UEC Member Election

The Users' Executive Committee (UEC) represents the scientific user community at the NSLS-II. The UEC interacts with NSLS-II Administration, BNL, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the public in matters of user community issues, facility operation, policies, and improvements.

General members are elected for a term of two (2) years. The nominating committee has prepared the following slate of candidates who have agreed to run for election for the 2022-2024 term. Six (6) general member candidates will be elected by a majority vote. Election results will be announced at the afternoon session of the main meeting at the NSLS-II Annual Users' Meeting. You must be an active NSLS-II user in order to vote.

Voting Guidance: As you peruse the list of nominees for membership on the NSLS-II UEC, please consider the following. The committee members are your representatives and serve as two-way channels of communication between you and BNL management (mostly NSLS-II, Energy Sciences Directorate, the GUV Center, and Facilities and Operations). Issues the UEC deals with include not only your scientific community needs, but also quality of life concerns, BNL site access (foreign national visits, training, security), commonality between DOE user facilities, outreach, and, of course, organizing and running the annual users meeting, UEC meetings and Town Halls as well as serving on other BNL committees. So while you consider the scientific interests and technique expertise of the candidates, also consider how involved and effective they would be in the other aspects of the job. The UEC has found that having at least some of the members living locally to the Lab helps in these other duties of office.

Deadline: Votes must be cast by 5pm on 5/23/2022.

First Name:
Last Name:  
Life/Guest Number:  

Please choose up to six (6) candidates.

David Billing, University of the Witwatersrand
Dave Billing is a Full Professor in Chemistry and Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.  His research focusses on the structure-property-performance nexus of energy materials. Principally utilising in situ XRD methods in conjunction with total scattering techniques to gain insight into both average and local structure of the materials of interest. Increasingly adding XAS, computational and other techniques in a multimodal approach to gain a more fundamental understanding of the structural features that governs the properties of functional materials of great societal importance. Synchrotron based techniques are central to these endeavours, and in addition to the NSLS-II he has completed measurements at ESRF, DLS and SSRL. He is the current Chairperson of the IUCr’s Commission for Powder Diffraction and a member of  APS’s Structure Science Proposal Review Panel.  Dave has a particular interest in introducing synchrotron-based techniques and the NSLS-II to scientific communities with limited or no previous access or experience with such capabilities, including other researchers based in Africa. Remote access modalities are especially promising in providing access to such remote users.
Wilson Chiu, University of Connecticut
Wilson Chiu is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. His research uses x-ray imaging and microscopy at NSLS/NSLS-II, APS, and SSRL to investigate the role of 3-D transport and electrochemistry in energy materials for electrolyzer, fuel cell, battery, gas separation membrane, and nuclear energy applications. In collaboration with beamline scientists, he developed x-ray imaging and microscopy techniques such as absorption contrast nanotomography, XANES nanotomography, phase contrast imaging, and high temperature in situ imaging with a controlled sample environment. Wilson Chiu is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. He currently serves as Chair of the NSLS-II Microscopy and Imaging Proposal Review Panel, Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage, and served on the editorial board of 6 other journals including Scientific Reports. He chaired the NSLS-II Full field X-ray Imaging (FXI) Beamline Advisory Team, served on the NSLS-II Science Advisory Committee Review Committee for the HXN Beamline, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Imaging Beam Line Review Committee. He also served as an associate editor for the International Journal Thermal Science and the Journal of Heat Transfer, and guest editor for the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. Wilson Chiu is interested supporting the x-ray imaging and microscopy program at NSLS-II, and supporting its access to the x-ray imaging and microscopy user community.
Tadanori Koga, Stony Brook University
Tadanori (Tad) Koga is an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering at Stony Brook University, focusing on polymeric materials. His group has been integrating in situ and operando synchrotron X-ray scattering/spectroscopic techniques to understand the rich and complex phenomena of polymers for the development of new designs, processing, and manufacturing. He previously served as the spokesperson of the Advanced Polymers Beamline (X27C, NSLS) where students, faculty, and staff with different background and perspectives worked together on overarching challenges in polymer science and engineering. Tad is an advocate for interdisciplinary collaborations across academia, industry, and government at the NSLS-II, and to make the science community more inclusive.
Diana Monteiro, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute
Diana Monteiro is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI) in Buffalo, NY, working on the development of techniques for protein activation and synchronization for time-resolved X-ray diffraction experiments. Specifically, she oversees a new synthetic chemical laboratory working on photocaging of protein ligands and has an interest in capturing protein dynamics associated with function. Previously she was a Louise Johnson Postdoctoral Fellow with the Centre for Ultrafast Imaging in Hamburg, Germany. She obtained her PhD from the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology in Leeds. She is responsible for the BAG proposal that provides beamtime at NSLSII for several research groups at HWI, the University at Buffalo and the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is interested in bringing time-resolved and dynamic X-ray experiments to the broader user community of NSLSII.
Maria Okuniewski, Purdue University
Maria Okuniewski is an assistant professor in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University with a courtesy appointment in the School of Nuclear Engineering. Prior to this she was a Research Scientist and Engineer at Idaho National Laboratory. Her research focuses on the nexus of microstructural evolution, processing, mechanical properties, and irradiation performance to improve upon the next generation nuclear fuels and materials, including minimizing proliferation. Maria has conducted diffraction, imaging, and spectroscopy research at synchrotron sources for 20 years, including NSLS, NSLS-II, and APS. She has partnered with BNL to develop a new synchrotron beamline for nuclear materials (Materials in a Radiation Environment) at NSLS-II. She has served on the High Energy Diffraction Proposal Review Panel for NSLS-II from 2018-2021. Maria is interested in broadening the materials and nuclear science user community at NSLS-II, fostering the development of remote operations, and educating the next generation of scientists and engineers about synchrotron X-ray characterization capabilities.
Robert Palomino, BASF
Robert Palomino is a Senior Chemist in the Analytics and Materials Characterization group at BASF Corporation in Iselin, NJ. Before this he was a postdoc at the Chemistry Division of Brookhaven National Laboratory, but also served as authorized beamline staff at the IOS beamline (23-ID-2). He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Stony Brook University in 2015. During his graduate and postdoc studies, his research was centralized around in situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) Pair Distribution Function (PDF) analysis and ambient pressure XPS (AP-XPS) of alcohol synthesis, alcohol decomposition, nerve agent simulant decontamination and industrial environmental catalysts, which utilized the old NSLS, NSLS-II, APS and ALS. In his postdoc, he helped commission the IOS beamline working on both endstations (NEXAFS & ambient pressure XPS/(AP-XPS). During graduate and postdoc studies, research was almost exclusively done via synchrotron-based work. Currently, he is working on industrial environmental catalysts, refinery catalysts, battery materials, coated/pre-treated metal surfaces and pigments for BASF Corporation. This work again utilizes both in situ and ex situ synchrotron-based techniques: X-ray tomography (micro-CT & nano-CT), AP-XPS, EXAFS, XANES, NEXAFS and XRD at NSLS-II, APS and Diamond for both proprietary and non-proprietary work in addition to internal resources/equipment available at BASF. Robert is interested in promoting and expanding users of NSLS-II for industry, academic and government users in all aspects of work (proprietary and non-proprietary). Specifically, he would like to work on outreach to communicate the ease of working at NSLS-II regardless of the sensitive nature of the work conducted.
Scott Pegan, University of California Riverside
Scott Pegan is a Professor with the University of California Riverside’s School of Medicine as well as serves as a U.S. Army Major in the capacity of a science and technology advisor for the US Military Research Institute of Chemical Defense in Maryland. His interests center on antiviral therapeutic development for the WHO blueprint and NIH priority A pathogen Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus, as well as other nairoviruses and coronaviruses. The latter includes but is not limited to SARS-CoV-2. His interests also include efforts to enhance development of therapeutics that can reverse nerve agent, or pesticide, damaged to human acetylcholine esterase. His interest in this position is to further enhance NSLS-II’s contributions now and into the future for the myriad of scientific fields that it serves through thoughtful user engagement.
Petra Reinke, University of Virginia
Petra Reinke is a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include a wide range of surface processes, and materials as motivated by technical relevance. Examples include the magnetic doping of Si and Ge quantum dots with Mn, defects in 2D materials, and most recently, corrosion and oxidation of carbides and technical alloys. Her research group uses mostly scanning probe methods and electron spectroscopies. The diversity of materials questions is reflected in her work at synchrotron facilities over the years: defects in diamond surfaces with NEXAFS at BESSY I, electronic and magnetic structure measurements at the ALS, and NSLS I. Her recent work on corrosion lead her to collaborate with researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and MAX IV with ambient pressure and time resolved experiments using AP-XPS and XPEEM. This work has benefitted from the experimental and intellectual support by the BNL staff and other users. National Laboratories have been an rich resource for her work and offer unique inspiration for PIs and student researchers. The opportunity to present her user research at the recent iOS beamline review motivated her to actively engage in the community. Petra is interested in developing strategies to foster innovation, and support the community of users, beamline scientists, and staff. One of her passions is to extend within the user community access and sharing of data analytics, and data interpretation capabilities to make full use of novel and "data rich" methods.
Daniel Sunday, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Daniel Sunday is a staff scientist in the Materials Science and Engineering Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His research involves developing new soft X-ray techniques to characterize structure, composition, and molecular orientation in organic thin films. He has utilized these techniques to better understand block copolymer self-assembly, with a focus on lithographic applications. Additionally, he has worked to develop new X-ray based metrologies for the semiconductor industry. He has experience as a user at a wide range of synchrotrons including NSLS-II, ALS, APS, Elettra and the NCNR.
Esther Tsai, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Esther Tsai is a staff scientist at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at BNL with research interest in developing novel synchrotron X-ray methods through advanced scientific computing. Prior to BNL, she worked at the Swiss Light Source on coherent diffractive imaging and provided user support at the coherent X-ray scattering beamline cSAXS. She joined CFN in 2018 and has been co-leading the CFN’s partner user program with NSLS-II scattering beamlines CMS and SMI to provide essential resources to the nanoscience community. She is also collaborating with NSLS-II beamline HXN on developing machine learning imaging methods. Esther is interested in promoting efficient use of beamtimes and easy data analytics for new and experienced users.
Matthew Whitaker, Stony Brook University
Matt Whitaker is a Research Assistant Professor in the Mineral Physics Institute and Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University and a Partner User Beamline Scientist for the high pressure Multi-Anvil program at the XPD beamline at NSLS-II (MAXPD). He also currently serves as a high pressure Beamline Scientist for beamline 6-BM-B at the APS, and is the co-PI of the COnsortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences (COMPRES) Multi-Anvil Facilities Program, which supports the two aforementioned beamlines. Prior to these current appointments, Matt was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan, and then served as High Pressure Beamline Scientist for X17B2 at NSLS-I from 2011 until its closure in 2014. He has been an active synchrotron user for over fifteen years at fifteen different beamlines at four different synchrotron facilities in two countries. Presently, he is an active user at the SRX, TES, XFM, and XPD beamlines at NSLS-II and has served on the NSLS-II UEC starting in 2019. During this time, he co-created and continues to host the wildly popular NSLS-II UEC Show and has worked to increase UEC involvement both at NSLS-II and across the DOE Light Sources. He is very interested in pursuing multi-modal studies of materials using multiple techniques available at multiple beamlines at NSLS-II. Matt hopes to continue to bring his enthusiasm for expanding the user base of the NSLS-II by promoting and continuing to expand upon the facility’s strengths as a part of the UEC for the coming term.