conference, Telford, Shropshire, 2-5th September 2019
    • “Creating cultures where all engineers (and scientists) thrive”, K.J.Kirk, presented at “Changing the Landscape: Enabling Diversity & Inclusion in STEM fields”, 11th June 2019, University of the West of Scotland Lanarkshire Campus, Blantyre, Glasgow
    • “Diversity and Inclusion in NDT”, K.J.Kirk, C.Bull, Plenary, NDT 2018, British Institute of Non Destructive Testing Annual Conference, Nottingham, 10-12th September 2018