Dean Smith

As a career diamond anvil cell enthusiast, my research primarily concerns the pursuit of the new structures of materials and chemical compounds emergent under extreme pressures, as well as new methods to measure properties of samples exposed to extreme pressures and temperatures. I began my research in the UK, studying for a Ph.D. with Dr. John Proctor at the University of Salford, and moved to the US as a postdoctoral scholar at UNLV. From there, I spent two years working at HPCAT (Sector 16 of the Advanced Photon Source) – a group of synchrotron beamlines dedicated to the advancement of high-pressure experiments.

Much of my career has been spent developing and refining optical instruments for diamond anvil cell experiments, particularly instruments which interface with synchrotron beamlines. As a postdoc at UNLV, I helped to design and construct a mid-infrared laser heating instrument for experiments at the HPCAT diffraction beamline, facilitating laser-heated DAC experiments on materials spanning semiconductors, ceramics, covalent crystals, and minerals. However, I am a passionate proponent of in-house experiments, and hope to ensure that NEXCL laboratories generate data with the same pace and quality as the large-scale user facilities.

Michael Pravica

I am a high pressure physicist who studies matter subjected to extreme conditions using spectroscopic means (infrared, Raman, x-ray absorption and nuclear magnetic resonance.).