Joined the laboratory in 1985 as part of the 'Trainee Scientist Scheme', coming straight from college with A-levels. For the first 3 years of his employment, he worked in a number of areas including scientific computing, electronic assembly and testing, and the RF Group. I finished my time as a trainee and moved into the Nuclear Structure Facility (NSF) as the deputy to the Ion Source injector manager (the 'sorcerer's apprentice'). Following the closure of the NSF, I transferred into the Synchrotron Radiation Department's Controls and Personal Safety (PS) Group, under the head of Beam Position Monitoring (BPM) and PS. My major role at that time was to assist with the development of a new 'in house' BPM system for another accelerator project. The success of this progressed onto the development of a new BPM system for implementation on Daresbury's own Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS). The aim was to improve beam positional measurements such that a positional servo was feasible in order to stabilise the beam. This system was successfully built, commissioned fully off-line and installed in coincidence with a major upgrade to the SRS, where initially a new superconducting hard X-ray source was introduced to the machine. Further enhancements of the BPM system were implemented as other new developments to the SRS were made. It was during this period that I achieved a First Class Honours Degree in Electronic Engineering from Manchester Metropolitan University.
With the retirement of the head of BPM and PS Group, an organisational change meant that my role and responsibilities moved into the RF Group (now renamed the 'RF and Diagnostics Group'). During this time, I was responsible for maintaining and developing Beam Diagnostic systems, including design work on BPM systems for the DIAMOND synchrotron, as well as supporting RF engineers. I also became responsible for the maintenance of the SRS kicker and RF modulator pulsed power supplies, through my interest in those areas.
A further re-organisation of departments resulted in the RF and Diagnostics Group becoming a part of a new department, ASTeC. As DIAMOND construction at our sister laboratory RAL commenced and the ultimate closure date of the SRS was announced, I began to work on the development of diagnostic implementations for a new and novel accelerator prototype now known as ALiCE (Accelerators and Lasers in Combined Experiments). This work included the development and procurement of both BPM and screen based imaging diagnostic systems using YAG based fluorescing and Optical Transition Radiation Screens, all with cameras. My work with high Voltage also meant that I was made responsible for the photo-injector, and its accompanying 500 kV power supply.
ALiCE was a success, and it spawned a supplementary prototype accelerator EMMA, for which ALiCE became its injector. I again contributed along with other engineers to develop a high accuracy single pass BPM system, along with a novel moving screen YAG positional and beam imaging device as well as a 4 GHz bandwidth single flange design wall current monitor.
A further re-organisation saw the splitting of the RF and Diagnostics group, with a new Laser and Diagnostics Group being formed under a new leader, Steve Jamison. Work then began on, VELA (Versatile Electron Linear Accelerator), implementing beam imaging camera systems, wall current monitor and strip-line type BPMs. I also build 'glue' electronics to interface laser, timing, BPM signal and trigger distribution systems and provide electronic support for the RF group, as well as laser scientists. I have also designed and built high Voltage pulser system for both Daresbury and Manchester University to enable laser based production of intense Terrahertz radiation.
VELA has grown into CLARA (Compact Linear Accelerator for Research and Applications) and with another re-organisation seeing the formation of the Accelerator Diagnostics and Instrumentation Group headed up by Yuri Saveliev sees us now focussing more on Beam stability, diagnostics and supporting the Accelerator Physics and other technical groups by the development and realisation of their ideas for future UK and international accelerator facilities.
Outside of my job, I'm interested in older vehicles and early automotive electronics. I am one of the founders of our local car club (North West Casual Classics, est. 1995) and was until recently the Treasurer and membership secretary, roles I performed for over 12 years. I own and regularly use two 'classic' vehicles, a 1972 NSU Ro80, and a 1984 Mercedes W123 series 230CE (Google them if you are interested).
A Summary of the projects I am currently involved with
Development and upgrade of beam imaging stations to digital cameras with remote control zoom, focus and aperture control.
Installation of development/test cavity BPM systems in collaboration with Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL).
Beam stabilisation experiments and investigations.
Specification and procurement and implementation of beam diagnostic systems to fulfil operational requirements of stability and performance, including the following specific areas of work….
Development of beam imaging stations.
Cavity and strip-line BPM developments.
Beam charge and beam current measurement developments.
Development of mains synchronised PLL trigger systems
Support of the high Voltage (>100 kV) pulsed power supply for laser production of Terrahertz system for a Cockcroft Institute collaboration.
Technical and general support for DL Laser, RF and Operations Groups, to maintain a continuity of support and provide optimal availability of systems.