High Pressure Scientist
Nov 2016 - present: NScD High Pressure Science Coordinator: In this role, I coordinate the NSCD High Pressure Science Initiative and contribute to NScD's Sample Environment Group as High Pressure Scientist. From Oct 2017 - Dec 2018, this role also required me as interim instrument scientist at SNS's dedicated high pressure beamline SNAP.
Aug 2014 - Nov 2016: Weinberg Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This Distinguished Fellowship represents an ORNL staff position with responsibility to the laboratory’s mission as well activities for individual research.
Jul 2011 – Apr 2014: Postdoctoral Researcher, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. This was a research position with some teaching responsibilities at undergraduate and graduate level.
Dec 2006 – Jul 2011: PhD in Physics, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, thesis title: “Structural Characterization of Amorphous Silicon”.
Nov 1999 – Jul 2006: Diplom/M.Sc.in Physics, Universität Augsburg, Germany, thesis title: “Structural changes in amorphous silicon induced by nanoindentation”.
My research interests are centered on the synthesis of functional exotic structures of materials based on the Group IVa elements carbon, silicon and germanium using extreme conditions. The aim of these syntheses are materials that can be recovered to ambient conditions from local energy minima in their high-pressure landscape and that exhibit highly advantageous properties such as a hardness higher than that diamond, characteristics superior for solar power conversion or enabling new methods for energy transport.
These aims are facilitated through detailed in situ investigation of phase behaviors during application of extreme conditions using neutron and X-ray scattering, the exploitation of disordered precursor materials for their lower kinetic barriers and in-depth characterization of precursor and recovered materials. This is accompanied by the technological development of large-volume high-pressure capabilities, which are then deployed simultaneously for synthesis and high-pressure neutron scattering.