Margie - Post doctoral fellow (Filipino)

“I feel very fortunate to work at a large synchrotron. The ESRF opens a whole range of opportunities. It draws excellent people and extremely interesting science cases.”
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“I’m an instrumentation scientist in X-ray imaging and I’m interested in shock physics. I often explain my work by likening it to a slow motion sports replay. I look at shock waves so I take the example of a high velocity impact of an object into an airplane. I take a movie of the impact then study it in ultra-slow motion.

I was recruited at the ESRF on a post-doc position to develop the ultra high speed X-ray imaging instrumentation on the ID19 beamline.  We have just achieved a camera exposure of 110 nanoseconds at 5 million frames per second. With the EBS project the increase in flux of photons will enable us to have an even shorter exposure time and more frames per second.

I did a PhD at the University of Tokyo, working on a milli- to micro-second high speed camera and building various X-ray imaging set-ups using grating interferometry. It’s very hands-on in Japan and I was taught to do everything on the project. I worked on building the set-up including soldering, welding, machining metals and drilling holes for screws!

The preparation work is the largest part of my job. I have to think about what people want to see (in the nanosecond timescale), design a set-up, and then validate it on the beamline. Sometimes that validation only requires a single picture.

The ESRF brings together multiple cultures which has another advantage: I get to mix with people with a wide variety of backgrounds and skills, all in the same place!”