Professor Keith Bowen FREng FRS

Keith Bowen has facilitated important advances in materials science at the nanoscale by building instruments capable of making precise measurements. Working in both academic and industrial settings, Keith contributed to metrology — the science of measurement — by creating a variety of instruments that use X-rays to characterise materials or accurately calibrate measuring devices.

Using conventional X-ray sources, Keith initiated the commercial production of precision instruments for probing surfaces. In the 1970s, he was actively involved in setting up the X-ray Topography Station at the Daresbury Laboratory Synchrotron Radiation Source — a project that enabled researchers to study crystalline materials by diffraction topography. He also developed a method of using X-ray interferometry to calibrate transducers to a precision of 10 picometres.

Formerly a professor and Director of the Centre for Nanotechnology and Microengineering at the University of Warwick, Keith also spent many years as a Director of Bede Scientific Instruments, later Bede. During this time, he developed the first fully automated X-ray metrology tools and a method of digital X-ray diffraction imaging, amongst others.

Professional position

  • Emeritus Professor, School Of Engineering, University of Warwick
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Physics, Durham University
  • Honorary Fellow, St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics


  • Engineering

    Engineering, mechanical, Engineering, semiconductors, Instrumentation, Materials science (incl materials engineering)

Professor Keith Bowen FREng FRS
Elected 1998