Experimental Science Group staff




Experimental Science Group staff

Rob Clarke (Experimental Science Group Leader)
+44 (0) 1235 446 898

Rob first joined the CLF in 1996 as a sandwich student on the Titania KrF laser during his degree in Engineering Physics at Sheffield Hallam University. After qualifying Rob Joined the CLF as a member of staff in 1998 in the CLF's Target Area Group looking after experiments in Vulcan Target Area West. Over the next years (and decades) Rob moved up through the group, taking on more challenges and responsibilities before finally becoming Group leader for the renamed Experimental Science Group (ESG). Rob has spent the majority of his career working with the community planning, designing and performing experiments, and is very experienced in experimental design & operations.  . Rob also has the responsibility of Radiation protection Supervisor for the High Power Lasers, performing shielding calculations, managing active component inventories etc and undertook a MPhil in laser-induced nuclear reactions at the University of Strathclyde as a part time activity (completing in 2006). 

+44 (0) 1235 445 963

After obtaining his PhD in high intensity laser-plasma interactions in 2008 from Imperial College James joined the CLF working as a post-doctoral researcher studying aspects of ion acceleration and developing new high repetition rate diagnostics. Since joining the Experimental Science Group in 2012, James has worked primarily in the Vulcan and Gemini target areas, planning and overseeing user experiments, delivering target area upgrades, and coordinating training programmes for young scientists. James maintains an independent research program in collaboration with the CLF users, currently focussed on advanced methods of controlling laser-accelerated fast electron beams.

Margaret Notley
+44 (0) 1235 446 345

Margaret joined the Central Laser Facility in 1997 after achieving a BSc in Physics from Imperial College, University of London.  In the time since, Margaret, collaborating with the CLF user community, has designed, realised and conducted experiments in Vulcan target areas West, East, Petawatt and Gemini Target Area 2. In addition to this Margaret implements facility developments and trains young scientists including sandwich course students, PhD and Post Doctoral users of the facilities.  Margaret has amassed a great wealth of experience in experiment design and facility operations and she is currently the operations manager for Vulcan High Power Laser Target Areas, overseeing and giving hands on support to the whole programme of scheduled experiments and facility developments.  Her main areas of specific expertise are long pulse based plasma physics experiments along with time integrated and time resolved x-ray spectroscopy diagnostics.

+44 (0) 1235 446 074

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Nicola obtained her PhD from University of York researching into plasma-based X-ray lasers in 2008, then spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at York, before joining the Gemini group in 2010, and has recently moved to join the Experimental Science Group. Nicola’s primary role is to co-ordinate the planning and delivery of user experiments in the Gemini and Vulcan facilities, along with co-ordinating user training activities. Nicola is also Secretary to the Facility Access Panel which allocates experimental time to the Vulcan, Gemini and Orion facilities. Nicola continues with her research program, primarily focussing on X-ray spectroscopy measurements for diagnosing fast electron transport.

+44 (0) 1235 446 181

David obtained his PhD in 2009 in high intensity laser-driven ion acceleration from the University of Strathclyde and worked as a post-doctoral researcher focusing on laser-driven ion acceleration and fast electron transport in overdense plasmas. In 2012 David joined the Experimental Science Group as a link scientist working primarily in the Vulcan target areas planning and overseeing user experiments, delivering target area and diagnostic upgrades, and providing training for young scientists. David's research interests, in collaboration with CLF users, are currently fast electron transport in overdense plasmas and electro-magnetic pulse generation from high intensity laser interactions.​

+44 (0) 1235 446 745

Yiftach's experience as a scientist stretches over both academics and industry. While finalising his PhD in high power laser-matter interaction in 2012, he was already part of the start-up core team of 'HIL Applied Medical' – an innovation company developing a laser based accelerator for hadron therapy, where he was lead physicist. In 2014 Yiftach joined the process team as an R&D physicist of 'Landa Corporation', a start-up company in the print industry. Yiftach initiated and lead R&D projects, as well as customer facing and marketing. In 2016 Yiftach joined the CLF's Experimental Science Group as a link scientist, where he is also developing a cryogenic target system and pursues his research interest in laser based acceleration mechanisms.  ​
+44 (0) 1235 446 422

Emer joined the Experimental Science Group in 2014 as a sandwich student during her degree at the University of Bath. After graduating with a BSc in Physics, she returned to the group in Sept 2016 as a link scientist planning and supporting user experiments in the Vulcan Target Areas.​​​

Ceri Brenner
+44 (0) 1235 567 022

Dr Ceri Brenner studied physics at Oxford University before completing a PhD in laser-solid interaction physics with University of Strathclyde while based at the CLF. Her PhD project was funded by the LIBRA consortium studying laser-driven ion acceleration for applications. She has since become a physics-engineering-business hybrid with a passion for developing laser-accelerator technology that tackles grand challenges. She specialises in using petawatt-class lasers to generate bright flashes of ions, x-rays and neutrons and is pursuing the development of applications of this technology such as non-destructive imaging and inspection in the nuclear, aerospace, security and medical sectors or mimicking space radiation for space technology component testing.

She is a senior application development scientist for high power lasers and has a joint appointment between STFC's Business and Development Directorate at the CLF. Ceri was recently awarded the 2017 Institute of Physics Clifford-Paterson medal for the application of physics in an industrial context. 

+44 (0) 1235 446 730