Leading synchrotron scientist appointed to Bragg Centenary Chair

Professor Sven Schroeder has been appointed to lead cutting-edge research into the atomic structure of materials.


As the Royal Academy of Engineering Bragg Centenary Professor of Engineering Applications of Synchrotron Science, Professor Schroeder will have a key role in driving engineering research at the Diamond Light Source, the UK’s synchrotron science facility near Oxford, and in coordinating national and international research in the field.

Synchrotron science involves accelerating electrons to near light speed to produce intense light - about 10 billion times brighter than the sun - that allows researchers to study matter in far greater detail than can be achieved by traditional microscopes.

It supports vital research ranging from the development of advanced automobile engines and more efficient chemical processes to creating advanced medicines.

Professor Schroeder, who arrived at Leeds at the start of October, is a world-leading researcher who uses the latest X-ray techniques to characterise molecular structure and optimise chemical process systems and improve materials and products. His work impacts upon areas as diverse as nanotechnology, energy, electronics, chemical processing, pharmaceuticals and formulated products like fuel additives.

Professor Schroeder said: “I am excited to be joining the University of Leeds, which has such a proud tradition in structural analysis dating back to the pioneering days of the discipline. My role will be to work with the University’s exceptionally diverse and interdisciplinary research community to develop collaborations with industry and ensure we make the best possible use of the synchrotron at Diamond and drive forward applied engineering in the UK.”

The Bragg Centenary Chair represents a major national collaboration between the Royal Academy of Engineering, Diamond Light Source Ltd., the fuel and lubricant additive developer Infineum UK Ltd. and the University.

Professor Peter Jimack, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds, said: “This is a very important appointment for the University of Leeds and for synchrotron science nationally. Professor Schroeder brings an excellent record in research across a very wide range of practical applications and will play a key role in building collaborations with industrial partners and driving exciting interdisciplinary research at Leeds.”

Professor Andrew Harrison, CEO of Diamond Light Source, said: “Engineering is a key area of research at Diamond.  We are able to offer industry and academia access to world class experimental facilities and expertise that can be used to gain a better understanding of how engineering processes and materials behave at the atomic level and under real conditions. Professor Schroeder’s extensive knowledge and experience of what the synchrotron can deliver will undoubtedly help us to attract some extremely exciting research projects to Diamond in the future.”

Posted in: