2014 Glazebrook Medal

Professor Gerhard Materlik, University College London and Diamond Light Source. For outstanding leadership in establishing a world-leading laboratory at the Diamond Light Source and for his innovations in X-ray diffraction physics.


Materlik is one of the outstanding leaders in the field of synchrotron radiation research. He has made many important contributions to the techniques of synchrotron X-ray science, has played a major advisory role in many international laboratories. Materlik was intimately involved at Hamburg University and the DESY laboratory in the development of new techniques in X-ray physics, now employed world-wide. In addition to his crucial contributions to work on X-ray standing waves, holographic imaging and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy, he showed in an early paper how milli-electron volt resolution could be achieved by X-ray backscattering. Subsequent to this important experimental advance, the technique of synchrotron X-ray inelastic scattering has been further developed to rival neutron scattering in studies of phonon dynamics in solids and liquids.

Throughout his career, Materlik has led scientific and technical development, first at HASYLAB (DESY) as Scientific Director, with a major involvement in the development of X-ray free electron lasers. His enthusiasm, expertise and energy were major contributors to the installation of the FLASH FEL, and subsequently to the large-scale European project, the European XFEL.

His advice is sought widely; he has recently been a Member (or Chairman) of scientific advisory committees in Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA.  He was influential in scientific and technical choices for the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility where he was, for many years, a most valued member (or Chairman) of advisory committees. Finally, as Chief Executive of the Diamond Light Source, he has guided the design, construction and operation of a facility that has rapidly become one of the world’s leading user centres for synchrotron X-ray research.