School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Maggie White

Experimental Officer



I have charge of the X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) laboratory and work with researchers in CEAM and throughout SAgE Faculty, providing analytical support and expertise to a number of ongoing research projects. My background is in geoscience and my research interests are primarily in the fields of mineralogy, analytical geochemistry and method development for the characterisation of both geological sediments and engineering materials. The XRPD lab is part of the ACMA Unit which also has an Electron Microscopy Suite with an ESEM and SEMs for both University and commercial use.

In addition to supporting research at Newcastle University, I also provide analytical expertise to other research institutions and to industry.  I have collaborated on projects with, or carried out XRPD analysis for:

  • Procter and Gamble
  • Metamet Consultants Ltd
  • Mineral Insulated Cable Company Ltd (TRM Group)
  • IChron Ltd (Geological Consultants)
  • MACAW Engineering
  • Heraeus Quartz
  • URS-Scott Wilson
  • NewChem Technologies Ltd
  • Durham University
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Sunderland
  • Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

XRPD is a technique applicable to many physical science disciplines and consequently I am always interested in involving the XRPD lab in new projects.

Roles and Responsibilities

I am the local Radiation Protection Supervisor for the CEAM X-ray powder diffraction lab in the Bedson Building.

Previous Positions

  • Facilities Manager, Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, Newcastle University UK;
  • Research Associate, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University UK;
  • Consultant, Mineral Solutions Ltd., Manchester UK;
  • Field Hydrogeologist, URS Dames & Moore International, Manchester UK


  • Member of the British Crystallographic Association
  • Member of Clay Minerals Society
  • Fellow of the Geological Society


Research Interests

Although most of my recent research is in the field of environmental geochemistry, I am very interested in method development for powder diffraction techniques in order to characterise inorganic, composite and geological materials.  My work now has a heavy focus on crystallography, which is a discipline applicable to all materials that have some degree of structure. 

Esteem Indicators

  • JSPS Short-Term Research Fellow 2006 (Japan)
  • Invited Speaker at Newcastle-Wuhan-Tsinghua University Summer School and Workshop 2009 in China 'Geotechnical & Environmental Engineering: innovation through collaboration’
  • Convenor of FuturoClays Conference - 2009 Annual Meeting of the UK Mineralogical Society Clay Minerals Group, Newcastle University, 13-16 December 2009.


  • Characterisation of landfill deposits, in collaboration with URS Scott Wilson Ltd (£4.4K) Project Leader (2011).
  • Researcher on Cachaça Rock Project (PI Manning, CEGS), in collaboration with MIT and Terrativa Minerals (2012-2013).  


  • FP7 Travel/Conference Awards (2008-2009)
  • Roberts Fund and Faculty Training Awards (various 2009-2012)

Industrial Relevance

My PhD research and consulting work in collaboration with the Environment Agency contributed significantly towards the production of a new EA policy guidance document, approving the use of limestone aggregate within UK landfill site drainge systems.