Ultra staff
21 Sep 2012







Mike Towrie,  Ian Clark,  Greg GreethamIgor Sazanovich,  Paul Donaldson​,  Emma Gozzard​

Prof Mike Towrie​ - Head of ULTRA Facility


​​​​Research Interests: Ultrafast photochemistry, physics & biology, time resolved linear and non-linear IR and Raman spectroscopy, ultrafast and imaging instrument development, detectors and laser sources.

Background: PhD. University of Glasgow. Resonance Ionisation Mass Spectroscopy.

Honorary Professorship Sheffield University.

Meggers Award 2002 & 2007

Mike joined the LSF in 1989 and his research has centred on development and scientific application of lasers, detectors and spectroscopic and imaging instrumentation including the Raman Kerr Gate, the PIRATE time resolved infrared facilities, the STFC & BBSRC funded ULTRA facility and the (STFC Technology Partnership) Tweezers Nanoprobe microscope.

He is author and co-author on over 190 publications and has 3 patents relating to optical tweezers and sensors.

Tel: 01235 446141

Dr Ian Clark

Ian Clark

Ian obtained his PhD in time-resolved infrared spectroscopy from the University of Nottingham in 1997 before joining the STFC in the same year. Between 1998 and 2006 he was the facility manager of the Nanosecond Science Laboratory during which time time-resolved Raman, infrared and transient absorption spectroscopies were applied to a wide range of photochemical and photobiological studies.

In 2006 Ian took a post in the Ultrafast Laboratory to operate and develop the ultrafast time-resolved Raman and infrared (PIRATE) systems. Research interests include developing Raman spectroscopy techniques and highlights include the development of micro-litre sampling methods, temperature-jump studies and more recently combined lasers with the ISIS muon source to probe free radicals. In 2006 Ian was one of the co-recipients of the year’s Meggers Award.

Ian has worked within the Laser Loan Pool since 1997 loaning laser to UK academic institutes and has experience in installing all of the Loan Pool laser systems. He has also managed the facility since 2004 and is currently Principal Investigator on the £2.6M EPSRC grant.

Tel: 01235 446807

Dr Greg Greetham

Greg Greetham

Instrument Development Leader

Greg gained academic experience in physical chemistry at the University of Leicester and ETH Zurich and industrial experience with ultrafast laser and CCD camera technology development in France and Germany.

Greg joined the CLF at the beginning of the STFC & BBSRC funded ULTRA project to develop the scientific application of ultrafast lasers and molecular dynamics spectroscopy techniques, such as 2D-IR and Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy. Since then, he has had a key role in developing all the ULTRA laser and experimental laboratories and their control systems, as well as supporting ULTRA’s diverse user program. He is currently working on technology overlaps between ULTRA and Artemis, the CLF’s XUV laser facility.


Tel: 01235 446299

Dr Igor Sazanovich

Igor Sazanovich

Instrument Scientist within the Molecular Structure and Dynamics Group.


Igor graduated from Belarusian State University in Minsk, and obtained his Ph.D. from B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics in Minsk. Igor joined the LSF in 2013 to support the maintenance of the MSD laboratory infrastructure, to provide visiting scientists technical and scientific support, to work with the MSD team to develop instrumentation in time resolved spectroscopic and laser-based imaging techniques, and to support operation of lasers in the Laser Loan Pool. Igor has gained academic experience in time resolved laser spectroscopy applications and instrumentation development at B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics, Institute of Physical Chemistry in Warsaw, Wageningen University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Sheffield.

Tel: 01235 446285

Dr Paul Donaldson

Paul Donaldson

Instrument Scientist within the Molecular Structure and Dynamics Group.


Paul's interests centre on the application and development of new laser spectroscopic and spectral imaging techniques to problems in chemistry, biochemistry and materials science. This includes the use of two dimensional infrared (2D-IR) and 2D-IR/Raman spectroscopy, IR-Vis SFG, transient infrared (TR-IR) spectroscopy and related 2nd-5th order nonlinear methods to study structure and dynamics of peptides, proteins, bioinorganic/catalytic nanoparticles and mesoparticles.​

As a scientist working at Ultra, Paul is at the centre of user activities involving 2D-IR spectroscopy and infrared-visible sum frequency generation. The projects that Paul runs emphasise and take advantage of the unique and comprehensive line-up of laser systems available at the CLF. Active projects include:

  • ​The development and application of transient absorption microscopy to study photocatalysis
  • The development of versatile and sensitive 2D-IR spectrometers
  • The development of IR-Vis SFG spectroscopy for studying electrocatalysis
  • IR-Visible four wave mixing 2D-IR spectroscopy
  • 2D-IR and TR-IR imaging

Paul Donaldson
Tel: 01235 567878

Dr Emma Gozzard


Emma joined the ULTRA group in February 2016 as an operations technician to provide support to the group and visiting scientists. She oversees the day-to-day running of the chemistry preparation laboratory and supports ULTRA by coordinating facility operations.  Emma also holds the role of Facility Access Panel Secretary and manages the biannual access panel meetings for both the ULTRA and OCTOPUS facilities.

Prior to her role with ULTRA, Emma worked as Analytical Chemistry Laboratory Manager for NERC’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia. She gained her Ph.D. in fluvial geochemistry from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2008.

Tel: 01235 567716​

Contact: Towrie, Mike (STFC,RAL,CLF)