Dr Alex Shard grew up near Ipswich and obtained his PhD in surface modification and analysis from Durham University in 1992 and has been active in surface chemical analysis since then. He has worked as a research scientist at the University of Nottingham and Daresbury Laboratory, and then as a lecturer in chemistry at the Robert Gordon University and senior lecturer in biomaterials at the University of Sheffield. He joined the National Physical Laboratory in 2006 and is now Head of Science for the Chemical and Biological Science Department.
He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications on surface analysis, organised four major interlaboratory studies, co-chaired the international SIMS conference in 2017, written two international standards and edited a textbook on nanoparticle characterisation. Dr Shard’s work at the National Physical Laboratory provides underpinning accuracy in the surface chemical measurements routinely used by industry for functional materials and devices. In 2010, his multi-layered organic reference materials demonstrated that argon cluster ion sources could achieve better than 5nm depth resolution in 3D chemical measurements of organic materials. These cluster ion sources are now equipped on thousands of instruments around the world. His work on the analysis of nanoparticle coatings has enabled industry to measure their thickness and composition in a number of innovative ways and these methods have been used to develop biomedical, diagnostic and catalytic nanoparticles.