School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


10 July 2019

Using High Energy X-rays for Engineering and Materials Science Research at Diamond Light Source, Beamline I12

Presented By Dr Thomas Connolley, Diamond Light Source
  • 2.00 - 3.00 pm
  • Room TW.2.10, Wolfson Building

About this event


Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron. It uses electrons travelling in a particle accelerator to produce intense beams of light that scientists and engineers can use to study anything from manufacturing processes and chemical reactions to viruses and vaccines.  There are 32 separate instruments, called beamlines, which are dedicated to different areas of science or particular techniques. I12 is the Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing (JEEP) beamline. It provides polychromatic and monochromatic X-rays in the energy range 50–150 keV. The beam energy enables good penetration through large or dense samples, combined with a large beam size (1 mrad horizontally × 0.3 mrad vertically). The beam characteristics permit the study of materials and processes inside environmental chambers and on sample sizes that are representative of bulk materials. X-ray techniques available are radiography, tomography, energy-dispersive diffraction and monochromatic 2D diffraction/scattering.  Since commencing operations in November 2009, I12 has established a broad user community in materials science and processing, chemical processing, biomedical engineering, civil engineering, environmental science, palaeontology and physics. The majority of experiments are time resolved, in-situ studies, often involving processing equipment brought by users.



Thomas Connolley is the Principal Beamline Scientist for the I12 Joint Engineering, Environmental & Processing beamline at Diamond Light Source. He has a degree in Metallurgy and the Science of Materials from the University of Oxford, a PhD in Materials Engineering from the University of Southampton, and is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining. He joined Diamond as a Beamline Scientist in 2006, with a major role in the design, construction and commissioning of the I12 JEEP beamline. He has previously worked for British Aerospace in the UK, Materials Performance Technologies in New Zealand and The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering & Science in Ireland.

His current research interests are in High Speed X-ray imaging, Time-resolved Diffraction and Stroboscopic X-ray Diffraction. A collaboration with the University of Hull, UK, is using X-ray imaging and tomography to study the influence of alternating magnetic fields on the solidification of aluminium alloys. The stroboscopic diffraction technique is being used to study dynamic strains in rotating machinery, in a collaboration with the Universities of Bristol and Sheffield and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC). Dr. Connolley is an author on 78 publications, with over 1000 citations.

Athena Swan Bronze award

Contact us

The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU