Allan Gillespie

Prof Allan Gillespie

Emeritus Professor of Physics


Prof Gillespie currently occupies the Chair of Photonics at Dundee University, and leads research groups in ultrafast electron beam diagnostics for free-electron lasers and advanced particle accelerators, and location-aware wireless communication technologies.

Before joining Dundee University in 2004, Prof Gillespie was Professor of Photonics at the University of Abertay Dundee, and was the Director of the EPICentre research laboratory at that institution. His research work at Abertay ranged from medium-energy nuclear physics with electron accelerators, and free-electron laser (FEL) physics and technology, through photorefractive nonlinear optics and real-time holography, to the physics and applications of display devices, including wearable and wireless-connected systems.

Part of his early research career was spent at the National Institute for Nuclear and High-Energy Physics (NIKHEF) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he worked on the design of large magnetic spectrometers for electron beam analysis and beam diagnostics systems.

He spent a period as Visiting Scientist at the Hansen High-Energy Physics Laboratory (HEPL) at Stanford University in California, USA, the first demonstrators of the free-electron laser principle. His work there focused on electron accelerator design and beam diagnostics for FELs, and he maintains regular research contacts with Stanford, SLAC and several other US FEL laboratories. The group also perform experiments at the FELIX FEL facility at Rijnhuizen, The Netherlands, and the FLASH FEL at DESY, Hamburg, Germany. He also has strong collaborative links with the Alpha-X FEL project at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, and the SCAPA developments arising from this activity.

The wireless research activities are pursued with colleagues at Abertay University and elsewhere, and are linked with proposals for large-scale wireless networks within Scotland.


Materials And Photonics Systems (MAPS) grouping website:


  • BSc (Hons, 1) in Natural Philosophy (Physics), University of Glasgow.
  • PhD University of Glasgow in Nuclear Physics, "Electron Scattering from the Even Isotopes of Cadmium"
  • FInstP and CPhys, Institute of Physics, UK


  • Free-electron laser physics and technology
  • Ultrafast electron beam diagnostics
  • Advanced particle accelerator and light source design (e.g. for the International Linear Collider (ILC) and the 4GLS Light Source Projects)
  • Location-aware wireless technologies
  • Emerging display technologies


  • I Wilke, A M MacLeod, W A Gillespie, G Berden, G M H Knippels, A F G van der Meer, Single-shot electron-beam bunch length measurements, Phys Rev Lett 88(12), 2002
  • G Berden, S P Jamison, A M MacLeod, W A Gillespie, B Redlich and AFG van der Meer, Phys Rev Lett 93, 2004
  • SP Jamison, AM MacLeod, G Berden, DA Jaroszynski, WA Gillespie, Temporally-resolved electro-optic effect, Optics Letters 31(11), 2006
  • G. Berden, W.A. Gillespie, S.P. Jamison, E.-A. Knabbe, A.M. MacLeod, A.F.G. van der Meer, P.J. Phillips, H. Schlarb, B. Schmidt, P. Schmeuser, and B. Steffen, Benchmarking of electro-optic monitors for femtosecond electron bunches. Phys Rev Lett, Sep 2007