Candidates' Bios and Statements
Mickey Holcomb

1. Micky Barry Holcomb

Assistant Professor, Physics, West Virginia University

B.S. in Physics, Vanderbilt University (2004)
Ph.D. in Physics, University of California Berkeley (2009)

My primary research interests are the physics of material surfaces and interfaces. While my lab at West Virginia University specializes in unique linear and nonlinear optical characterization, I frequently travel to the ALS and other light sources to do measurements involving x-ray absorption spectroscopy, photoemission electron microscopy and micro-diffraction. To date, I have performed measurements at over a dozen different beamline endstations, including the ALS beamlines 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12. A recent invited review paper of mine discusses the advantages of synchrotron radiation techniques in my field.

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2. Abraham Clearfield

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Texas A&M University

B.A. Temple University Chemistry 6/48  

M.A. Temple University   Physical Chemistry (Kinetics)                                6/51

Ph.D. Rutgers University. (norganic Chemistry (Crystallography)                   6/54

My Ph.D. dealt with crystallographic methods and inorganic chemistry.  My research groups have synthesized a hugh array of compounds over the years mainly metal phosphates and phosphonates.  We have utilized X-ray and neutron methods to solve structures and in the 1980s became involved in structure solutions  using X-ray powder data.  This interest has continued to this day and one of my Ph.D. students, Kevin Gagnon is currently on the staff at ALS.  I have published five books as editor one dealing exclusively on X-ray powder studies (Principles and applications of Powder Diffraction, Wiley, 2008.  Coeditors Joe Reibenspies and Nattamai Bhuvanesh).  I also was President of the ACA in 1998 and founder of the Powder SIG.  Bill Duax, Executive Officer  of the ACA was my post-doc way back when.

Currently our work spans separations of lanthanides from actinides using ion exchange materials as part of the nuclear fuel cycle, surface functionalization of layered metal phosphates and drug delivery using layered nanoparticles.

Use of synchrotron data is essential to our work.  We are examining compounds behavior under pressure and temperature.  We obtain X-ray diffraction patterns as a function of these properties and have been able to plot the changes in structure as a function of pressure or temperature.  Without use of the ALS facilities we could not undertake such research.

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3. Brian A. Collins

NRC Fellow
Materials Science and Engineering Division, NIST

  • 2003 B.A. (Physics) Gustavus Adolphus College
  • 2005 M.S. (Physics) University of North Carolina
  • 2009 PhD (Physics) University of North Carolina
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Physics, North Carolina State University (2009-2012)

My background is in x-ray structural characterization of materials for both hard and soft condensed matter.  My thesis work centered on the development of anomalous microdiffraction techniques on magnetic epitaxial films at the APS.  For my postdoctoral work I switched to the ALS to measure nano- to mesoscale ordering in functional organic thin films and how that governs their optoelectronic properties. Such a project has caused me to move around the ring quite a bit with stays at beamlines (STXM), 6.3.2 (NEXAFS & Reflectivity), 7.3.3 (WAXS), (soft x-ray scattering) and 11.0.2 (STXM).  My current research focusses on exploring and developing resonant soft x-ray scattering (R-SoXS) that, in addition to having outstanding molecular contrast, has a unique sensitivity to molecular orientation. Particularly exciting are the prospects of combining this powerful technique with coherent diffractive imaging currently under development at the ALS, which could revolutionize the study of soft matter.

My wide-ranging x-ray work on a variety of organic materials keeps me in close contact with a large and broad user base at the ALS. I will be a conduit of information and ideas to and from all users, which will be critical for the refinement and success of proposed long term plans for the ALS.



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4. Tanja Cuk

Assistant Professor
Chemistry Department, University of California at Berkeley

Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


  • B.S.E. Electrical Engineering, Princeton University
  • Ph.D. Applied Physics, Stanford
  • Miller Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley

My lab investigates the central role of solid/liquid interfaces in photo-initiated heterogeneous catalytic pathways (  To that end, we study photo-activated solid-state devices by transient optical and infrared spectroscopy over disparate time ranges in controlled catalytic environments.  Currently, the program investigates the water oxidation reaction on transition metal oxide catalysts.  We have used the ALS to characterize our materials, to look at catalysts in-situ, and for some time resolved x-ray studies of photo-excited transition metal oxides, primarily via x-ray absorption and emission.   I also have extensive experience with angle resolved photoemission, and hope to utilize ambient pressure photoemission in the future.  If elected to the user executive committee, I would be an advocate for broader implementation of time resolved x-ray techniques to study photo-catalysis.


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Ileana Dumitriu

5. Ileana Dumitriu

Assistant Professor
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY

Atomic and Molecular Physics

B.S. Physics, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (1992)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Technical University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (2002)
Ph.D., M.A. Physics, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI (2010)
Dissertation Topic: Inner-Shell Photodetachment of Transition Metal Negative Ions
Advisor: Prof. Nora Berrah
Visiting Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN (2010 – 2011)
Assistant Professor, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY (2011 – present)

My research focus consists of understanding the interaction of negative ions with XUV/soft X-ray photons. For two years as an ALS Doctoral fellow I was actively involved in the full spectrum of the research process, from designing experiments to building apparatus. Besides research projects on inner-shell photodetachment of negative ions conducted at beamline 10.0 and 8.0, I was involved in other projects studying fragmentation dynamics of molecules and clusters using a multi-coincidence ion-momentum imaging technique.

There are still a lot of unresolved issues that I would like to investigate, and I continue collaborating with the Western Michigan University AMO group. Research on inner-shell photodetachment of negative ions can be conducted at both graduate and undergraduate level, and for the undergraduate students active participation in research as early as possible is extremely important.

I am very fortunate to work with highly motivated undergraduate students at a small liberal arts college. My undergraduate students are participating in the experiments at the ALS. During the experiment they are taking shifts, observing and participating in the laboratory set up, as well as collecting data. Students benefit tremendously from the exposure to a national facility and from the collaboration with scientists. Involving undergraduate students in the experiments at ALS is a ‘win-win’ situation: the students gain meaningful experience in cutting-edge research environment, and on the other hand they provide fresh insights to research questions. If elected, I would strive to increase interaction and cooperation between ALS and the user communities, especially the liberal arts colleges.

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6. Mark Hollingsworth

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Chemistry Department
Kansas State University

B.A. in Chemistry, Carleton College (1979)
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Yale University (1986)
S.E.R.C. Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Dept. of Physical Chemistry, University of Cambridge (1985-1986)
NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, Dept. of Physical Chemistry, University of Cambridge (1986-1987)
Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, University of Alberta (1987-1991)
Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, Indiana University (1991-1998)
Associate Professor, Chemistry Department, Kansas State University (1998-present)
Visiting Professor, Institute of Physics, University of Rennes (2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012)
Visiting Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Bordeaux (2006)

My research in solid-state organic chemistry and materials chemistry focuses primarily on crystal engineering and mechanistic studies of organic inclusion compounds that undergo ferroelastic and/or ferroelectric domain switching processes.  I am also interested in crystal growth mechanisms of supramolecular assemblies and phase transitions in commensurate and incommensurate materials such as channel inclusion compounds.  For the past eight years, I have been collaborating with physicists at the University of Rennes on the phase transition project and have done extensive high-resolution X-ray diffraction studies on these systems at the ALS, APS, SSRL, and the Synchrotron Soleil.  In addition, we have done X-ray topography and IR microscopy at NSLS.  At the ALS, we have done most of our work at the small molecule crystallography beamline (11.3.1), but we were recently excited to have access to one of the macromolecular beamlines (8.2.2). 

I am interested in promoting the science of all present and potential users, but my particular interest is in the use of high-resolution X-ray diffraction facilities, especially those with large detectors to materials scientists. 

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7. Robert Kostecki

Staff Scientist, Division Deputy, Science Environmental Energy Technologies Division Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

My research interests include studies of fundamentl phenomena that determine electrochemical performance of electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems. Our group in LBNL develops new in situ and ex situ experimental approaches to sense fundamental properties of electrical energy storage materials and electrochemical interfaces at an atom, molecular or nanoparticulate level.

Recent advances in x-ray spectroscopy, diffraction and imaging, and subwavelength near-field IR spectroscopies present new opportunities for adapting and employing analytical tools at ALS to address and overcome technical bottlenecks in Electrical Energy Storage (EES) systems. The main thrust in this area should involve the conception and development of novel enabling surface and bulk characterization systems and methodologies to understand and create novel materials, devices, and architectures for EES. In situ x-ray imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy of surface and bulk processes in composite electrodes and model single crystal/particle nano- and micro-electrodes must be developed to unveil the chemical, structural, and electronic properties of EES electrodes at the nanometer scale, and local to intermediate range structure in functional nano-crystalline or disordered materials. The development of combinations of high-resolution in situ techniques should bridge the temporal gap between time-scales of standard electrochemical characterization methods and characterization techniques.

I received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in 1994; co-authored 80 papers in refereed journals, 15 conference proceedings papers, 150 meeting presentations and 17 patents and invention disclosures; active member of numerous scientific societies and government-university-industry research committees.

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Jingbo Louise Liu

8. Jingbo Louise Liu

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology

B.Sc. (Chemistry and Chemical Engineering), Heilongjiang Univ., 1989
Ph.D (Materials Science and Engineering), Univ. of Science & Technology Beijing, 2001
Postdoctoral Fellow (Chemistry), Univ. of Calgary, 2002
Assistant and Associate Professor, Texas A&M Univ.-Kingsville, 2006-present

My research interests include synthesis and characterization of advanced materials, nanomaterials applied for alternative energy, and nanocomposite and metal organic framework used for cancer diagnosis. The important tools used include wet-RIXS, soft x-ray fluorescence using (8.0.1) and 3D reconstruction mapping at LNBL-ALS, Tomography (8.3.2) to identify: (a) cathode flooding in the porous structures of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs); (b) the pore pathways to the surface for water diffusion; and (c) cathode degradation. These proposed activities will improve the PEMFC properties via better understanding the deterioration causes.
If I am elected to the ALS UEC, I would:

  • Support all users and their research projects domestically and internationally,
  • Familiarize students with the advanced facility to enhance quality education, and
  • Allow the PIs to maximize the use of ALS facility.

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9. Ryan Miyakawa

Project Scientist
Center for X-Ray Optics

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

B.S. Engineering Physics, UC Berkeley (2005)
Ph.D. Applied Science and Technology, UC Berkeley (2011)
Postdoc, CXRO (2011-2012)
Project Scientist, CXRO (2012-2013)


I have been a user of the ALS for the past 10 years, first as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, then as a postdoc, and now in my current role as a scientist at the Center for X-ray Optics.  I have been involved with work at various beamlines including coherent soft x-ray work at 12.0.2, EUV and soft x-ray reflectrometry at 6.3.2, XM-1 at 6.1.2, the SEMATECH SHARP actinic mask inspection tool at 11.3.2, and the SEMATECH Berkeley Microfield Exposure Tool at 12.0.1.  I also work with the CXRO nanofabrication arm in designing and fabricating zone plates for other users. My current research focuses on EUV Lithography and in particular novel wavefront retrieval techniques. 

As a UEC member, I would support community within the ALS users as well as the interests of young scientists and graduate students at the ALS.

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John Newberg

10. John Newberg

Assistant Professor

Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Delaware

B.A., U.C. Berkeley, Chemistry & Environmental Sciences, 1998.
M.S., U.C. Davis, Agr. & Environmental Chemistry, 2000.
M.S., U.C. Irvine, Chemistry, 2003.
Ph.D., U.C. Irvine, Chemistry, 2005.
Senior Engineer, Intel Corp., 2005-2007.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 2007-2010.
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 2010-2012.


I received my PhD in Chemistry at U.C. Irvine under Prof. John Hemminger. I was also a postdoc at LBNL working at Beamline 11.0.2 under Senior Staff Scientist Hendrik Bluhm, using ambient pressure X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS/NEXAFS). The Newberg group interests are in probing interfaces on a molecular level under in situ conditions. This includes solid-gas, liquid-gas, and solid-aqueous interfaces. Research applications include probing the interfacial chemistry of metals, metal oxides, salts, and ice surfaces under ambient conditions, and understanding the influence of light on fundamental interfacial processes. This research is multidisciplinary in nature with implications in atmospheric aerosol chemistry, heterogeneous photochemistry, and photocatalysis, and has important connections to energy research, pollution remediation, human health, and climate change. Our group utilizes lab-based and synchrotron based tools to tackle problems experimentally on a molecular level. Experimental results are complimented with computer simulations through collaborative efforts.

The ALS is on the forefront of in situ spectroscopy techniques across multiple beamlines. As a postdoc at the ALS for five years, I have interacted with a number of external groups (users) from around the world utilizing these powerful technologies. As an independent researcher that is now looking from the outside in, I will bring these experiences of user interactions while serving as an ALS UEC representative.

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11. Andreas Scholl

Beamline Scientist, Advanced Light Source
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

B.S. Physics, Cologne University (1995)
Ph.D. Physics, Julich Research Laboratory (1998)
Postdoctoral Fellow, LBNL (1998-1999)
Staff Scientist ALS, LBNL (since 2000)

My research focuses on microscopic and time-dependent phenomena in solid state systems, in particular in correlated and magnetic materials. Before joining the ALS I used and developed time-resolved photoemission techniques using femtosecond laser sources. At the ALS I have conducted research in sectors 4, 6, 7, and 11 on thin films, exchange bias system and multiferroics. Those were often done in collaboration with US or international user groups. I have a strong interest in developing and applying new time and spatially resolved x-ray techniques. At the ALS I have been in charge of the ALS Photoemission Electron Microscopy program at beamline 7.3.1 and 11.0.1 and recently moved to the ultrafast beamlines in sector 6 to develop the dynamics program.

I see the UEC as the important link between user community and ALS. In the time of tight budgets, prioritizing investments and supporting new and exciting science has become more important than ever. Beamline scientists serve the user community but they are also users of ALS beamlines, often together with outside user groups. I believe that a strong and deep interaction and collaboration between ALS users and staff is of paramount importance for a successful future of the ALS.

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Mahati Chintapalli

12. Theva Thevuthasan

Staff Scientist, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

B. Sc., with Honors in Physics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 1981
M.Sc., Energy Technology, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, 1984
Ph.D., Physics (Surface Science), University of Maine, Orono, 1989
Post-Doctoral Research Associate - University of Florida, 9/89 – 8/90
Post-Doctoral Research Associate - University of Hawaii, 8/90 – 8/91
Post Graduate Researcher - University of California at Davis and Guest Scientist Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 8/91 – 12/93 Research Scientist/Senior Research Scientist/Staff Scientist/ Technical Lead, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 12/93-present



I have an international reputation for my research studies in the field of ion solid interactions in general, and the applications of ion beams and photons in thin films and surface science in particular. I made significant contributions to the study of surface structures of pure and adsorbate covered single crystal surfaces, thin film and interfacial characterizations using valence band and soft x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy/diffraction/, photoelectron holography and high energy ion beam techniques. I have been using synchrotron light sources, in particular, ALS and SLAC since my postdoc time with Prof. Chuck Fadley in University of California at Davis. At PNNL, I have been co-leading a laboratory wide chemical imaging and analysis initiative with Dr. Lou Terminello since 2010. A long term goal of my effort is to develop multi-purpose beam lines at the light sources and/or PNNL based compact x-ray light source comparable to second generation light sources.  I lead thrust area one of this initiative which involves with the development of multi-model chemical imaging capabilities combining in house and synchrotron light source based capabilities in this initiative.

I would bring unique and effective perspective as a synchrotron radiation user with an understanding of the development of combined light source and laboratory based capabilities, in particular user participation and effective collaboration. My motivation in the ALS UEC is to foster meaningful communication between the user base and ALS management and to help in promoting collaborations between the users and ALS scientists. 

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13. Jim Tobin

OBES Lead Principal Investigator, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Condensed Matter and Materials Division

Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

B.S., Chemistry, with Distinction, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1978

Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of California-Berkeley, 1983


I am an old dog, back to learn some new tricks.  I have lots of pubs (180+), have data from many storage rings (ALS, APS, SSRL, UWSRC) and have served on advisory panels at many of these rings (ALS, SSRL & UWSRC).  Dave Shuh and I co-chaired the Actinides 2009 International Conference in San Francisco.  I also serve as the Head of the Actinides Steering Committee for the MRS Spring Meetings and as the lead organizer for the Actinides Focus Sessions at the AVS Annual International Symposia and Exhibits.  Before I got interested in actinides, I had the good fortune to work on high temperature superconductors, magnetic ultrathin films, and semiconductor nanocrystals.  (For more about despicable me, please see ­here.)

 Now, I am on sabbatical at LBNL and looking to reconnect with the ALS and synchrotron radiation experiments.  It is my opinion that if we are to benefit from these state of the art synchrotron radiation sources, we must also serve in their governance.  It is important to me that we optimize the utilization of this very valuable resource and I feel that my past experience will help with reaching that goal.  It would be a pleasure to serve on the ALS Executive Committee again!

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14. Tyler Troy

Postdoctoral Fellow
Chemical Sciences Division. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

B.Sc. Chemsitry, University of Sydney, Australia, 2007
Ph.D. Chemsitry, University of Sydney, Australia, 2011

I would come to the UEC with a unique perspective having experienced the ALS as both a service provider on beamline 9.0.2 and as a user of this beamline. Starting at the ALS in January 2013, I have already worked with over a dozen badged users from half as many institutions on a variety of projects including: high-temperature combustion; pulsed shock tubes; atmospheric ozonolysis; paleontological analysis; and the cracking of biofuels. From a user perspective; I have logged over 300 hours of beam time working with members of a number of divisions. In these experiments, we are working towards the development of a robust laser/synchrotron program here at the ALS.  The goal of this program is to probe intermediate and excited states of gas-phase systems as applied to a broad range of chemical systems and problems.

As a member of the UEC, I would aim to develop strong relationships with users from a broad range of communities in the hope of fostering a friendly and scientifically rich environment that encourages communication and collaboration.

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15. Zi Q. Qiu

Physics Department, University of California at Berkeley


B.S. Physics at Peking University (1984)
Ph.D. Physics at The Johns Hopkins University (1991)
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Argonne National Lab. (1990-1993)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics UC-Berkeley (1993-2000)
Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics UC-Berkeley (2000-2005)

Full Professor, Dept. of Physics UC-Berkeley (2005-present)


Zi Q. Qiu is a professor at the physics department of UC-Berkeley.  He join in Berkeley in 1993 and has been working at ALS as an independent user since 1998.  His research is in experimental condensed matter physics with a focus on low dimensional magnetism.  At ALS, he has been using ARPES, PEEM, and Magnetic Spectroscopy to study epitaxially grown magnetic nanostructures.  If elected to the UEC, he would advocate the needs of the users and to make better communications between the user community and the ALS management.

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Marco Keiluweit

16. Feng Wang

Associate Professor, Physics Department, University of California at Berkeley
Faculty Investigator, Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


B.S. (Physics), Fudan Univ.ersity, Shanghai, China, 1999
M.A. (Physics), Columbia University, 2001
Ph.D. (Physics), Columbia University, 2004

Miller Research Fellow, University of California at Berkeley 2005-2007
Assistant Professor, University of California at Berkeley 2007-2012
Associate Professor, University of California at Berkeley 2012-present Faculty Investigator, Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 2009-present

I have used the infrared beamline in ALS extensively. It has been a critical component in my research on 2D materials. I hope to contribute to the successful function of ALS in the future.


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