Dr Rachel Cross is a Lecturer and Early Career Researcher in the Department of Physics Aberystwyth University. Graduating from Aberystwyth University in 2006 with a BSc. Physics she joined the Ministry of Defence’s graduate scheme (Defence Engineering Science Group) working as a procurement and risk project manager on several high-profile projects. Following this she was employed as a Nuclear Safety Engineer and Reactor Physicist with British Energy with responsibility for nuclear safety case compliance and fuel cycle management. During these positions, she has gained valuable compliance management experienced, having been trained formally in procurement, project management and risk management.
In 2010 she returned to academic study for a PhD in Materials Physics and graduated in 2015 (“Optical Spectroscopy Instrumentation for the Characterisation of Wide Band Gap Materials”). During her PhD she developed a hyperspectral imaging microscope for the investigation of wide band gap materials; HeLIOS (Hyperspectral Luminescence Imaging for Optical Spectroscopy). It is during her work on HeLIOS and its subsequent characterisation and radiometric calibration that she became involved with the ESA (European Space Agency) ExoMars Rover project through involvement in calibration and image processing of the rover’s Panoramic Camera (PanCam). Rachel’s principle research interests are instrumentation for the optical characterisation of wide band gap materials; particularly diamond, nanodiamond interactions with bio-materials, and future bio-pigment photovoltaic materials. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature, making use of central facilities across Europe and working closely with industry.