Department of
Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

Image of Richard Leach

Richard Leach

Professor in Metrology, Faculty of Engineering



Richard is currently a professor in metrology at the University of Nottingham and prior to this spent 25 years at the National Physical Laboratory. Richard obtained a BSc in Applied Physics from Kingston University in 1989, an MSc in Industrial Measurement Systems from Brunel University in 1994, a PhD in Surface Metrology from University of Warwick in 2000 and a DSc from Warwick in 2014. Richard is on the Council of the European Society of Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology, the Board of Directors of the American Society of Precision Engineering (2014-2016), the EPSRC Peer Review College, the International Committee on Measurements and Instrumentation and several international standards committees. He is the European Editor-in-Chief for Precision Engineering and the founder of the new Institute of Physics journal: Surface Topography: Metrology & Properties. He has over 350 publications including five textbooks. Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Engineering & Technology, the International Society of Nanomanufacturing, a Sustained Member of the American Society of Precision Engineering, a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Physicist. He is a visiting professor at Loughborough University and the Harbin Institute of Technology.

Richard is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Group.

Expertise Summary

Richard's research is dominated by what he calls "information-rich metrology": the enhancement of manufacturing metrology through the use of a priori information, often utilising concepts from artificial intelligence. His current interests are the dimensional measurement of precision and additive manufactured structures. Additive manufacturing (3D printing) allows for almost infinite design freedom; a revolution in the way things are made, but a serious headache for those that have the measure the shape of the parts. Drawing on concepts such as machine learning and sensor fusion, Richard's research is changing the approach to quality control in manufacturing. Richard is recognised worldwide by his research into surface topography measurement, and his research has made a major contribution to the use of surface engineering and control in a wide range of industrial applications including advanced manufacturing, tribology, aerodynamics and even archaeology. Complementing these advances in science, he has been prominent in precision engineering, with major industry collaborations involving advanced product manufacture and the recent production of an undergraduate textbook.

Teaching Summary

Basics of metrology, dimensional metrology, surface metrology, uncertainty analysis

Research Summary

Metrology for precision and additive manufacturing - EPSRC Manufacturing Fellowship (2015 - 2020).

Multi-sensor in-process metrology of laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing: Fusing form, texture and temperature measurement - EPSRC (2017 - 2019)

Metrology for highly-parallel manufacturing (MetHPM) - EMPIR (2015 - 2018).

Process fingerprint for zero-defect net-shape micromanufacturing (MICROMAN) - H2020 (2015 - 2019)

Reference algorithms and metrology on aspherical and freeform optical leness (FreeFORM) - EMPIR (2016 - 2019)

Precision additive metal manufacturing (PAM^2) - H2020 (2016 - 2020)

Micro/nano robotics for single cancer cells (MNR4SCell) - H2020 (2017 - 2021)

Verification of x-ray computed tomography for additive manufacturing - PhD student (2014-2018).

Application of standard calibration and verification techniques to focus variation microscopy - PhD student (2015 - 2019).

Surface topography analysis software validation - EngD student with NPL and Digital Surf (2015 - 2019).

Camera-based optical metrology for micro-geometry - PhD student (2015-2019)

Optical form measurement for additive manufacturing - PhD student (2015-2019)

Surface texture measurement for additive manufacturing - PhD student with MTC (2015-2019)

Advanced x-ray computed tomography for additive manufacturing - PhD student with Nikon (2015-2019)

Polished stone value/Wehner Schulze and their relationship to skid resistance - PhD student with Jean Lefebvre (2015-2019)

Real-time metrology of micro-targets for high power laser systems operating at high repetition rates - PhD student with Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (2015-2019)

Integrated micro-manufacturing metrology - PhD student with Alicona (2016-2019)

Design for metrology in additive manufacturing - PhD student with NPL (2015-2019)

Coherence scanning interferometry for difficult manufacturing applications - PhD student (2016 - 2020)

High slope surface measurement based on an information-rich approach using coherence scanning interferometry - PhD student (2016 - 2020)

Design of additively manufactured lattice structures for precision mechanical force loops - PhD student (2016 - 2020)

Optical form measurement of complex rough surfaces to improve the precision of additive manufactured parts - PhD student (2017 - 2021)

Recent Publications

Past Research

Dimensional micro and nanometrology using areal topography data produced by 3D surface metrology instruments (METROSURF) - FP7 Intra-European Fellowship (2015-2017).

Development of next-generation micro-CMM probes - PhD student with Warwick and NPL (2013 - 2017)

Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 14081