Robert Cernik

Robert Cernik


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Bob Cernik graduated in physics from University College Cardiff (University of Wales) in 1976 and obtained his PhD from the same university. He came to Manchester in 1979 to work in crystal structure analysis as a joint appointment for the chemistry departments of UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester. After this 3 year postdoctoral fellowship he left for industry where he joined Ferranti Electronics working in semiconductor process evaluation. In 1986 he joined Daresbury laboratory in Cheshire working on the world’s first synchrotron radiation source dedicated for scientific research. He began working as a station scientist interested in powder X-ray diffraction; subsequently becoming head of the X-ray diffraction group and then director responsible for the physical sciences. In 2000 he sat on two government committees to shape the direction of science in the region and helped to launch the new company incubator initiative at Daresbury. In 2002 he renewed his association with Manchester becoming a joint appointment with the Materials Science Centre. This collaboration lasted until 2006 when he joined the the School of Materials full time, he also holds a visiting chair at the Department of Crystallography, Birkbeck College London.

Bob's research interests cover the development of synchrotron radiation as an analytical tool in materials science, especially developing the technique of dark field hyperspectral X-ray imaging (colour imaging of X-rays) which has most recently led to a patent filing.  He has published extensively in these fields. He is also interested in the structural evaluation and design of multiferroic materials and functional ceramics and makes significant use of X-ray, neutron and electron sources. He has recently spun out a company to exploit the new imaging technology.

Research interests

Bob's research interests lie in the exploitation of X-rays; synchrotron radiation; neutrons and electrons to study functional materials, including multiferroics. He has developed a number of in-situ environments and experimental stations to simulate, as far as possible, the real conditions that a sample will be exposed to during its lifetime. He has also led the HEXITEC consortium in the development of X-ray colour imaging and is the inventor of a rapid form of Tomographic Energy Dispersive Diffraction Imaging. He has most recently filed for a patent for a form of dark field hypersprctral imaging system.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Dalton Nuclear Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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