Steve Monk is a relatively new academic in the department having been appointed in 2007, with a research record encapsulating subjects such as Neutron detector design, Robotics in decommissioning environments, and general radiation beam characterization. He currently supervises three PhD students (one part time) within the subject areas of neutron spectrometry, robotics in decommissioning and Post Operational Clear Out (POCO) at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant. Further, Steve teaches three undergraduate modules; Wireless systems, Nuclear instrumentation and general instrumentation; as well as organize Lancasterâ??s part of the Nuclear technology educational consortium. Steve has a publication record which features this work as well as more left field subjects such as the generation of Bessel beams using an axicon.
Before undertaking his lectureship, Steve was a Postdoctural Research associate; designing, building and testing a novel neutron detection technique incorporating silicon diodes at varying depths within a volume of moderating polyethylene, designed to capture the secondary alpha particles created in a thin boron layer on the silicon surface. The work was motivated by the desire of a consortium consisting of several aerospace companies (BAe systems, Smiths aerospace, Goodrich, MBDA and QinetiQ) to detect cosmic ray neutrons in real time, in order to assist in their characterization of the toughness of their aircraft electronics to neutrons of cosmic origin. The work took him to such locations as TRIUMF in Vancouver, Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico and The Jungfraujoch laboratory in Switzerland as well as less exotic locations such as the ISIS facility in Oxfordshire.
Before coming to Lancaster, Steve read for a PhD at the University of Glasgow in the optics group, designing, building and testing an Ultra sensitive hydrocarbon gas detector which utilized infrared, wavelength modulation spectroscopy. The work was in conjunction with Shell UK who were interested in driving the detector around the UAE desert to look for trace amounts of hydrocarbon gas which had seeped up through the ground from unknown hidden reserves of oil. Other applications for the detector included environmental monitoring and early respiratory disease diagnosis.
Steve enjoys playing football in his spare time as well as getting down the gym when he has recovered from the hacking he has received from less talented colleagues.