Dr Helen Maynard-Casely

Instrument Scientist
Phone - +61 2 9717 9254


Role at ANSTO

Dr Helen Maynard-Casely is an instrument scientist for the WOMBAT high-intensity powder diffractometer at the Bragg Institute. She assists and collaborates with visiting scientists, works with the sample environment team in commissioning new equipment for WOMBAT and is co-responsible for improving and expanding the capabilities of the instrument.
Her expertise is in the study of small molecules and ices under pressure.  Much of this work is motivated by the wish to understand the interiors of planetary bodies.  Prior to working at the Bragg Institute, Helen was based at the Powder-Diffraction beamline at the Australian Synchrotron where she developed her program of research on planetary ices.  She has also previously completed an industry-funded post-doctoral position exploring the high-pressure behviour of energetic materials.  
When not working on the instrument, Helen also works to promotes science to as wide an audience as possible, her skills in this area were honed whilst working as the Christmas Lecturer’s researcher for the Royal Institution of Great Britain.  She currently writes ‘The shores of Titan’ column  for The Conversation.


Powder diffraction, high-pressure sample environments, crystal structure solution, planetary science, science communication.

Qualifications & Achievements

  • Parkin Prize lecture for Science Communication (2011)
  • UK Physical Crystallography Group’s Thesis prize (2010) 
  • Post-Doctoral positions held at Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions, University of Edinburgh (2009-2010) and Australian Synchrotron (2011-2013).
  • PhD in High Pressure Physics from University of Edinburgh (2009)
  • Msci in Planetary Science from University College London (2005)
  • Holds the Guinness World record for the longest glow-in-the-dark necklace (326.44 m)

Selected publications

A nearly complete list of Helen's publications and citations are accessible here.


Key Publications


H.E. Maynard-Casely, R. Hodyss, M.L. Cable, T.H. Vu and M. Rham.  A co-crystal between benzene and ethane: a potential evaporite material for Saturn's moon Titan, IUCrJ, 3(3) (2016). DOI: 10.1107/S2052252516002815
H.E. Maynard-Casely, H.E.A Brand and K.S. Wallwork. Phase relations between water-rich sulfuric acid hydrates, potential marks of thermal history on Jupiter's icy moons. Icarus, 238, 59-65 (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.carus.2014.04.012
H. E. Maynard-Casely, K. S. Wallwork and M. Avdeev.  A new material for the Galiliean ice moons: The structure of sulfuric acid hexahydrate, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets 118, 1-8, (2013). DOI: 10.1002/jgre.20124
C. Sanloup, S. A. Bonev, M. Hochlaf and H. E. Maynard-Casely.  Reactivity of Xenon with Ice at planetary conditions, Physical Review Letters 110(26):265501 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.265501
H. E. Maynard-Casely, H. E. A. Brand and K. S. Wallwork, Structure and thermal expansion of sulfuric acid octahydrate, Journal of Applied Crystallography 45, 1198-1207, (2012). DOI: 10.1107/S0021889812037752
D. I. A. Millar, H. E. Maynard-Casely, D. R. Allan, A. S.Cumming, A. R. Lennie, A. J. Mackay, I. D. H. Oswald, C. C.Tang and C. R. Pulham. Crystal engineering of energetic materials: Co-crystals of CL-20,  Crystal Engineering Communications 14, p3742 (2012). DOI: 10.1039/C2CE05796D
C. Sanloup, W. van Westeren, R. Dasgupta, H. E. Maynard-Casely and J. P. Perrilat.  Compressibility change in iron-rich melt and implication for core formation models, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 306, p118 (2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.03.039
D. I. A. Millar, H. E. Maynard-Casley, A. K. Kleppe, W. G. Marshall, C. R. Pulham and A. S. Cumming.  Putting the squeeze on energetic materials a high-pressure structure of CL-20, Crystal Engineering Communications 12, p2524 (2010). DOI: 10.1039/C002701D  
H. E. Maynard-Casely, C. L. Bull, M. Guthrie, I. Loa, M. I. McMahon, R. J. Nelmes and J. S. Loveday.  The distorted close-packed crystal structure of methane A, Journal of Chemical Physics 133, 064504 (2010). DOI: 10.1063/1.3455889
J. S. Loveday, R. J. Nelmes, C. L. Bull, H. E. Maynard-Casely and M. Guthrie. Observation of ammonia dihydrate in the AMH-VI structure at room temperature possible implications for Titan, High Pressure Research 29, 3, p359 (2009). DOI: 10.1080/08957950903162057