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August 2012 Print

Mike Martin, Infrared Beamlines Leader and Deputy Group Leader, Scientific Support Group


I have been at the ALS for 15 years now, and continue to enjoy being a part of this dynamic and always interesting facility. My main job continues to be the primary Beamline Scientist for the ALS infrared beamlines (BL 1.4 and BL 5.4). Together with Hans Bechtel, we help a diverse array of scientists perform FTIR spectromicrsocopy on their samples. We continue to push the boundaries of the science that synchrotron infrared beamlines can enable, recently exploring two new directions. Taking spectral imaging into the third dimension, we are developing FTIR spectral microtomography, and on the nano scale, well sub-diffraction limited probing via scattering the light off an AFM tip.

I wear a number of other hats around the ALS and Berkeley Lab. I am proud to be a Deputy Group Leader for the ALS Scientific Support Group (SSG) under Zahid Hussain. The SSG's primary mission is to support the efforts of researchers at the ALS through scientific and technical collaboration and scientific outreach. We run and develop many of the ALS beamlines, organize a variety of seminars, help grow the pool of future synchrotron scientists via the ALS Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Fellowship programs, and pioneer many technical developments. The SSG plays an important role in keeping ALS science ahead of the game and maintaining the ALS as an outstanding national user facility.

I participate actively in several safety efforts for the ALS division and the Lab. I am the current chair of the ALS Staff Safety Committee which helps write safety policies by investigating whenever an incident provides opportunities to learn, and making sure that the division follows through with effective corrective actions. I also co-chair the ALS Beamline Review Committee which ensures beamlines are designed, built, and maintained for safety as well as technical excellence. I am the ALS representative on the LBNL Safety Advisory Committee and am also a member of the LBNL Institutional Biosafety Committee. I have recently been working on a Lab-wide effort to recognize and enhance our safety culture, and if you're a Berkeley Lab staff member you'll soon hear more about how "Safety is Elemental."

For the broader synchrotron community, I will soon be taking over as US Editor for Synchrotron Radiation News starting with Volume 26. SRN provides review articles on specific areas of synchrotron research, project updates of new light sources, meeting reports, and a new product section. I am looking forward to working with many of you in keeping this publication a widely read and useful journal for the synchrotron community! I welcome your suggestions and comments ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).