ACA Election Candidate

Daniel Olds: Candidate for Powder SIG Chair Elect

It is my honor to be nominated for Chair of the Powder Diffraction SIG of the ACA. I am a beamline scientist at NSLS-II on the Pair-Distribution Function (PDF) beamline. I received my PhD in Physics from Michigan State University in 2013 before going on to postdoc at both Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I joined the ACA in 2014, attending my first meeting in Albuquerque, NM. I have a broad range of experiences at many different types of beamlines, from the standpoint of a user and staff, leveraging both x-rays and neutrons. My research has been focused on characterizing complex, functional energy materials to discover the underlying atomic origins of material properties, such as reaction pathways, synthesis, phase-transitions, and material passivation/poisoning.

I am passionate about this community and it is my personal goal to make powder diffraction more accessible and easier to use for researchers of all disciplines and backgrounds. I see high-throughput and in situ methods as critical areas of increasing growth in the powder community but know that such studies can require complex analysis of high volumes of data – often by new and inexperienced users. To this end, I’m heavily involved in organizing classes and instructing students on these techniques at schools. I am also professionally focused on developing Machine Learning based methods to automate data collection and analysis.

As chair of the Powder SIG, it would be my goal to see expanded representation and attendance of our community at the ACA annual meeting, especially for underrepresented schools and institutions. I will advocate and collaborate with other SIGS to help organize workshops aimed at attracting and educating new members to our vibrant and multifaceted techniques.