Centre for Precision Technologies (CPT)

Optics lab


CPT is a national centre of excellence and innovation in metrology research and it is at the forefront of creating new measurement technologies which are not only imperative for industry but for wider society too. Its work is key to addressing some of the grand challenges facing society as defined by Research Councils UK.

Over the last 15 years CPT has delivered £15 million in research and enterprise activity, published over 400 journal papers, worked collaboratively with world leading companies including Rolls-Royce, Taylor Hobson, De Puy, Renishaw, NPL and it is the lead partner on multi-million pound European and EPSRC research projects. Members of the CPT have presented more than 30 invited plenary lectures and keynotes addresses at international conferences and CPT hosted the 12th CIRP Conference on Computer Aided Tolerancing (CIRP CAT 2012).

The CPT has a track record of innovation and achievements, including first demonstrations for many applications in precision engineering. Two of its most successful commercial products are:

  • SURFSTAND software developed for the characterization of 3D surface topography which has been embedded into all Taylor Hobson surface metrology software.
  • A Volumetric Compensation System ‘VCS’ which maps both geometrical and thermally-induced positional errors in machine tools and corrects for those errors within the machine tool controller. This has been applied around the world to aerospace customers including Lockheed, Northrop Grummen and BAE Systems.

The work by CPT has led to the development of 20 International Standard (ISO) projects in metrology and machine tools and researchers sit on ISO and BSI technical committees as well as the government advisory board for the National Measurement System.