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Staff

Prof. Andrew Holland: Andrew is an expert in detector physics and has worked on the development of a number of successful space instruments. Working on a range of detector developments over the past two decades, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience advising on instrument related issues, in particular radiation damage effects and the prediction of orbital performance.

Dr. Ross Burgon: Ross joined the Open University in 2009 in the Centre for Electronic Imaging working on for the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium and also spend four years as an Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) funded Innovations and Partnerships Scheme (IPS) Knowledge Exchange Fellow before his current role at Space Project Development Manager started in 2016. Ross' role involves supporting the spaceflight instrumentation research activities at the Open University through business and bid development and project management as well as the operational management of the Centre for Electronic Imaging and the University's strategic investment in Space research

Dr. Mark Leese: Mark is managing the JANUS camera for the ESA JUICE mission to Jupiter and several other projects (including Euclid VIS and Athena WFI) for the CEI. He is a spaceflight project manager with over two decades of experience including the Cassini-Huygens, Stardust, Rosetta, Beagle 2 and ExoMars missions. He graduated from Leeds University (Physics), University College London (Microwaves and modern optics) and The Open University (Planetary sciences). His experience before academia was in the defence and commercial space industries.

Martine Harvey: Martine is the Regional Space Innovation Manager at the OU and is responsible for developing innovative technology and commercialisation projects as part of the SPRINT SME engagement programme. She has been working as a technology and innovation specialist for many years and one of her main areas of expertise is in applying research to address real world challenges. She has worked across many different technology areas, from space instrumentation to driverless cars.
At Oxford University she was an Innovation Partnerships Fellow, working with the Astronomy and Particle Physics groups to commercialise research. Martine has an MPhys degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a MSc in Microwave Communications.
Outside of work, Martine loves the great outdoors and she can be found cycling, gardening, climbing, hiking and practicing Yoga.

Karen Guyler: Karen helps manage the CEI group, and can assist in the coordination of any group-related response to external questions and requests. She is a proficient writer of suspense novels, and speaks fluent English, as well as French and Italian.

 

Research Staff

Dr. Edgar Allanwood: Edgar joined the CEI with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and Electronics from the University of Liverpool in 2011. He has since completed a Ph.D. in the Point-Spread Function Characterisation and Optimisation of a Euclid VIS CCD for the ESA Euclid Mission. His current role is working as an Image Test and Characterisation Engineer for the electro-optical characterisation of the CIS115 JANUS instrument detector for the ESA JUICE Mission. Edgar specialises in modelling and development of automated optical test benches for detector characterisation and development of hardware and software solutions for detector heavy ion testing. When not imaging with CCDs or CMOS Image Sensors, he enjoys 3D modelling/visualisation, 3D printing and rapid prototyping of hardware and software.

Dr. Nathan Bush: Nathan completed a PhD within the CEI in 2017 working to better understand the impact of radiation damage on EMCCD technology for the WFIRST Coronagraph mission. He now works as a research fellow within the group and is involved in multiple research projects that include the development EMCCD technology for space missions, development of P-Channel CCD technology and the study of silicon defects caused by displacement damage effects.

Dr. Chiaki Crews: Chiaki joined the CEI in August 2018 after completing a PhD at University College London (UCL) on the non-destructive detection of poor-quality medicines using X-ray diffraction. During her time at UCL she also worked as a research assistant for several months, testing an X-ray backscatter setup for carbon fibre composite aircraft NDE, and spent a short stint carrying out a scoping study on analytical methods for counterfeit goods detection. Her current role as optical detector engineer involves predicting the performance of the CIS115 sensor within the JANUS camera as it is subjected to various types of radiation throughout ESA’s JUICE mission. Outside of work, she enjoys travelling, hiking, dnb raves, playing basketball, and volunteering.

Dr. Ben Dryer: Ben recieved his PhD in 2013 for the study of radiation damage and X-ray spectroscopic performance in CMOS Active Pixel Sensors (APSs) for space applications, for both astronomy and planetary observation. Ben spent a year analysing radiation damage effects on the spectral performance of CCDs in Gaia's focal plane, and spent 3 months at JAXA ISAS performing X-ray performance characterisation on APSs at high frame rates for solar observation on board Solar-C. Ben has an interest in cryogenic irradiation and how it differs from room-temperature irradiation, and is currently involved in minimising radiation induced charge transfer inefficiency on board ESA's Euclid after launch as part of the Euclid VIS instrument team. Ben also has an interest in p-channel CCD's and the potential difference in performance when compared to N-channel under irradiation.

Dr. David Hall: David is a Lecturer in Physical Sciences at the Open University. Joining the CEI in 2006, over the past decade he has worked in many different areas, including the simulation and analysis of radiation induced damage to charge transfer in CCDs for the ESA Euclid and Gaia missions, the joint ESA and Chinese Academy of Sciences SMILE mission and NASA's WFIRST mission, novel instrumentation for medical imaging and synchrotron research (including soft X-ray and electron detection using the EM-CCD for imaging and spectrometry applications), and radiation induced background ("instrument background") in space-borne detectors. Within this research he has developed new methods to characterise radiation-induced defects ("traps") in silicon, leading to a more fundamental understanding of how radiation damage affects charge transfer in CCDs.

Oliver Hetherington: Oliver Joined the CEI in 2017 from the University of Leicester with an MSc in Space Exploration Systems and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering. His role in the CEI consists of CAD for experimental test campaigns and Mechanical Engineering support for Radiation Shielding design. His outside interests include, history, rocketry and rock climbing.

Michael Holland: Mike came to CEI as Electronic Support Technician. He has been responsible for resurrecting the store rooms to their former glory, advising on any soldering/electronics production queries. Mike spent many years working in busy production environments such as XCAM Ltd and Siemens Rail Automation and is a solderer certified to the European Space Agency’s ECSS standards. He also recently completed a formative degree in Contemporary Circus & Physical Theatre, allowing him a broader view on life and, of course, the art of science.

Dr. Jonathan Keelan: Jonathan studied Theoretical Physics at the University of Nottingham before starting a PhD at the Open University. His thesis was on the topic of global energy minimisation of arterial trees, with specific application to embolic stroke. Currently he works as a project officer in the CEI, using Geant4 to model instrument background in space.

Dr. Xiao Meng: Xiao received the Ph.D. degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Sheffield in 2015 working on III-V avalanche photodiodes. After receiving his PhD, he joined Cardiff University as a research associate and was awarded the Ser Cymru II Fellowship from Welsh Government in 2016. He is currently an Imaging Test and Characterisation Engineer in CEI working on the test and characterisation campaigns of a number of short-term CCD and CMOS projects such as the Time Delay and Integration (TDI) CMOS.

Dr. Steven Parsons: Steve completed his PhD in Detecting Ionising Radiation with Polarised Light at the University of Surrey in 2017 which investigated using the Pockels effect in CZT to detect X-rays using a CCD imager and a fibre-optic based interferometer. Prior to completing his doctorate Steve worked for several years at DSTL as an electronic engineer developing novel RF based detector systems. Steve joined the CEI in late 2017 as a SMILE detector scientist and is responsible for running and analysing the data from the CCD radiation damage test campaigns, Steve is also the local RPS for the CEI. Outside interests include swimming, social Latin dance and photography.

Dr. Martin Prest: Martin received his PhD from the University of Warwick in 2001 where he studied SiGe MOSFETs; germanium was used to strain the lattice, forming quantum wells in the device with high carrier mobility, with application in pMOS devices. Interface-trap measurements and carrier scattering models were used to show that Ge segregation and interface roughness were limiting factors on device performance. SiGe pMOSFETs were found to have low 1/f noise. His post-doctoral research at Warwick included investigation of superconducting tunnel-junctions for electron-cooling to 0.1 K, with application in THz image sensors. At Birmingham University he developed micromechanical actuators for tuning of superconducting microwave circuits. At Cardiff University he used finite-element models to optimise geometry of thermoelectric power convertors. Since joining the CEI in 2018 Martin has been using Silvaco simulation tools for the development of CCD and CMOS image sensors.

Dr. George Randall: George joined the CEI in 2018 as a calibration scientist on the SMILE mission. After originally studying Mechanical Engineering and working within the power industry for 4 years George returned to his studies and completed an MSc and PhD in Medical Physics from University College London. This was followed by a post-doc with the University of Liverpool working with Compton Imaging systems. Outside of work George is a keen cyclist, runner and caver.

Dr. Jesper Skottfelt: Jesper did his PhD in Astronomy at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark. Here he worked on an Electron Multiplying CCD instrument and was responsible for the instrument control software and data analysis software. Using this instrument he, among other things, worked on stellar variability studies of Galactic globular clusters, and is involved in the search for exoplanets using the gravitational microlensing method. At the CEI Jesper is working on a charge transfer simulation code and testing of the CCDs for the VIS instrument on the ESA Euclid mission.

Dr. Matthew Soman: Matthew began a PhD jointly funded by the Paul Scherrer Institute and the Open University in 2010, which focused on the development of high resolution soft X-ray detection for application to the Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS) spectrometer, SAXES. This led to the development of RIXSCam, an EM-CCD camera that applies post processing algorithms to significantly improve the resolution of the detector at SAXES which is now being installed in RIXS spectrometers around the world. Following his PhD, Matthew carried out a post-doc to characterise and space-qualify the CIS115, a CMOS APS for the JANUS camera on ESA's JUICE mission, destined for launch in 2022. Matthew is now working on the CCDs for the Soft X-ray Imager on SMILE, combining his interests of X-ray detection in CCDs with understanding and mitigating the effects of space radiation damage observed in solid-state imaging devices.

Dr. Konstantin Stefanov: Konstantin received his PhD from Saga University in Japan in 2001 working on radiation damage effects in CCDs for detector applications in high energy physics experiments. After that he joined Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and worked on high speed column-parallel CCDs, readout electronics, semiconductor device simulations and characterisation. At RAL he led the development of an innovative sensor in deep submicron CMOS technology incorporating CCD-style charge transfer for in-pixel signal storage. From 2008 he worked at the scientific and electronic engineering consultancy company Sentec Ltd in Cambridge. Konstantin joined CEI in 2012 to continue his research into advanced CCD and CMOS devices.

 

Post-Graduate Students

Alice Dunford: Alice completed her undergraduate degree in physics in 2015 from Loughborough University. Working towards her PhD under Konstantin Stefanov and Andrew Holland, she will be performing simulation and experimental work on an Electron Multiplying CCD prototype device for use in astronomical imaging. Outside interests include horse riding, music and surfing.

Matthew Lewis: Matthew graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2015 with an MSci in Physics with Astronomy. Working under Neil Murray and Andrew Holland, and with visiting researcher James Tutt, Matthew will be working in collaboration with XCAM to optimise an EM-CCD based x-ray camera for use on NASA’s OGRE sounding rocket, a project aiming to increase the technology readiness levels for several x-ray imaging components. His outside interests include archery, fencing, and sailing.

David Gopinath: David graduated from the University of York in 2015 with a Masters in Astrophysics. He is working at XCAM helping in the testing and development of cameras housing EM-CCDs for RIXS applications. He will be working towards a part time PhD funded by XCAM to improve the resolution of RIXS cameras and will be working under Matthew Soman, David Hall and Andrew Holland. Outside interests include rugby, cricket and playing the drums.

James Ivory: James joined the group in April 2016 after obtaining an MPhys from Swansea University. He will be working towards his PhD in the area of high performance CMOS sensors for use in precision astronomy under Konstantin Stefanov and Andrew Holland.

Daniel-Dee Lofthouse-Smith: Daniel-Dee joined the group in April 2016 after graduating from the University of Liverpool with an MSci in Physics. Working under Matthew Soman and Andrew Holland he will be working towards a PhD entitled "Developing the CMOS Image Sensors for the JANUS Camera on ESA’s JUICE Mission to Jupiter", a mission which is scheduled for Jupiter arrival by 2030. Outside interests include rugby, football and athletics.

Anton Lindley-DeCaire: Anton graduated from Loughborough University in 2016 with a masters in physics. Working under David Hall and Ben Dryer, Anton will be working on cryogenic irradiation and testing the impact of different radiation types on silicon based detectors. Outside interests include guitar, piano, tennis, squash, football, basketball, video games, board games, movies.

Chris Davis: Chris joined the group in February 2017 after graduating from the University of Warwick with an MPhys in Physics. Chris is studying the effect of incident cosmic rays and the cosmic X-ray background on space-based X-ray telescopes, such as ESA's upcoming ATHENA mission, as part of his PhD, supervised by Andrew Holland, David Hall and Jonathan Keelan. His outside interests include playing squash and tabletop war games.

Thomas Buggey: Tom graduated from the University of Leicester in 2016 with a MPhys with Astrophysics. He started working at the CEI in February 2017, carrying out some data analysis work on the ESA SMILE mission. In October 2017, he started his PhD looking at the effects of radiation damage on the CCDs of the SXI on the SMILE mission."

Harry Fox: Harry graduated from the University of Sussex with a Masters in Astronomy in 2018. His PhD title is GravityCam - A Novel High-Speed and Wide-Field Instrument for a Large Astronomical Telescope, Detecting Exoplanets and Dark Matter, which is supervised by Jesper Skottfelt, Colin Snodgrass, Konstantin Stefanov and Andrew Holland. Outside interests includes Reading, Video games, Making Hitchhiker's.

 

Visiting Researchers

Prof. David Burt: David is a world expert in the design and manufacture of semiconductor devices. He has worked at GEC Hirst Research labs and e2v throughout the history of CCDs, and has introduced many innovative changes to CCD design for improved performance. David is seconded from e2v part-time in the group and assists with PhD student and post-doctoral researcher training, and in addition supports the research activities of the group.

Prof. Mike Cruise: Mike Cruise has worked at UCL, RAL and the University of Birmingham on many space projects over the past five decades. He started his career at MSSL developing X-ray astronomy imaging and detector technologies. In 1986 Mike moved to RAL as Astrophysics Group Leader , later becoming Associate Director for Space Science. In 1983 he had developed an interest in General Relativity and gravitational waves and in 1995 was appointed to the chair of Astrophysics and Space Research at the University of Birmingham where he founded the Gravitational Wave Group that played a significant role in the discovery announced in 2016. Mike has chaired many space science committees in the UK and internationally and is currently President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He continues an interest in the interaction of electromagnetic and gravitational waves.

Prof. Chris Damerell: Starting as a grad student in 1962 (moving from Cape Town U to Oxford U) Chris' early career (Nimrod at RAL, AGS at BNL, PS at CERN) provided him with a great opportunity to learn the skills of an experimental physicist, working in groups with excellent and supportive leaders. In 1970, he started to develop micron precision tracking detectors, in contrast to then-current limits of ~100 μm possible using drift chambers. The physics motivation was shaky, but his group came to the fore after the discovery of charmed particles (with measurable lifetimes of ~10-13 sec) in 1974. His group pioneered pixelated vertex detectors in CERN (fixed target) then SLAC (SLC e+ e- collider). After the great physics success at SLD, he has worked to develop even more adventurous vertex detectors for future colliders, and recently expanded his horizons to consider novel tracking detectors using CMOS APS arrays (barrel radii ~2 m, ~30 Gpixels). The hope is to replace the current generation of microstrip-based tracking detectors, which are fairly opaque and cause many particles to interact before reaching the outer detectors. Chris is a visiting professor in the CEI and as well as passing on his knowledge and experience to all members of the group, is currently working with Konstantin Stefanov and David Burt on CCD development for LSST.

Dr. Paul Jerram: Paul has worked in the imaging division of Teledyne-e2v for nearly 25 years following a Ph.D. in atomic physics at University College London and a number of roles in different technology areas within e2v. As Chief Engineer for space imaging he is responsible for ensuring that Teledyne-e2v’s imaging technology is developed to meet customers’ needs and for sharing the roadmap with customers.

Dr. David Lumb: Dr David Lumb is an expert on space science instrumentation. He has worked for 30 years on developments of X-ray and gamma-ray image sensors and optics. He has been involved in several successful astronomy projects, including NASA Chandra and ESA XMM-Newton, for which he was the Instrument Team Leader. At present he is the Study Scientist for the International X-ray Observatory project. David currently visits the CEI group to work on some research projects and forge closer links between the CEI research group and ESA science department.

Prof. Craig Mackay: Craig Mackay is Professor of Image Science Emeritus in the University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy. He has many years of experience working particularly in detector technologies for astronomy. He was a member of the Hubble Space Telescope Faint Object Camera team and has worked from the earliest days on the application CCDs to astronomy and other kinds of instrumentation in the physical and life sciences. More recently he has worked with electron multiplying CCDs and now with CMOS detectors. He has led a group in Cambridge that developed a range of Lucky Imaging techniques and most recently in combining them with low-order adaptive optic systems. The GravityCam project was originally started by him.

Dr. Mark Robbins: Dr Mark Robbins is an expert in imaging technologies, with a particular interest in radiation damage effects. He has been involved with the development of advanced CCD technologies such as the electron multiplying CCD used for single photon imaging. He is currently leading the detector engineering activities for the Optical Payloads Group of Surrey Satellite Technology, where he is involved in radiation effects studies and also with the integration of detectors for visible, NIR, SWIR and MIR Earth Observation applications.

Dr. James Tutt: James completed his PhD, based around the use of EM-CCDs for high resolution soft X-ray spectrometers, at the Open University in the CEI in 2012. He then continued at the Open University as a Post Doc working on the use of EM-CCDs in medical imaging before moving to a Post Doc position at the University of Iowa in the USA in 2014. In Iowa James is working on a sub-orbital rocket mission that is designed to test a high resolution soft X-ray spectrometer based on EM-CCD cameras. As part of this, James is acting as a technical liaison between the University of Iowa and the Open University, who are providing the camera system.