Bob Cernik graduated in physics from University College Cardiff (University of Wales) in 1976 and obtained his PhD from the same university. He came to Manchester in 1979 to work in crystal structure analysis as a joint appointment for the chemistry departments of UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester. After this 3 year postdoctoral fellowship he left for industry where he joined Ferranti Electronics working in semiconductor process evaluation. In 1986 he joined Daresbury laboratory in Cheshire working on the world’s first synchrotron radiation source dedicated for scientific research. He began working as a station scientist interested in powder X-ray diffraction; subsequently becoming head of the X-ray diffraction group and then director responsible for the physical sciences. In 2000 he sat on two government committees to shape the direction of science in the region and helped to launch the new company incubator initiative at Daresbury. In 2002 he renewed his association with Manchester becoming a joint appointment with the Materials Science Centre. This collaboration lasted until 2006 when he joined the the School of Materials full time, he also holds a visiting chair at the Department of Crystallography, Birkbeck College London.
Bob's research interests cover the development of synchrotron radiation as an analytical tool in materials science, especially developing the technique of dark field hyperspectral X-ray imaging (colour imaging of X-rays) which has most recently led to a patent filing. He has published extensively in these fields. He is also interested in the structural evaluation and design of multiferroic materials and functional ceramics and makes significant use of X-ray, neutron and electron sources. He has recently spun out a company to exploit the new imaging technology.