Sarah is a student at St. John’s College, Oxford and is doing her Part II, the final part of an undergraduate masters, with the Senn group. She is looking at understanding physical properties, which arise as a result of the dynamics of competing crystallographic phases, by using chemical control to engineer the phases’ relative energies.
Sarah’s research focuses on ceramics whose chemistry is dominated by tilting of rigid octahedral BO6 units, one phonon which corresponds to an octahedral tilt leads to the uniaxial negative thermal expansion and competes with a phonon which corresponds to a rotation of columns of octahedra. These distortions can be observed using powder diffraction, and she has had the opportunity to go to Diamond Light Source and ISIS Neutron Source to obtain high resolution data on the series of compounds that she’s studying.
Outside of the lab, Sarah is involved in rowing and coxing for her St. John’s Boat Club and is on the Oxford University Powerlifting Squad.