Prof. Dave Townsend
Dave has over 20 years of experience in the field of gas-phase molecular spectroscopy and dynamics, working extensively in the area of charged particle imaging and photofragment angular distributions using both time- and frequency-resolved methods. He obtained his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Nottingham and then spent time as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, in the USA (at SUNY Stony Brook), and in Canada (at the National Research Council). Dave arrived at Heriot-Watt in 2007 and is jointly affiliated to the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences and the Institute of Chemical Sciences.
Chris obtained an MPhys in Chemical Physics from Heriot-Watt in 2019. Prior to signing up full time for his PhD, he previously worked in the group as both a summer student and a final year project student. Chris is developing a new imaging spectrometer for investigating photoelectron circular dichroism phenomena in the multiphoton ionization of chiral molecules. He is also investigating new strategies for processing photoelectron data and applications of machine learning for charged particle imaging.
Seb graduated from The University of Edinburgh with a Master of Chemical Physics MChemPhys (Hons). Spending his final year abroad, he studied in Prof. P-T. Chou’s lab at National Taiwan University. Seb joined the Townsend group at Heriot-Watt University in 2020. His current work is to develop soliton-based ultrafast, vacuum ultraviolet light sources for time-resolved photoelectron imaging. He also uses the computational chemistry package Gaussian to explore the theory of the excited state and non-radiative pathways of small molecules.
Malcolm obtained an MChem in Chemistry from Heriot-Watt in 2020, working with Prof. Matt Costen in his final year project studying the stereodynamics of inelastic collisions in the gas phase of rotationally excited NO with neon. He is now undertaking a PhD project in the Townsend group (in collaboration with Dr Stuart Greaves) developing an ultrafast transient absorption experiment, with the main goal being to study the excited state dynamics of porphyrin-like molecules in the solution phase for their potential effectiveness in photodynamic therapy.
Having obtained his MPhys in Chemical Physics from Heriot-Watt in 2022, Lewis is now undertaking his PhD within the Townsend group. He had worked previously with Dave as his supervisor for both his BSc and MPhys research projects, and also completed a summer project within the group in 2021. Lewis is investigating phototelectron circular dichroism phenomena in the multiphoton ionization of chiral molecules. He is also designing a new stage for the current experiment, where he will investigate the effects of performing laser induced, non-adiabatic molecular alignment prior to photoionization.