Phillips Group

Crystal engineering beyond crystallography


Current members

Richard DixeyRichard Dixey

Richard joined the group as a postdoctoral researcher in 2019, having previously studied for a PhD under the supervision of Dr Paul Saines at Kent. His work, focusing on the barocaloric effect in coordination framework materials, is sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Mark Wilkinson

Mark joined the group in 2015, having previously completed his MSci with first-class Honours at Queen Mary University of London. His work focuses on adapting the reverse Monte Carlo algorithm to understand anomalous thermodynamic behaviour such as negative thermal expansion. His PhD is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Guanqun Cai

Guanqun has been a PhD student since 2016, and previously studied at Loughborough University (MSc in Materials) and Beijing University of Chemical Technology. His research uses a wide variety of X-ray and neutron scattering techniques to study functional materials. He is sponsored by the Chinese Scholarships Council.

Shurong Yuan

Shurong joined the group as a PhD student in 2018. He was previously a Master’s student in computational condensed matter physics at South China University of Technology. He uses density-functional theory to simulate functional materials in order to understand their structure and dynamics. He is sponsored by the Chinese Scholarships Council.

Bernet MeijerBernet Meijer

Bernet joined the group in 2019, jointly supervised by Dr Helen Walker (ISIS) and funded by ISIS and QMUL. She previously studied physics and philosophy in a Master’s degree at the University of Amsterdam and London School of Economics. Her work focuses on the dynamics of functional materials under pressure.


Dr Edward Beake

Ed joined the group from the University of Oxford, and completed his PhD on Local structure of molecular materials via neutron total scattering and reverse Monte Carlo in 2015. He is now a professional data scientist.

Dr Helen Duncan

Helen graduated in 2016 with a PhD on Modelling local order in organic and metal-organic ferroics using the reverse Monte Carlo method and total neutron scattering. She was subsequently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh before taking up her current post at University College London.

Dr Serena Maugeri

Serena completed her PhD thesis, entitled Total scattering applied to the study of nanomaterials, in 2017. She then completed a PGCE through the INSPIRE programme, and is now a teacher of mathematics.

Dr Juan Du

Juan completed her PhD work in 2017; her thesis was entitled Reverse Monte Carlo studies of inorganic functional materials using neutron scattering. She now works as an analyst.

Dr Jiaxun Liu

Jiaxun completed her PhD Local structure of lead halide perovskites for optoelectronic applications in 2019. Her work focused on using total scattering methods to understand the structures of conventional and hybrid lead halide perovskites, and how these give rise to useful optoelectronic properties. She is now a postdoc at Sichuan University.

Dr Adgar (Zhengqiang) Yang

Adgar’s thesis, jointly supervised by Dr Alan Drew, was entitled Magnetism and dimensionality from 0D to 3D in lanthanide and hybrid organic-inorganic compounds. He graduated in 2019.

Andrew Raj Kirkpatrick

Andrew graduated with an MSc in 2017, and is now a DPhil student in Physics at the University of Oxford.