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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. 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.

James Endicott: James is the Academic Liaison Lead for the Space Academic Network. SPAN comprises the heads, or equivalent, of the principal space research groups across the UK together with representatives from related organisations. The network is actively looking to grow and expand to provide a single body to represent the academic community working in research either of or from space. James’ role is to help grow SPAN, coordinate its activities and support the interests of the community. James represents SPAN in the Space Growth Partnership and is a contact point for UKSpace’s Space Science and Exploration Committee.

Timothy Arnold: Tim joined CEI in June 2020 as Space Project Manager. Tim will take over from Mark Leese to manage the SMILE and THESEUS ESA projects, Tim will also assist development of proposals for new externally funded research. Tim brings a wealth of project management experience having spent over 10 years working within a commercial engineering background. Previously Tim worked for Millbrook Special Projects where his project management roles involved working with UK MoD and other government agencies to deliver niche, one-off programmes and respond to urgent capability requirements. Prior to this Tim was a Senior Project Manager at an engineering consultancy. During this time Tim was responsible for managing several specialist engineering consultancy projects. Some of these projects were UK based, but for the most part they were for an international client base including Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and the USA.

Research Staff

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.

Dr. Julian Heymes: Julian completed a masters degree in Micro and Nano Electronics from the Université de Strasbourg in 2015. He continued with a PhD in Physics from the same university which he completed in 2018. His thesis title was "The Depletion of CMOS Pixel Sensors: Studies, Charecterization, and Applications" and he worked on analytical models and TCAD simulations of AC-coupled pixel structures, the design of a sensor prototype, charecterization of prototype structures as well as experimentation and validation of CMOS sensors. Julian joined the CEI in October 2018 as an Image Test System Engineer working on various projects such as WFIRST, UVQE, p-channel CCDs and curved CCDs.

Dr. Neil Hollyhoke: Neil joined the OU in April 2020 as a radiation shielding scientist. He is working on several projects within the CEI but is currently focused on validating radiation shielding simulations for the ATHENA X-ray telescope. His MSc focused on nuclear power and his PhD analysed structures in novel steel alloys. He listens to a wide range of metal and occasionally other genres, and his hobbies include an assortment of tabletop and video games, juggling, fencing, hiking, and bouldering.

Dr. Michael Hubbard: Michael joined the CEI in May 2020 after completing his PhD. Previously he has completed his degrees at two fellow SEPnet institutions: the University of Sussex (MPhys) and the University of Surrey (PhD). During his PhD, Michael also worked as a consultant on projects including creating 3D printed organ phantoms for radiation dosimetry. His PhD was titled "Light transport modelling of pulse shape discrimination within plastic scintillators" and utilised Geant4. At the CEI Michael continues to use this toolkit to model the radiation background for various missions including ATHENA, SMILE and THESEUS. He will focus on building an understanding of the radiation environment in space for different orbits. Michael's outside interests include TV, movies, card games and 3D printing.

Artur Klarecki: Artur Klarecki joined the CEI in December 2019 as an Electronic Technician. Artur previously studied in Poland, learning electronics and studying to become an electronic engineering technician. After this, he had worked in various companies such XCAM, AG Electronics, and Howdens Joinery Group in different engineering and technician roles. His work, both previous and current, has involved building and assembling electronics for various applications.

Zoe Lee-Payne: Zoe completed her PhD at Aberystwyth University looking at high energy ions in the Jovian System. Her thesis focused on generating a method for correcting Galileo mission data to account for radiation damage to the ion composition measurement instruments, then using corrected data to asses radiation weathering on the surface of Europa. This was followed by a post-doc in Aberystwyth, working on the Particle Environment Package on ESA’s JUICE mission, simulating radiation levels through shielding designs. She joined the CEI in June 2019 as a detector simulation scientist for the EUCLID mission.

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's research interests focus on sensors for soft X-ray applications and in the space environment. His PhD was a collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute and focused on high resolution soft X-ray detection using specialist algorithms and Electron Multiplying CCDs. Cameras using this methodology ('RIXSCam') are now installed in spectrometers around the world. In his post-doc career, he has specialised in the optimisation and space-qualification of a CMOS Active Pixel Sensor for the JANUS camera on ESA's JUICE mission, and Matthew is leading the Open University's contribution to the Soft X-ray Imager consortium for the SMILE spacecraft. Matthew is actively involved in other instrumentation projects within the Centre for Electronic Imaging that span his interests including the development of a CMOS sensor for the THESEUS Soft X-ray Imager and the focal plane camera for the OGRE sounding rocket.

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

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.

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, Konstantin Stefanov and Andrew Holland. Outside interests includes reading, video games and having an elaborate knowledge of niche sci-fi.

Domenic Ward: Domenic graduated from Durham in 2015 with a BSc in Physics, after which he took a couple of years out to travel around.  After a year-long stint as a failure analysis technician he decided to do a PhD and joined the CEI in October 2018. Dom is studying the formation and annealing behaviour of defects in silicon detectors. Outside interests include eating an extraordinary amount of eggs, working on classic cars and motorcycles and going to the gym.

Saad Ahmed: Saad Ahmed completed a Bachelor's degree in Physics as well as Masters' degrees in Physics and Computational Fluid Dynamics from Imperial College London. His current PhD project involves investigating the radiation damage experienced by the CCDs of the Gaia focal plane with an emphasis on comparing experimental tests to in-flight results. His outsied interests include reading, writing, art and video games.

Lawrence Jones: Lawrence Jones graduated from the University of Bristol in 2019 with an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He will be working towards his PhD developing imaging payloads for CubeSats, supervised by Chiaki Crews, James Endicott, and Andrew Holland. Outside interests include Orienteering and tabletop wargames.

Daniel Evan: Daniel graduated from the University of Leicester in 2019 with an MPhys in Physics with Space Science and Technology. Supervised by Andrew Holland and Matthew Soman, he is assisting with the development of the flight X-ray camera for NASA's OGRE mission as part of his PhD. Outside interests include video games, tinkering with computers, and space exploration.

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.

Contact us

Centre for Electronic Imaging
School of Physical Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA, United Kingdom


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