Our Team

Find out more about the diverse talents, expertise and experience of our team that enables us to deliver practical solutions to our partners and clients

Dr John Day


Clifton Photonics is an ideal opportunity to exploit 40 years of experience in instrument development.

Having graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in Physics I worked on instrument design at Sira Ltd, including the development of the UK National Humidity Standard.

I then earned a Masters in Physics of Materials and a PhD in Spectroscopy Instrumentation from the University of Bristol. I became a researcher in the Electron Microscopy group at the School of Physics, University of Bristol before joining the newly founded Interface Analysis Centre (IAC) in 1991, eventually becoming Deputy Director. I continue to work at the IAC, part-time, as a Senior Research Fellow.

Throughout the research I’ve undertaken, I’ve found that optical spectroscopy is a powerful tool that can be used across a wide range of areas – from medical devices for the detection of cancer, to characterising environmental degradation in jet engines.

I enjoy making things, and the creativity of my work. I am the named inventor on 7 patents, including the development of the Renishaw SEMSCAR, a Raman spectroscopy interface for electron microscopes.

When I’m not working, I’m in the garage with motorbikes and engines, undertaking woodland management, and navigating the canals and waterways of industrial Britain in a narrowboat.

Specialisms: Raman spectroscopy, Hyperspectral imaging, Optical design, Electronics, Software development, Computing, Computer control systems development, Materials science, problem-solving and invention


Dr Scott Greenwell

COO/Managing Director

Leaving my academic career to focus my time and energy on Clifton Photonics was (and still is) the riskiest and best decision of my professional life.

A Physics degree from the University of Bristol led to a Rolls-Royce sponsored PhD working on the inspection of turbine blade coatings with a fluorescence imaging device invented by John. My post-doctoral work at the Interface Analysis Centre (IAC) focussed on the development of spectroscopic instruments for aerospace applications – mainly using Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence imaging, and hyperspectral imaging. I also participated in a diverse array of projects, ranging from medical device development to nuclear materials research.

Bringing that knowledge, my project management and relationship building skills into Clifton Photonics has been deeply rewarding. Nothing makes me happier than solving a previously deemed ‘impossible’ client problem and delivering game changing solutions. The diversity of our projects, clients, and partners makes my role challenging but very satisfying.

In my free time I enjoy sailing. There is so much to learn: Navigation, meteorology, skippering, sail trim, knots and splices... It's always different, even if you sail in the same place, and sailing out of sight of land or another vessel is a very special feeling.

Specialisms: Raman spectroscopy, Fluorescence Imaging, Novel instrumentation, Materials Science – aerospace materials, partnership and collaboration development, Business Administration, Strategic director, project management

Dr David Megson-Smith


For me, Clifton Photonics combines the scientific rigor of an academic research environment with the advantage of seeing our creations move beyond prototype, to reach their full potential, deployed and making a difference within industry.

I graduated from the University of Bath with a degree in Physics going on to earn my PhD in Nanotechnology at the University of Bristol. In addition to Clifton Photonics, I currently work alongside John at the Interface Analysis Centre as a part-time Senior Research Associate.

My work at the university has enabled me to develop a diverse technical background in nuclear robotics, blood clot detection, diagnostic medical probes, and remote sensing. I am most proud of the infield development of a remotely operated pan-tilt gamma radiation scanning unit, which, within days, was deployed at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and has since be re-requested for further deployments.

Like John, I have a passion for inventing. With a PhD student at the University of Bristol I conceived numerous data processing techniques, some of which are now patented. In addition to bringing a range of technical skills to the group, I am an ideas man, always asking questions, pushing and testing the limits of what we assume is possible.

Outside of work I have an interest in astronomy which includes activities such as building a customized tracking scope for deep sky imaging in my spare time.

Specialisms: Nuclear Robotics, Raman spectroscopy, Miniaturised sensors, Optical design, Software development, 3D design, computer control, and data processing skills.

Dr John Day's Patents

WO2013064804 Raman Needle Probe (October 2011)
Applicants: University of Bristol and Gloucester Hospital NHSFT. Inventors: Day ; Stone

WO2013017818 An Optical Device (August 2011)
Applicants: University of Bristol and Gloucester Hospital NHSFT. Inventors: Day ; Hutchings.

WO 9958939 - Electron microscope and spectroscopy system
Applicant: Renishaw PLC. Inventors: Day; Bennett.

US 2003053048 - Electron microscope and spectroscopy system
Applicant: Renishaw PLC. Inventors: Bennett; Woolfrey; Day; Bewick.

US 2004090621 - Spectroscopy apparatus and method
Applicant: Renishaw PLC. Inventors: Bennett; Day ; Meaden

US 2011180727A1 - An apparatus for determining the presence of an alumina layer on a surface of a component
Applicant : Rolls-Royce PLC. Inventors: Kell; Day.

US 2007153285 - Measuring a surface characteristic
Applicant: Surfoptic Ltd. Inventors: Elton, Day

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