Nov 2016 - present: NSD High Pressure Neutron Scientist: In this role, I coordinate the High Pressure Science Initiative and contribute to NSD's Sample Environment Section as High Pressure Scientist since Jan 2019. From Oct 2017 - Dec 2018, this role also included the position of instrument scientist at SNS's dedicated high pressure beamline SNAP.
Oct 2017 - present: Scientific Director of the annual National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering held jointly with Argonne National Laboratory
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 phase behavior of the Group IVa elements carbon, silicon and germanium and their hydrides under extreme conditions, specifically pressure. A key focus is thereby the synthesis of novel exotic structures 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 and other semiconductor applications, 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 for high-pressure neutron scattering and large-volume synthesis.