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School Staff

The school staff consists of lecturers and tutors. There will be tutor groups consisting of 6-8 students, each of which has an assigned tutor, and the aim is that all practical work is carried out as a group, with the tutor making sure all members of the group understand each different piece of work or topic. A list of the lecturers and tutors can be found below.


Dr. Andrew Bond

Andrew studied Chemistry in Oxford, followed by a PhD in the Department of Chemistry in Cambridge. The majority of his research career has been spent in Denmark, at the University of Southern Denmark then at the University of Copenhagen, working in the areas of crystal engineering and pharmaceutical materials science. He returned to Cambridge Chemistry in 2015, where he manages the Department’s crystallography facilities. He has served as a co-editor for Acta Crystallographica Sections B, C and E, and has previously been a student, tutor and lecturer at the school.

Prof. Richard Cooper

Richard followed a Chemistry MA from Oxford with a DPhil in Crystallographic Computing in the research group of David Watkin. After research posts in academia and industry he returned to Oxford Chemistry in 2010 as Head of Chemical Crystallography and Associate Professor. His research interests include crystallographic structure analysis and application of machine learning classification methods to crystallographic data. In his spare time he is responsible for the development and distribution of the crystallographic analysis software CRYSTALS. As Scientific Director of the Intensive School, he is responsible for organising its content.

Dr. Lukas Palatinus

Lukas is a crystallographer by education. He is interested in the solution of the phase problem by iterative dual-space methods, and is developing software for structure solution based on these methods, especially involving the charge-flipping algorithm. His main research topic is currently the application of electron diffraction to the solution and refinement of crystal structures. His specific interest is incommensurately modulated structures.

Prof. Simon Parsons

Simon is a Professor of Crystallography working as part of the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions in Edinburgh (CSEC). Research in his group focuses on polymorphism in simple molecular solids; the effects of very high pressures on molecular systems; twinning and absolute structure determination. Pressures up to 100 kbar are an extremely powerful tool for studying phase transitions in simple organic systems, and he is currently trying to tune magnetism using pressure. Simon also has an interest in crystal growth from liquids and gases. He is currently vice president of the British Crystallographic Association.

Dr. Mark Senn

Mark’s undergraduate degree was at Durham University where he studied Chemistry, taking a year abroad at the University of Texas at El Paso to complete his MChem degree. He moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2008 to undertake a PhD under the supervision of Paul Attfield. On completion of his doctoral studies Mark moved to the magnetic X-ray scattering Beamline I16, Diamond Light Source where he continued his research into electronic and magnetic ordering phenomena in the solid state and he also developed a new interest in multiferroic materials. In 2014, Mark was awarded a three year fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to study “Microscopic Mechanisms in Multiferroic Materials” in the Chemistry department at the University of Oxford where he worked closely with the Goodwin Group. In 2017, Mark moved to the University of Warwick where he now holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship on “Probing the Dynamic Properties of Functional Materials through Symmetry Analysis”. Besides conducting his program of research, he is also involved in lecturing and tutoring in 1st and 2nd year Inorganic Chemistry.

Dr. Helena Shepherd

Helena received an MChem from the University of Bath before moving to Durham University for a PhD under the supervision of Dr Andrés Goeta and Professor Judith Howard. After Postdoctoral positions at the Laboratory of Coordination Chemistry (CNRS) in Toulouse and the University of Bath, Helena moved to the University of Kent in 2015, where she is currently a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry. Her research focuses on switchable molecular materials, investigating all aspects from fundamental structure-property correlations to novel synthetic approaches and applications. She has a particular interest in studying phase transitions in molecular systems under extremes of pressure, temperature and light irradiation using a combination of crystallography, spectroscopy and magnetometry.


Evening Sessions


Local Organisers

Prof. Judith A.K. Howard, CBE, FRS

Judith began her scientific career with an Honours Degree from Bristol University and then she moved to Oxford where she studied with Nobel Prize winner, Dorothy Hodgkin, OM. Judith received her D.Phil from Oxford University in Chemical Crystallography using neutron diffraction techniques and returned to Bristol as a Research Fellow. She moved to Durham in 1991 to the Foundation Chair in Structural Chemistry. In Durham, she has developed advanced X-ray diffraction instrumentation for studying materials at very low temperatures combined with high pressures, enabling researchers to explore structure-property relationships of new ‘smart’ materials and to begin to explore dynamics in the solid state. Judith has been involved with the BCA school since its inception and remains a vocal supporter of young people in science. Judith is now ‘semi-retired’ but continues to work in science in Durham and crystallography in particular.

Dr. Hazel A. Sparkes

Hazel completed her undergraduate degree (2002) and PhD (2005) in Chemistry at the University of Bath, she then moved to Durham to do a PDRA working for Professor Judith Howard, before being awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship which she held in Durham. She is currently working at the University of Bristol as the crystallographer and is researching solid-state phenomena including photo-induced solid-state [2+2] cycloaddition reactions, thermochromism and photochromism. She also carries out charge density studies into the bonding and atomic interactions in both organic small molecules and organometallic complexes.

Many thanks to our sponsors, without whom it would not be possible to hold the 17th school:
DIAMOND, CCG, IUCr, ECA, Oxford Cryosystems, Bruker, Rigaku-Oxford Diffraction, Cambrex, ICG, NCS.