Plenary Speakers

Prof Robert Dinnebier

Scientific facility diffraction, MPI-FKF

Stuttgart, Germany

Presentation: Crystallography in Art and Conservation – a Synergy Story

Robert E. Dinnebier is professor of crystallography and group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart, Germany. His research focuses on development and application of powder diffraction methods.

Dr Daniel Olds

Photon Sciences, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Upton, USA

Presentation: My PI is an AI: Human/AI Collaborations to enable Advanced Total Scattering Studies at Light Sources

Daniel Olds is a beamline scientist on the Pair-Distribution Function (PDF) beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Laboratory. His research focuses on developing real-time AI-driven analysis during in situ and high throughput studies of complex materials to discover the underlying atomic origins of the relevant material properties such as reaction pathways, synthesis, decomposition mechanisms, phase-transitions, and material passivation/poisoning. By leveraging advanced computational methods in both the data analysis and experimental control, he hopes to both accelerate the pace of discovery and expand access to a broader community of light source users.

Online CV

Prof Paolo Scardi

Civil, Environmental & Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento

Trento, Italy

Presentation: Diffraction line profiles and diffuse scattering

Paolo Scardi is a full professor, chair of Materials Science & Technology and group leader of Energy Materials at the Department of Civil, Environmental & Mechanical Engineering, with the University of Trento (Italy) since 1986. Research interests include thin films and nanostructured materials, X-ray diffraction methods and materials crystallography; in recent years, interests have focused on atomistic modelling and applications of nanomaterials to renewable energy harvesting.

Online CV

Invited Speakers

Dr Angela Altomare

Institute of Crystallography, CNR

Bari, Italy

Presentation: Challenging structure solution from powder diffraction data: The EXPO software

Angela Altomare is Research Director at the Institute of Crystallography of the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy, in Bari. Her research activity, carried out over more than 30 years, is mainly devoted to the development and application of innovative crystallographic methodologies for the structural characterization of crystalline compounds, from single crystal and microcrystalline powder diffraction data. Angela is President of the Italian Crystallographic Association, a member of the Executive Committee of the IUCr, a member of the Commission for the participation of CNR to the IUCr, Section Editor of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Advances and Foundations, a member of the European Powder Diffraction Conference Committee, Co-editor of Acta Cryst. A. She has published more than 150 papers in scholarly journals and 10 chapters of books. She is a co-author of twelve crystallographic computing programs. Her articles have gained a number of citations greater than 27000.

Online CV

Prof Dave Billing

Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand

Johannesburg, South Africa

Presentation: Limits of lab XRD and average crystal structure concepts – when studying energy and related functional materials

David Billing is a Full Professor in Chemistry and Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. His research focusses on the structure-property-performance nexus of energy materials. Principally utilising in situ XRD methods in conjunction with total scattering techniques to gain insight into both average and local structure of the materials of interest. Increasingly adding XAS, computational and other techniques in a multimodal approach to gain a more fundamental understanding of the structural features that governs the properties of functional materials of great societal importance. Synchrotron based techniques are central to these endeavours, and in addition to the NSLS-II he has completed measurements at ESRF, DLS and SSRL. He is the current Chairperson of the IUCr’s Commission for Powder Diffraction and a member of APS’s Structure Science Proposal Review Panel

Prof Graciela Diaz de Delgado

Laboratorio de Cristalografía-LNDRX, Universidad de Los Andes

Merida, Venezuela

Presentation: Structure determination of common Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, she studied Chemistry at Universidad de Los Andes (ULA) in Mérida, Venezuela, and obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Brandeis University, USA, in 1988. In 1989 she joined the Crystallography Laboratory at ULA where she is Full Professor of Chemistry. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the IUCr, the Board of Directors of ICDD, and is Section Editor of Acta Crystallographica E. Her research interests include the structure determination of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) by single crystal and powder diffraction.

Prof Ernst Ferg

Dept of Chemistry, Nelson Mandela University

Gqeberha, South Africa

Presentation: Looking at the phase transitions during the thermal synthesis of metal oxides used in Li-ion batteries

I am an associate professor in the department of chemistry at the Nelson Mandela University. My work includes lecturing in the subject areas of Physical Chemistry to undergraduate and postgraduate students. I am a C2 rated scientist with the National Research Foundation. Research work is primarily in the field of electrochemistry, batteries (lead acid and Li-ion) and materials study using powder X-ray diffraction. I am currently a research advisor for the energy storage group for uYilo, the national electric vehicle programme located at the Nelson Mandela University.

Prof Nico Fischer

Chemical Engineering, University of Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa

Presentation: Empowered Catalyst Supports

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
DSI-NRF SARChI research chair in Sustainable Catalysis
Deputy Director Catalysis Institute

Dr Andy Fitch

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)

Grenoble, France

Presentation: Synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction

Andy Fitch is responsible for the high-resolution powder diffraction beamline, ID22, at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France.

Dr Bernd Hinrichsen


Ludwigshafen, Germany

Presentation: Automation in Data acquisition and Data Analysis

Born in Tsumeb, Namibia. Grew up in Cape Town. Studied in Cologne and completed PhD in Stuttgart, both Germany. Now industrial researcher at BASF in Germany.

Online CV

Prof Volker Kahlenberg

Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria

Presentation: Non-ambient PXRD investigations – examples from geology and applied mineralogy

Volker Kahlenberg is full professor at University of Innsbruck (Austria) and head of the applied mineralogy and crystallography group. His research focuses on non-ambient studies of crystalline materials, synthesis and crystal chemistry of silicates and oxides relevant for ceramics, refractories or iron-ore sinters as well as twinning and disorder phenomena.

Online CV

Prof Brendan Kennedy

Chemistry, The University of Sydney

Sydney, Australia

Presentation: Phase Transitions in Oxides: Using powder diffraction to observe both the obvious and not-so-obvious changes

Brendan Kennedy is a professor of Solid State Chemistry at the University of Sydney. He received his PhD from Monash University in 1984 and after post-doctoral periods at the University of Oxford (John Goodenough) and the Australian National University (Graham Heath) he moved to the University of Sydney. He has held visiting positions at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Kyoto University and The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). He played a leading role in the design of the powder diffractometers at both the OPAL reactor and at the Australian Synchrotron and is a major user of both facilities. He has served as President of the Asia Oceania Neutron Scattering Association (AONSA) and of the Australian Neutron Beam Users Group (ANBUG). He has contributed to around 400 publications that have attracted over 12500 citation and has a H-index of 56.

Online CV

Dr Arnt Kern

Bruker AXS

Karlsruhe, Germany

Presentation: Structure analysis using Bragg and PDF data in TOPAS

Arnt holds a PhD in Mineralogy (University of Heidelberg, Germany, 1998)

He is Global product line manager X-ray powder diffraction at Bruker AXS (1997)

He is a member of ICDD; member of the EPDIC committee and the PPXRD organisation committee

His special interests are: Profile fitting, QPA, structure analysis, and instrumentation.

Prof Scott Misture

Materials Science & Engineering, Alfred University

Alfred, USA

Presentation: Total Scattering (PDF) and/or INon-Ambient Studies

Misture presently holds an Inamori professorship and a SUNY Distinguished Professorship at Alfred University, having served on the faculty for 22 years. His earlier experience includes a few years at Oak Ridge National lab and time in Germany at Siemens Corporate Research. Misture’s research interests center on understanding how ceramic and glasses can be used to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts of modern society. He develops and applies advanced materials characterization tools to understand the effects of structure at the atomic and nanometer scales to understand existing materials and to invent new materials and understand their properties. His research has centered on ceramics for energy conversion, including materials for high temperature fuel cells, materials for energy storage in batteries and supercapacitors, and also materials for capturing, storing and converting environmental pollutants and chemical feedstocks.

Online CV

Prof Katharine Page

Materials Science & Engineering, University of Tennessee

Knoxville, USA

Presentation: Nanostructure in Compositionally Complex Oxides

Katharine Page is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and a Joint Faculty member with the Neutron Scattering Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). She works at the intersection of functional energy materials research and the advancement of x-ray and neutron scattering methods. This includes ventures to understand and control local to long-range ordering in ferroelectric ceramics, energy conversion materials, and nanoscale catalysts, among other topics. She received her PhD in 2008 from the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kate was a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow and an Instrument Scientist at the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory through 2014, and then an Instrument Scientist within the Diffraction Group at ORNL until 2019. She is a recipient of the DOE Early Career Award, NSF Career Award, and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Online CV

Dr Kevin Stone

SLAC National Accelerator Lab

Menlo Park, USA

Presentation: Using X-ray Diffraction to Understand Materials Synthesis

Kevin Stone is a staff scientist at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California, USA. He supports a suite of X-ray scattering beamlines for materials science with a special focus on in-situ and operando experiments.

Online CV

Dr Maxwell Terban

Scientific facility diffraction, MPI-FKF

Stuttgart, Germany

Presentation: Structural analysis of disordered polymers and microporous materials

I am a materials scientist working at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research. Interests include the use of total scattering and diffraction methods to study structuring of disordered materials.

Prof Andrew Venter

Research and Innovation, Necsa SOC Ltd

Pretoria, South Africa

Presentation: Neutron diffraction at SAFARI-1 and its progression into the new Multi-Purpose Reactor

I am the research leader of the beam line facilities at the SAFARI-1 research reactor and instrumental in research infrastructure expansion projects utilising complementary neutron and X-ray techniques. These comprise commercial X-ray powder diffraction and imaging, as well as neutron diffraction instruments in the applications powder diffraction, and strain scanning. The development team achieved finalist status during the 2015/2016 National Science and Technology Forum Awards in the category Research leading to innovation by a corporate organisation. I participated with the establishment of ISO 21432:2019, Non-destructive testing — Standard test method for determining residual stresses by neutron diffraction. I am a rated research scientist.

I lead the Neutron Beam Line Center activity within the new Multi-Purpose Reactor project that is vigorously pursued as replacement of SAFARI-1. Neutron scattering features prominent to bring modern world-class large-scale research infrastructure to the benefit of academic and industrial research communities through an active User Access program.

Dr Sabine Verryn

XRD Analytical and Consulting

Pretoria, South Africa

Presentation: Heavy mineral sands mining and downstream processing – Value of mineralogical monitoring using XRD

Sabine Verryn obtained a PhD (Experimental Mineralogy) in 2000. She has been responsible for the X-Ray Powder Diffraction Laboratory of the University of Pretoria for over 23 years. In 2009 she left this position to start XRD Analytical and Consulting CC. She is the author or co-author of over 30 papers in scientific journals and has presented or co-presented over 40 papers at international conferences. In 2009, Sabine has been appointed on a consultant basis as the XRD application specialist at Malvern Panalytical, South Africa.  Sabine is a member of the Mineralogical Association of South Africa (MINSA), of which she has been on the elected executive committee since 2001. She was elected as chair of the 21st Business Meeting of IMA in South Africa in 2014. Her professional passion is applying and teaching X-ray powder diffraction.

Dr Johan Westraadt

Center for HRTEM, Physics, Nelson Mandela University

Gqeberha, South Africa

Presentation: In-situ TEM and XRD characterisation of thermally stable polycrystalline diamond

Dr Johan Westraadt is an electron microscopist working at the Centre for HRTEM on structural materials such as high-temperature steels, ultra-hard composites, and titanium alloys.