Leigh Connor


Senior Industrial Liaison Scientist - Engineering and Diffraction

Email: industry@diamond.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1235 778688

Key Research Area

Powder X-ray diffraction, high energy 2D X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive X-ray diffraction, pair distribution function measurement, X-ray imaging, metallurgical and engineering systems.

Latest Publications

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  1. Biography
  2. Scientific Interests
  3. Publications
Biography -


Leigh Connor is a Senior Industrial Liaison Scientist at Diamond Light Source with research expertise in the area of metallurgy and high energy diffraction. He joined the Industrial Liaison Office in March 2012 after working as a post-doctoral research associate on the joint engineering, environmental and processing beamline (I12) at Diamond Light Source. He completed his Rolls-Royce sponsored PhD in 2007, studying nickel base superalloys for gas turbine disc application at the University of Cambridge. Prior to his PhD Leigh worked in industry for a number of years at two metallurgy foundries.

Leigh’s role as a senior industrial liaison scientist is to assist industrial users with engineering and diffraction related projects. Together with other members of the industrial liaison team, he works with industrial users to help solve real world problems by utilising techniques such as powder diffraction, high energy 2D diffraction, X-ray imaging and pair distribution function measurements.

Scientific Interests - +

Scientific Interests

In everyday life we use a large variety of engineering materials for many tasks. With improved understanding we can utilise their properties more efficiently by way of improving mechanical performance, longevity, cost of manufacture and environmental impact. My predominant research interests are centred around the study of metallic systems, primarily investigating the effect of material processing on the performance of engineering components used in gas turbine engines. The use of advanced X-ray synchrotron techniques can be applied to these systems to characterise these materials in greater detail and further our fundamental understanding.

My work has used high resolution powder diffraction to describe the crystalline structure of materials down to an atomic scale allowing the development of new metal alloys. The technique is also used to investigate phase transformation the may occur during the application of both thermal and/or mechanical loading to simulate processing or service conditions.

I also work with engineering companies to probe larger scale engineering components to determine residual stress and crystalline texture in components or investigate samples using complex sample environments that can be studied using high energy 2D and energy dispersive diffraction methods. Some of this research is also aimed at developing new novel techniques that can be used to characterise deformation and in particular retrieving volume specific information about a sample.


Publications - +


L.D. Brown, R. Abdulaziz, R. Jervis, V. Bharath, T.J. Mason, R.C. Atwood, C. Reinhard, L.D. Connor, D. Inman, D.J.L. Brett, P.R. Shearing, A Novel Molten-Salt Electrochemical Cell for Investigating the Reduction of Uranium Dioxide to Uranium Metal by Lithium using in situ Synchrotron Radiation, J. Synch. Rad. (2017), 24, 439-444, DOI: 10.1107/S160057751700625
S.P. Thompson, K. Demyk, S.J. Day, A. Evans, H. Leroux, C. Depecker, J.E. Parker, L. Connor, H. Wilhelm, G. Cibin, Amorphous Silicate Nanoparticles with Controlled Fe-Mg Pyroxene Compositions, J. Non-Crystalline Solids (2016) 447, 255-261, DOI: 10.1016/j.noncrysol.2016.06.017
L.D. Connor, P.M. Mignanelli, S. Guerin, J.P. Soulie, C. Mormiche, S. Frost, R. Greenhalgh, B.E. Hayden, H.J. Stone, Investigation of Superalloy Composition Space using High Throughput Thin Film Synthesis and Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction, Proceedings of 13th International Symposium on Superalloys (2016), DOI: 10.1002/9781119075646
E.I. Galindo-Nava, L.D. Connor, C.M.F. Rae, On the Prediction of the Yield Stress of Unimodal and Multimodal y’ Nickel-base Superalloys, Acta Materialia (2015) 98, 377-390, DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2015.07.048
L.D. Brown, R. Abdulaziz, R. Jervis, V.J. Bharath, R.C. Atwood, C. Reinhard, L.D. Connor, S.J.R. Simons, D. Inman, D.J.L. Brett, P.R. Shearing, Following the Electroreduction of Uranium Dioxide to Uranium in LiCl-KCl Eutectic in situ using Synchrotron Radiation, J. Nuclear Materials (2015) 464, 256-263, DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2015.04.037
M. Drakopoulos, T. Connolley, C. Reinhard, R. Atwood, O. Magdysyuk, N. Vo, M. Hart, L. Connor, et al, J. Synch. Rad. (2015) 22, 828-838, DOI: 10.1107/S1600577515003513
E.J. Shotton, L.D. Connor, A.Dias, A.B. Kroner, C. Pizzey, T. Richter, J. Waterman, Industrial Applications at Diamond, Synchrotron Radiation News (2014) 27(3), 7-10, DOI: 10.1080/08940886.2014.908698 
N.G. Jones, C. Humphrey, L.D. Connor, O. Wilhelmsson, L. Hultman, H.J. Stone, F. Giuliani, W.J. Clegg, On the Relevance of Kinking to Reversible Hysteresis in MAX Phases, Acta Materialia, (2014) 69, 149-161
X. Song, M. Xie, F. Hofmann, T. Illson, T. Connolley, C. Reinhard, R.C. Atwood, L. Connor, M. Drakopoulos, L. Frampton, A.M. Korsunsky, Residual Stresses and Microstructure in Powder Bed Direct Laser Deposition (PB DLD) Samples, International Journal of Material Forming (2014), doi: 10.1007/s12289-014-1163-1
L.D. Connor, H.J. Stone, D.M. Collins, M. Preuss, M.C. Hardy, C.M.F. Rae, The Effect of Cooling Rate from Solution on the Lattice Misfit During Isothermal Aging of a Ni-Base Superalloy, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A (2014), doi: 10.1007/s11661-014-2197-1

A. Bhowmik, R.J. Bennett, B. Monserrat, G.J. Conduit, L.D. Connor, J.E. Parker, R.P. Thompson, C.N. Jones, H.J. Stone, Alloys Based on Cr-Cr2Ta Containing Si, Intermetallics (2013), doi: 10.1016/j.internet.2013.11.002

X. Song, M. Xie, F. Hofmann, T.S. Jun. T. Connolley, C. Reinhard, R.C. Atwood, L. Connor, M. Drakopoulos, S. Harding, A.M. Korsunsky, Residual Stresses in Linear Friction Welding of Aluminium Alloys, Materials & Design (2013) 50, 360-369

S.P. Thompson, J.E. Parker, S.J. Day, L.D. Connor, A. Evans, Photoluminescence in Amorphous MgSiO3, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013) 434 (3), 2582-2592

S.J. Day, S.P. Thompson, A. Evans, J.E. Parker, L.D. Connor, C.C. Tang, Thermal Processing and Crystallization of Amorphous Mg-Ca Silicates, Meteoritics and Planetary Science (2013) 48, 1459-1471

F. Hofmann, B. Abbey, L. Connor, N. Baimpas, X. Song, S. Keegan and A.M. Korsunsky, Imaging of grain-level orientation and strain in thicker metallic polycrystals by high energy transmission micro-beam Laue (HETL) diffraction techniques, International Journal of Materials Research (2012) 103, 192-199

L.D. Connor, T. Connolley, C. Reinhard, R. Atwood, L. Connor and M. Drakopoulos, High energy X-ray diffraction on Beamline I12-JEEP at Diamond Light Source, Thermec’ 2011, August 2011, Quebec.

A.M. Korsunsky, X. Song, F. Hofmann, B. Abbey, M. Xie, T. Connolley, C. Reinhard, R. Atwood, L. Connor and M. Drakopoulos, Polycrystal deformation analysis by high energy synchrotron X-ray diffraction on the I12 JEEP beamline at Diamond Light, Material Letters (2010) 64, 1724–1727.

L.D. Connor, C.M.F. Rae, R.J. Mitchell, M.C. Hardy and J. Lemsky, ‘Dual Microstructure Heat Treated Discs: Microstructural Characterisation’, Parsons 2007: 7th International Charles Parsons Turbine Conference, 11-13 September 2007, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

R.J. Mitchell, J.A. Lemsky, R. Ramanathan, H.Y. Li, K.M. Perkins, L.D. Connor, Process Development & Microstructure & Mechanical Property Evaluation of a Dual Microstructure Heat Treated Advanced Nickel Disc Alloy, TMS Superalloys, September 2008, Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.