Elvira Williams (maiden name Bohl) completed her undergraduate degree in physical chemistry working on determining fluorescence quantum yields of riboflavin and riboflavin derivatives. After she received a Diploma in Chemistry from the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, in 2016 she successfully gained her PhD in Eleanor Campbell‘s group and graduated with a doctorate degree from the University of Edinburgh. In her research project, she worked extensively with femtosecond laser systems and ultra-high vacuum equipment. She investigated the highly excited electronic states of various fullerenes in the gas phase, in particular superatom molecular orbitals (SAMOs). She also studied the excited states of different polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using theoretical (TD-DFT) and experimental (photoelectron spectroscopy) methods.
Following her PhD, Elvira gained industrial experience working on high power picosecond lasers at one of the world leading laser companies, Coherent. As a laser systems engineer she was responsible for the production of solid state laser systems with multiple amplification stages conforming to ISO 9001 and associated standards.
Pursuing her desire to develop novel optical systems and devices, she took a postdoctoral research associate position working for the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) at Durham University as part of the Proteus Project (http://www.proteus.ac.uk). In this project she was responsible for the optical design of innovative medical instruments and the integration of multiple fluorescence imaging platforms including FLIM systems ready for clinical translation. She delivered this innovative imaging device with full technical documentation complying with MDD and MDR ready for clinical trials in summer 2019.
Expanding her design knowledge towards low cost systems, Elvira joined the Arrest TB project and the Mark Bradley group in April 2019. She is focused on developing simple frugal optical devices to detect tuberculosis at point-of-care in rural areas of India and Russia. These system are aimed to work in conjunction with contrast agents for initial indication if the disease is present. She is excited to work on this project and be able to have a positive impact on unmet healthcare needs.