Invited speakers


Prof David Larbalestier
Florida State University, USA

David Larbalestier is a materials scientist who has spent his professional career developing, understanding, improving and using superconductors in practical wire forms.  He gained his BS and PhD at the Imperial College, afterwards joining the Rutherford Laboratory, where he worked on the development of the first multifilamentary Nb3Sn conductors and magnets, one outcome of which was the first filamentary Nb3Sn NMR magnet made jointly with an Oxford Instrument Company team.  He joined the University of Wisconsin in 1976, continuing to work on filamentary Nb3Sn and later the materials science and processing of still the most widely used superconductor, Niobium Titanium. On the discovery of HTS materials in 1987, he established programs in defect and grain boundary studies so as to understand better the differing roles of vortex pinning and grain boundary obstructions in controlling Jc. He became director of the Applied Superconductivity Center in 1991 and developed many industry, national laboratory and other university group collaborations that have been influential in developing HTS conductor and magnet technology.  Joining the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in 2006 with the mission of driving HTS materials into ultra-high field magnets, he has led efforts on HTS materials and magnets that have recently achieved fields of more than 40 T.  Former students, post-doctoral workers and sabbatical visitors to ASC are widely dispersed in the superconductivity community in the US, Europe and Asia.


Prof Jukka Pekola
Aalto University, Finland

Jukka Pekola is a Professor of quantum nanophysics at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. His research focuses on quantum phenomena and devices based on superconducting circuits, in particular on thermometry, calorimetry, refrigeration, single-charge control, an studies of quantum thermodynamics in these systems.  


Dr Joe Minervini
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA 

Joseph Minervini is Assistant Director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) at MIT. He also is Division Head for Technology and Engineering, and holds an academic appointment as Senior Research Engineer in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.

Dr. Minervini has played a leading role in the field of large-scale applications of superconductors for more than 30 years. His work has spanned the range from laboratory research to management of engineering groups and large-scale projects pursuing advanced superconducting and energy technology goals. His research interests include applied superconductivity, electromagnetics, cryogenic heat transfer, supercritical helium fluid dynamics and low temperature measurements. He has worked on magnet systems covering nearly every major application of large-scale superconductivity including fusion energy, magnetic levitation, energy storage, power generation and transmission, magnetic separation, high energy and nuclear physics, as well as medical applications. Dr. Minervini has over 130 publications in these technical fields. In 2013 he received the IEEE Council on Superconductivity Award for Continuing and Sustained Contributions in the Field of Applied Superconductivity. He has also won the Award for Technical Excellence in Fusion Science and Engineering from the Fusion Engineering Division of the American Nuclear Society.

Dr. Minervini holds a B.S. Engineering degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Dr Luca Bottura
CERN, Switzerland 

Luca Bottura is a Nuclear Engineer at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Bologna (Italy), and has received a PhD from the University College of Swansea (Wales, UK) for the physical modeling, scaling and numerical analysis of quench in large force-flow cooled superconducting coils. After nine years of experience in the design and testing of superconducting cables and magnets for fusion (NET and ITER), he joined CERN in 1995, where he initially supervised field mapping activities for the LHC magnets, and devised the Field Description for the LHC (FiDeL), an embedded system of the LHC controls. As of July 2011, he is the leader of the MSC group in the CERN Technology Department, in charge of the resistive and superconducting magnets for the CERN accelerator complex, the associated manufacturing and test technologies, and installations.


Prof Damian Hampshire
Durham University, UK

Professor Damian Hampshire is head of the Superconductivity Group in the Physics Department in Durham University, England. He is PI for the European Reference Laboratory for Fusion Energy and Vice-chairman of the British Cryogenics Council.  He was founding Director of the Centre for Materials Physics in Durham (2010) and Editor-in-chief of the IoP journal Superconductor Science and Technology (2006-2013). Hampshire was a PDRA with Professor Larbalestier at the Applied Superconductivity Centre in Madison USA with responsibility for measurements at MIT.  He completed his PhD in Oxford with Profs Jones and Mitchell and his first degree as an Open Scholar in Physics at New College, Oxford with Profs. Stinchcombe and Silver. 

His interests are in the properties of superconducting materials in high magnetic fields – for use in high-field magnet systems including Fusion Energy Tokamaks and MRI.  Recent research includes: the development of nanocrystalline superconductors with enhanced upper critical fields; TDGL visualisation of flux flow in polycrystalline materials; fabrication of low resistivity joints between superconductors for fusion energy applications and the development of scaling laws for the critical current density under strain of LTS and HTS materials in high magnetic fields.


Dr Martin Wilson
Consultant, Oxford, UK

Martin Wilson started work in the Nuclear Power Industry, but shortly moved to the Rutherford Laboratory where he initially worked on producing pulsed high magnetic fields by capacitor discharge.  He then joined the Superconductivity Group working on the idea of building a superconducting synchrotron.  In order to avoid flux jumping, minimize ac losses and reduce field perturbations, the Group developed (in collaboration with IMI Titanium) the filamentary superconducting wires which are now used universally for magnet making.  Rutherford Cable was also developed by this group and has been used in every superconducting synchrotron built so far - most recently the LHC. 

Moving to Oxford Instruments, Martin supervised two industrial accelerator projects using superconductivity.  Firstly Helios was a £10m compact superconducting storage ring X-ray source for use in microchip lithography.  Secondly Oscar was a compact medical cyclotron for producing PET isotopes and weighing only ~ 1/10 as much as a conventional machine.

At CERN, he worked on the stability of Rutherford cables for use in the LHC.  Returning to Oxford he spent his final years with the company trying to commercialize the use of high temperature superconductors HTS in magnets.

He is the author of 76 scientific papers and the book ‘Superconducting Magnets’. 

Following his retirement, Martin has continued to work as a consultant and an educator in the field of applied superconductivity.


Prof Susannah Speller
Oxford University, UK

Professor Susannah Speller has recently been appointed as an Associate Professor in the Materials Department, University of Oxford, having previously held a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship. She has over 15 years of experience in the field of applied superconductivity, and leads a research group that focuses on tailoring the performance of a wide range of superconducting materials by microstructural engineering on the micro and nano scale.  She is Co-Director of the new Oxfordshire Centre for Applied Superconductivity, a £6.49M project funded by BIS through the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to link research in Oxford University with the interests and requirements of the cluster of industrial exploiters of superconductivity in Oxfordshire (


Dr Simon Clarke
Oxford University, UK

Simon Clarke is a Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford & Official Fellow of Exeter College. The research in his group is geared toward the synthesis of exotic new solids and investigating the interplay of composition, crystal structure and physical properties.


Dr M’hamed Lakrimi
Siemens Magnet Technology, UK

Dr M’hamed Lakrimi graduated from Sussex-University with a DPhil degree in Semiconductor Physics for extensive research carried out in collaboration with Philips Research Laboratories (UK).

He worked for more than 10 years in academia as a research scientist with 9 years spent at The Clarendon Laboratory (Oxford-University). He carried out electrical and optical spectroscopy measurements on III-V and narrow gap semiconductors at low temperatures, very high magnetic fields and large hydrostatic pressures. The work led to the discovery of several novel effects.

In 1998, he made a transition to the field of applied superconductivity in industry and joined Oxford Instruments (UK).  He was in the core team which developed the world’s first persistent 900MHz and 950MHz NMR magnets. He developed a number of novel technologies and processes, just to name a few, persistent jointing of Nb-Ti and Nb3Sn, joint shields, quench heaters for the active quench management system, homogeneity mapping of wound magnets, extremely low boil-off HTS current leads, etc. He also served as the business representative to the UK Institute of Physics (IoP) for Oxford Instruments.

In 2006, he joined Siemens Magnet Technology (UK) where he continued to develop new magnet technologies and processes and design MRI magnets.

He travelled the world to participate in conferences where he gave oral and poster presentations and he has worked with people from several different cultures. He has more than 80 technical publications in peer reviewed journals. He takes a keen interest in politics, science policies and technology strategies. He is a member of the Executive Committee of The British Cryogenic Council. He is also a Fellow of the IoP, a Chartered Engineer, and a member of the IoP panel for the Accreditation of Company Training Schemes.


Prof Yuri Pashkin
Lancaster University, UK

Dr. Yuri Pashkin is Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at Lancaster University and the holder of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. He obtained his PhD and DSc degrees from Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Before taking up a professorship at Lancaster, he was a Principal Researcher at the research laboratory of NEC Corporation in Tsukuba, Japan. While working in the group of Dr. J.S. Tsai at NEC, Dr. Pashkin and his collaborators performed ground-breaking experiments on Josephson circuits demonstrating for the first time quantum coherence in a solid-state device which is now regarded as the first solid-state qubit. His current research interests include quantum computing with superconducting nanocircuits, quantum metrology with Coulomb blockade devices and the physics of nanoelectromechanical systems.


Chris Riley
Cobham Technical Services, UK 

Chris studied electrical engineering at University College, London and began working in electromagnetic finite element methods while at GEC Power Engineering in the late 1970’s. In the 1980’s, he joined Compeda, the UK Government CAD software house, and held a lectureship in CAD and electromechanics at Liverpool University before joining Vector Fields in 1986 (now part of Cobham), where he is currently Engineering Manager. He is author of more than 70 papers and is experienced in modelling a wide range of applications of electromagnetic technology, including superconducting magnets for accelerators and medicine. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and has served two terms on the IET professional network management team in electromagnetics.


Dr Mark Ainslie
Cambridge University, UK

Dr Mark Ainslie received the B.E. & B.A. (Japanese) degree in electrical engineering from the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, in 2004, the M.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 2008, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, in 2012. He is currently a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow in the Bulk Superconductivity Group at the University of Cambridge and is a Junior Research Fellow at King’s College, Cambridge. His current research interests are in applied superconductivity in electrical engineering, including superconducting electric machine design, power system protection and energy storage, electromagnetic modelling of superconducting materials, and interactions between superconducting and magnetic materials for practical engineering applications.


Dr Amalia Coldea
Oxford University, UK 

Amalia currently holds an independent research position funded by the EPSRC through a Career Accelaration Fellowship at the University of Oxford and is a Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford. Previously, she held a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship at the University of Bristol and University of Oxford. Before that, she was Departmental Lecturer and Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, after her PhD in Oxford at the Queen's College. Her part-time research work is combined with raising two small children.

She was a member of the Superconductivity Group Committee of the Institute of Physics until October 2012, and the SelCom, EuroMagnet II Selection Committee for access to the high magnetic fields facilities in Europe until December 2012.

Since 2011 she has been organizing the Oxford Symposium on Quantum Materials combined with an expert visitor programme both funded by the EPSRC as well as a Cafe Scientifique dedicated to open discussions on quantum materials.


Charles Monroe
Monroe Brothers Ltd, UK

Charles Monroe has worked as an engineer in the cryogenic sector for over
twenty five years bringing innovative engineering to new applications and
prototype systems for industry and research establishments.

He graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Engineering and
qualified as a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Mechanical
Engineers shortly afterwards. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the
Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

His first position was with Oxford Instruments Ltd designing and building
large superconducting magnets and the associated cooling systems. This
was followed by work with two industrial gas companies, Air Products PLC
and then Sapio Srl, Monza, Italy. For the last fifteen years he has run his
own business as an engineering consultant to an extensive client base in
Europe and the USA including Diamond Light Source Ltd, Brookhaven
National Laboratory USA, Sigmaphi France, Oxford Instruments, Babcock
Noell GmbH, Air Products PLC, Sapio Srl Italy, Culham Centre for Fusion
Energy and Tokamak Energy Ltd.


Prof Stephen Blundell
Oxford University, UK

Stephen Blundell is a Professor of Physics in Oxford University, working in the Department of Physics, and based in the Clarendon Laboratory. He is also a Professorial Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford. He was Head of Condensed Matter Physics from 2008-2011. His research is concerned with using muon-spin rotation and magnetoresistance techniques to study a range of organic and inorganic materials, particularly those showing interesting magnetic, superconducting, or dynamical properties. Recently he has been developing a technique called DFT+μ for understanding muon sites and also working on a project to upgrade Oxford's Pulsed Field system to generate higher magnetic fields.  He is part of Oxford’s Centre for Applied Superconductivity.  He is the author or co-author of five books, which include “Magnetism in Condensed Matter” (OUP, 2001) and "Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction" (OUP, 2009).


Dr John Durrell
Cambridge University, UK

John Durrell is a Lecturer and a member of the Bulk Superconductivity Group in the University of Cambridge Engineering Department. From October 2010 until September 2014 he was a Senior Research Associate in the group. He is a Fellow and Assistant Director of Studies for 1A Engineering at Pembroke College . Previously John has held research positions at the University of Linz and the University of Cambridge. Most recently he held an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship in the Device Materials Group of the Materials Science Department. John holds a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Cambridge and an MSci in Physics from Imperial College.

Dr Durrell was awarded the 2012 Institute of Physics Superconductivity Group Prize, the citation for which read in part "He has led the international community in measuring and understanding how fluxons interact with pinning sites and low-angle grain boundaries in HTS cuprate and Fe-based superconducting materials. Recent important contributions include fabrication of bulk MgB2 which traps record values of magnetic field.”


Dr Ziad Melhem
Oxford Instruments, UK

Dr Ziad Melhem is the Alliances Manager at Oxford Instruments NanoScience (OINS), managing OINS Alliances including Consultancy Projects, Collaborative R&D, strategic projects on Nanotechnology applications including, Quantum Technologies and 2D materials and partner in the Graphene Flagship programme, large scale superconducting systems, High Field and High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) applications  including materials modelling and characterisation, with over 26 years’ experience in applied superconductivity, Low and High temperature superconducting (LTS & HTS) materials, low temperature and cryogenic applications for scientific, medical and industrial sectors including energy. Ziad has successfully led the development and testing of the world’s first 22.5T research magnet using LTS and HTS superconducting materials at 4.2 Kelvin and led many consultancy and special projects involving business development activities. Recently, Ziad programme managed the successful completion of the first generation of high field wide bore superconducting magnets. Ziad is active at national and international level and has co-organised events on superconducting applications and is an industrial supervisor for Physics and Engineering students. Ziad is the the editor of specialist books published by woodehead – Elsiever  on High Tempertaure Superconducting (HTS) applications for Energy Applications  (2012) and on  Electricity transmission, distribution and storgae systems by Woodhead-Elsiever Publishing House  ( 2013) and authored a special report on superconducting materials and applications published by the UK Materials Network and launched at the House of Lords, London, UK in June 2011. Ziad is a member of the Institute of Physics (IOP) Superconductivity committee and Secretary of the British Cryogenic Council (BCC) and Chairman of Industrial Steering Committee - CDT in Energy Storage and its Applications at Southampton University; Ziad Chaired the Innovation Partner Scheme (IPS) Panel of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (Aug2011 Aug-2014) and Chaired the IOP Superconductivity Summer School at Oxford (2010,2012, 2014) and member of organising committees at MT23 and EUCAS 2015.

Key dates

  • Early registration deadline:
    8 June 2016
  • Registration deadline [extended]:
    12 July 2016