My name is Alastair Marshall and I am currently a PhD student working for NVision Imaging Technologies based in Ulm. I completed an integrated Masters in Physics (MPhys) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2018. During my time in St Andrews I completed both research (EPSRC Summer Project) and industry internships across a number of fields. During my Masters project I looked at the generation and characterisation of resonant radiation in photonic crystal fibres. This followed on from my EPSRC internship where I looked at characterising ultrafast laser pulses. Eventually I decided to pursue a PhD in optimal control where my main focus is the application of optimal control to quantum sensing using nitrogen vacancy (NV) centres in diamond. These are promising solid state qubits consisting of a point defect in the diamond which can be manipulated with microwaves and lasers. A key challenge that we have to overcome is that of noise, so I have been working to characterise and then compensate for the noisy environment surrounding the NV. I’ve also developed an alternative implementation of an optimal control algorithm (called GRAPE, originally developed by the Glaser group) by borrowing automatic differentiation techniques from machine learning, leading to a simple, performant and versatile implementation of the algorithm.