School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Maggie White

X-ray Diffraction Officer



I have charge of the Powder X-ray Diffraction (XRD) Laboratory and work with researchers throughout the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE), 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 Powder XRD Lab is now part of the SAgE Faculty Analytical Service and is available to University staff and students and also to industry.

In addition to supporting research at Newcastle University, the Powder XRD Lab has also provided analytical expertise to other research institutions and to industry.  I have collaborated on projects with, or carried out XRD analysis for:

  • SKROLL Air Purification Ltd.
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Metamet Consultants Ltd
  • Mineral Insulated Cable Company Ltd (TRM Group)
  • IChron Ltd (Geological Consultants)
  • ROSEN Group
  • Heraeus Quartz
  • URS-Scott Wilson
  • NewChem Technologies Ltd
  • London South Bank University
  • Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen)
  • Durham University
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Sunderland
  • Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Thomas Swan & Co Ltd.

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

Roles and Responsibilities

I am the local Radiation Protection Supervisor for the Powder XRD Lab (Bedson Building) and sit on the University Radiation Protection Committee and the local Bedson Health and Safety Committee.

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 Corporation (formerly Dames & Moore International), Manchester UK


  • Member of the British Crystallographic Association
  • Member of Mineralogical Society of GB and Ireland
  • Fellow of the Geological Society


Research Interests

Although most of my recent research is in the field of environmental geochemistry and clay science, I am 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

  • Reviewer for Applied Clay Science (Elsevier), 2016-present
  • Invited Speaker at Newcastle-Wuhan-Tsinghua University Summer School and Workshop 2009 in China 'Geotechnical & Environmental Engineering: innovation through collaboration’
  • Co-convenor of FuturoClays Conference - 2009 Annual Meeting of the UK Mineralogical Society Clay Minerals Group, Newcastle University, 13-16 December 2009
  • Research Fellowship from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), June-August 2006


  • 'Alternative sorbents in removal of emerging contaminants', Newcastle University Seedcorn Funding (£10K), Co-I (2015)
  • Researcher on Cachaça Rock Project (PI Manning, CEGS), in collaboration with MIT and Terrativa Minerals (2012-2013)  
  • 'Characterisation of landfill deposits', in collaboration with URS Scott Wilson Ltd (£4.4K), PI (2011)


  • Arnold Beevers Bursary Recipient (£200) for British Crystallographic Association Meeting, 2018

  • Specialist Technical Training awards (£500 each), Newcastle University, 2010-2012

  • FP7 Travel/Conference Awards (£600) for AGU Fall Meeting, 2008

  • Roberts Fund Training Award for JRCUK China Summer School, Wuhan, China, 2009

Industrial Relevance

My previous 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.