Introduction

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physical Sciences at The Open University. My research is mainly on electron collisions with molecules and molecular clusters. Current research projects include:

  • the application of the R-matrix method to the study of electronically elastic and inelastic processes in electron collisions with biologically relevant molecules, particularly the formation of resonances.
  • the re-engineering and development of a set of high-quality, developer- and user-friendly, Atomic and Molecular high performance computing codes to treat both electron photon interactions with polyatomic molecules.
  • the study of microhydration effects on electron scattering from biologically relevant molecules.

I am a member of the Commission on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (C15) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and the Atomic and Molecular Interactions Group of the IOP.

New PhD position, start date: February 2018

(For more details and how to apply see here. Or contact me if you would like to discuss this opportunity.)

Electron and positron scattering data for radiation bio-matter modelling

Scattering cross section data are required as inputs for modelling software devised to quantitatively assess radiation dose and radiation induced damage in biological matter. Recent developments in the UKRmol+ software suite (https://ccpforge.cse.rl.ac.uk/gf/project/ukrmol-in/) have made it possible to perform more accurate calculations of electron and positron scattering cross sections from molecules and small molecular clusters than ever before. A methodological gap remains, however, related to how to use this data to model the effects of radiation on soft-condensed material. The project will involve:

1) Determining cross sections for a range of small and mid-size molecules using HPC facilities, liaising with track structure and non-equilibrium charged particle transport modellers to establish greatest data needs.

2) Developing an approach to adapting the gas phase/cluster data to the modelling of e-/e+ scattering from molecules in gases and soft-condensed (disordered) materials.

3) Implementing required software developments in the UKRmol+ and related suites in collaboration with members of the R-matrix community and the CCPQ Flagship project R-MADAM.

This project provides an opportunity to develop programming and high performance computing skills while investigating fascinating molecular physics phenomena. It is therefore particularly suitable for a student interested in scientific software development and the use of atomic and molecular data in medical applications.