While Elke has only been at CHESS for one week, we asked her a few questions about her previous career at the Advanced Light Source and her hopes for the future at CHESS.
Could you share a bit about your background and interests?
I started using x-rays to study magnetic materials as a graduate student at the synchrotron BESSY in Berlin, Germany. X-rays are particularly powerful for magnetic materials research since they provide element specific magnetic information that is crucial for the understanding of novel engineered materials used for example in spin electronics (or spintronics) applications. Working in a diverse team, executing unique experiments with highly optimized instrumentation and attempting to creatively solve all the problems that occur when doing something new in a very limited amount of beamtime, was exciting and great fun. I came to Berkeley as a postdoc with a fellowship through UC Berkeley and then continued on as a beamline scientist at the ALS. Last year, my program included three beamlines and 6 endstations, all optimized to study ordering phenomena such as magnetism but also ferroelectricity as well as charge and orbital order.
What are you most proud of in your previous work at ALS?
My program at ALS focused on employing X-rays to characterize novel materials with spectroscopy, scattering and imaging techniques as well as dynamic measurement making use of the pulsed structure of the X-ray beam. It emphasized combining techniques to get a complete picture of the physics underlying new intriguing phenomena.
I developed several unique endstations with the engineering team at ALS which was a lot of fun. Moreover, my team and I made it our goal to provide access to X-ray techniques for scientists without prior X-ray expertise: We collaborated closely with visiting researchers contributing our scientific expertise to the planning, execution, analysis and interpretation of experiments.
You have been successful as a senior staff scientist, what do you find most compelling about your new position as an associate director?
I have been on the hands-on side of research at synchrotrons for more than 20 years and on the management side for a few years. For the future, I want to use this experience and my expertise to enable outstanding science here at CHESS. Supporting CHESS staff and users in developing new ideas for unique instruments, experiments and capabilities and to secure the necessary resources for it will be at the top of the list.
What are you most excited about by coming to CHESS?
CHESS has a unique position among synchrotron in the world in its commitment to training both expert users and x-ray/accelerator scientists. Moreover, it is internationally leading in developing and commercializing new accelerator and synchrotron technologies. CHESS is an exciting place to be!
I have only been at CHESS for a very short amount of time but I am impressed by the dedication, creativity and can-do attitude of everyone I have met. The close collaboration between all partners is impressive and will allows us to do science here that is not possible elsewhere.
Welcome Elke Arenholz!
Elke's Biographical Information
- Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Quantum Materials, Spintronics, Magnetization dynamics
- X-Ray Spectroscopy, Resonant X-ray Scattering, X-Ray Microscopy
- Development of new instruments for X-ray spectroscopy, resonant X-ray scattering, X-ray microscopy
Dr. rer. nat. in Physics, Summa cum laude, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Diplom in Physics (M.S.), With Honors, Universität Regensburg, Germany
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Universityof California, Berkeley (2013 – 2019)
Staff Scientist, Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2006 – 2012)
Scientist, Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2000 – 2006)
Postdoctoral Researcher, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley , CA (1996 – 2000)
Honors and Awards:
Fellow of the American Physical Society, APS (2014)
Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE (2010)
Klaus Halbach Award for Innovative Instrumentation at the Advanced Light Source (2005)
Tim Renner Award for Outstanding Support to the ALS User Community (2001)
Miller Research Fellowship Award (1997)
Ernst Eckhart Koch Award(1996)