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Dr Adrian Whitwood BEM MRSC CChem

X-ray Crystallographer and
Department Computing Officer

Tel: work +(44) 1904 324535
Orcid id: 0000-0002-5132-5468


Adrian arrived in York in 1982 to study for a BSc in Chemistry, graduating in 1985.  This was followed by a part-time DPhil supervised by Professor Bruce Gilbert and Dr Peter Hanson using electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy to study carbonyl-conjugated and related free radicals.  At the same time, Adrian was the part-time technician for the Gilbert and Hanson research labs, in particular overseeing the operation, maintenance and training for the ESR instruments.  He received his doctorate in 1990 and then carried out post-doctoral research within Professor Gilbert’s group studying the aerial oxidation of polyisobutylenes sponsored by BP, he continued to oversee the use of the ESRs.  In 1993, he took on the combined role of ESR lab technician and teaching fellow, the latter primarily as a tutor.

He took on the role of Departmental Computing Officer in 1995 whilst still continuing to support the ESR instruments.  In addition to providing computing support, he also took on responsibility for the preparation of the undergraduate teaching timetable.  He joined the Roayl Society of Chemistry and achieved Chartered Chemist status in 1998.  Adrian took over running of the department’s small-molecule X-ray crystallography service in 2003, gradually reducing the support for the ESR lab until the retirement of Professor Gilbert in 2007.   

2016 proved to be an eventful year.  Adrian was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours “for services to Scientific Research and to St John Ambulance in Selby”.   There was also a move to centralise timetabling and IT support within the university so Adrian’s role in this area has gradually reduced and become more strategic.  This has enabled him to increase his support of crystallography within the department and start to develop powder X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy support.  Adrian has contributed to more than 230 academic publications in both ESR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography.



  • BSc (Hons) York
  • DPhil (York
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry & Chartered Chemist


1982-1985 BSc (Hons) Chemistry (York)

1985-1989 Research Technician, part-time (York)

1985-1990 DPhil Chemistry (York)

1990-1992 PDRA (York)

1993-1995 Teaching Fellow

1995-1998 Experimental Officer

1998-     Senior Experimental Officer (HERA grade 7)


Departmental Roles

  • Experimental Officer in charge of X-services in Chemistry
  • Departmental Computing Officer
  • Scheduling Officer
  • First Aider (FAW, oxygen therapy)
  • Mental Health First Aider
  • Safety team and trained in the use of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
  • Radiation Protection Supervisor for Chemistry
  • Chemistry Admissions Team
  • Undergraduate Supervisor

University Roles

  • Member of the Ionising Radiation Sub-Group
  • Member of the Replay Steering Group


The X-services refers to the X-ray equipment and associated analytical services provided centrally by the department. Adrian oversees the X-services lab and equipment.

Single Crystal X-ray crystallography.

The department has a dual source (Cu & Mo) Oxford Diffraction SuperNova X-ray diffractometer and provides a full small molecule crystallography service.  Users provide the crystals and are returned full publication-ready results.

Powder X-ray Crystallography.

This is covered using a Bruker D8 powder X-ray diffractometer.  Users are trained to run their own samples and then process the results themselves.

X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

We have a Horiba XRF microscope. Users are trained to run their own samples and then process the results themselves.


Dr Adrian Whitwood


Useful links


Single-crystal XRD
(Local only)

Pt Complex core view