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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

My research expertise is in materials, device design and applications. I am currently working on piezoelectric thin film and bulk materials for ultrasonic transducers for biomedical imaging and non-destructive testing. 

I am Project Leader for the UWS part of the ECU Scotland Attracting Diversity project, "Giving Girls Another Chance to Choose Physics and Engineering", which is investigating ways to bring under represented groups into Physics, Engineering, and Computing. 

My Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenioius public engagement project "A Car for Women and Other Stories" (May 2017 - July 2018) looks at the life and engineering career of Dorothee Pullinger, pioneering motor engineer in Scotland in the early 20th century. 

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

ultrasonic transducers, ultrasonic applications, sensors, imaging, thin films, piezoelectric materials, deformable mirror design and applications

Current research activities

Acoustic emission sensing with thin film transducers, ultrasonic transducer design. 

Deformable mirror design and applications.

Sensors and sensor systems.


External positions

Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

1 Oct 2018 → …

External Examiner, Physics and Astrophysics programmes, University of Hull

1 Oct 201830 Sep 2022

Council Member, British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing

1 Oct 2016 → …

Chair, Diversity Working Group, British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing

1 Mar 2016 → …

Member, Membership, Qualification and Education Committee, British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing

1 Jan 2003 → …


  • QC Physics

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Ultrasonic transducers Engineering & Materials Science
Structural health monitoring Engineering & Materials Science
Acoustic emissions Engineering & Materials Science
transducers Physics & Astronomy
ultrasonics Physics & Astronomy
zinc oxides Physics & Astronomy
lesions Physics & Astronomy
oxide films Physics & Astronomy

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2003 2017

Analysis of acoustic emission data for structural health monitoring of engineering geometries

Ghouri, A. A. & Kirk, K. J. 13 Jun 2017 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Structural health monitoring
Acoustic emissions

Use of sputtered zinc oxide film on aluminium foil substrate to produce a flexible and low profile ultrasonic transducer

Hou, R., Fu, Y. Q., Hutson, D., Zhao, C., Gimenez, E. & Kirk, K. J. May 2016 In : Ultrasonics. 68, p. 54-60 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
zinc oxides
oxide films

All-optical photoacoustic imaging and detection of early-stage dental caries

Sampathkumar, A., Hughes, D. A., Longbottom, C. & Kirk, K. J. Feb 2015 Lasers in Dentistry XXI. Rechmann, P. & Fried, D. (eds.). Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, Vol. 9306, 93060E. (Proceedings of SPIE; vol. 9306)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Imaging and detection of early stage dental caries with an all-optical photoacoustic microscope

Hughes, D. A., Sampathkumar, A., Longbottom, C. & Kirk, K. J. 1 May 2015 In : J. Phys. Conf. Ser.. 581, 1, p. 012002 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
photoacoustic microscopy

Investigation of high-temperature ultrasonic transducer design using lithium niobate piezocomposite

Kirk, K. J., Hou, R., Schmarje, N., Pragada, N. M., Torbay, L. & Hutson, D. Apr 2015 In : Insight - Non-destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring. 57, 4, p. 193-199

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Activities 2015 2019

A Car for Women and Other Stories Exhibition Launch event for Audacious Women festival hosted by City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Kosmala, K. (Chair), Grace, A. (Presenter), Dr Nina Baker (Contributor), Ilona Koscieja (Participant), Kirk, K. (Speaker)
22 Feb 201924 Feb 2019

Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

ICH and Hidden Industrial Herstories in Scotland paper session. UWS conference (In)visible Stories: An investigation into the status of ICH in Scotland

Kosmala, K. (Speaker), Tara Beall (Speaker), Grace, A. (Speaker), Kirk, K. (Speaker), Dr Nina Baker (Speaker), Viza, E. (Speaker), Patricia Munoz De Escalona (Speaker), Dunn, M. (Speaker)
14 May 2018

Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar


Voices of Women in the Great War and its Aftermath

Kosmala, K. (Invited speaker), Kirk, K. (Invited speaker), Dr Nina Baker (Invited speaker), Henrietta Heald (Invited speaker), Sarah Pears (Chair), Anne Locker (Invited speaker)
13 Apr 2018

Activity: Participation in conference


ECU Scotland Cross-Institutional Event on the Attracting Diversity project in Scotland and parallel work in England and Wales

Kirk, K. (Speaker), Patricia Munoz De Escalona (Participant)
7 Jun 2017

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

56th Annual British Conference of Non-Destructive Testing

Kirk, K. (Speaker)
5 Sep 20177 Sep 2017

Activity: Participation in conference

Press / Media

A car for a woman and other stories

Katarzyna Kosmala, Katherine Kirk, Anthony Grace, Dr Nina Baker , Neil Johnson-Symington & Evdoxia Viza


2 items of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Driving ambition ahead of her time

Katarzyna Kosmala, Katherine Kirk, Evdoxia Viza, Anthony Grace & Dr Nina Baker


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research


Photoacoustic effect
Thermal effects
Light emitting diodes
Carbon dioxide