The Paul Bailey Memorial Fund

Paul Bailey was a much-loved colleague, friend, and husband who enjoyed a successful academic career in the ion beam field. The Paul Bailey Memorial Fund has been set up in his memory to support PhD students studying in the Ion Beam Centre.

About the fund

Paul’s family have generously supported the Paul Bailey Memorial Fund. The Fund will support:

Student prizes

Two PhD student prizes per year awarded for:

  1. The best student work presented at the annual UK National Ion Beam Centre User Day
  2. The best conference presentation or thesis by a student in the field of energetic ion solid interactions.

Travel bursaries

For students making presentations at international conferences in the field of energetic ion solid interactions, or to undertake short study visits to further their research work in the field.

Who is eligible?

All PhD students who are studying at the UK National Ion Beam Centre are eligible for the awards. Please contact the Director of the Ion Beam Centre or your personal tutor if you would like to be considered for an award.

About Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey

Paul completed his physics degree at the University of Salford and progressed to PhD study under Professor Dave Armour, also at Salford. Paul’s PhD project on thermal desorption spectroscopy involved the construction of the vacuum. Paul was a dab hand at constructing his experimental rig and demonstrated considerable practical skill in making the equipment work.

After completing his PhD he worked as a shift support scientist at the Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS) at the Daresbury Laboratory in 1988, before becoming a Station Scientist on the SRS station 6.1. This led to productive collaborations with groups from the University of Manchester and Dublin City University.

In 1993 the Medium Energy Ion Scattering (MEIS) facility at Daresbury was launched thanks to a grant from EPSRC, with Prof Dave Armour of Salford University and Prof Phil Woodruff of Warwick University joint sponsors. Paul was the natural choice to work on this project due to his expertise with ion beams and connection to Salford. Together with Dr Tim Noakes, he worked to ensure that the MEIS facility worked smoothly for the many MEIS users over the years.

During the commissioning of the detector, strange patterns were seen in the accumulated data. Overnight Paul worked out what was going on and wrote a computer program to simulate the effect, which proved his theory. One of Paul’s other achievements was to create software that converted MEIS spectra into depth profiles. He also created useful material for the facility users, such as stereographic projections that let experimenters steer their way around their samples, as well as a bespoke version of the periodic table with highly relevant information for MEIS experiments.

Paul was instrumental in setting up a series of workshops on high resolution depth profiling that were attended by the worldwide MEIS community. These workshops were held around the world, from Bar Harbor in the US, Dresden in Germany, Kyoto in Japan, to South Korea.

The 17 years Paul and Tim worked together on the MEIS facility were highly productive. It led to over 120 published scientific papers, contributed to some 30 PhD theses, and established the UK MEIS instrument as the leading facility of its kind, producing half the scientific output for this research area in the world. The exceptional level of success owed a great deal to the talent and skill that Paul contributed to the project.

Sadly, funding for MEIS was cut as part of a review of mid-range facilities in 2009. That came as a bitter blow for both Paul and Tim. Fortunately, MEIS was saved when the IIAA at the University of Huddersfield offered to provide MEIS a new home. Paul joined the project to help with the MEIS relocation and recommissioning. Paul worked with others from Huddersfield for many months taking the system apart bit by bit and for the next two years on rebuilding it at Huddersfield, while also providing it with a new beamline.

Paul was a clever and highly competent scientist whose wealth of experience, knowledge and experimental skill proved not only important during the MEIS glory years at Daresbury Laboratory but also vital in the MEIS reconstruction project. Sadly, the new opportunities in Huddersfield were not able to rekindle Paul’s enthusiasm for his work so in early 2014 Paul left the project, however he remained available for advice. The MEIS facility officially reopened at Huddersfield in March 2015, thanks mostly to the efforts of Paul.

Paul died peacefully in hospital on the 8 January 2020 aged 62. Paul loved his work and he always enjoyed and valued scientific exchange. Paul’s family have therefore generously provided a fund in his memory to support student prizes and to enable students working in the field of ion beam interactions with solids to travel to conferences and events overseas.

Get in touch

Roger Webb profile image

Professor Roger Webb

Director of Ion Beam Centre, Professor of Ion Beam Physics