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Helen Maynard Casely

Dr Helen Maynard-Casely

Instrument Scientist

Role at ANSTO

Dr Helen Maynard-Casely is an instrument scientist for the WOMBAT high-intensity powder diffractometer at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering. 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 ANSTO, 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. 


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)