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Fellows Directory

William David

Professor William David FRS


Elected: 2016


Bill David has made significant contributions to the development of neutron and X-ray powder diffraction. Highlights include the comprehensive crystal-structure analysis of C60, and the accelerated determination of molecular crystal structures through his computer program, DASH. His theoretical work is based around the application of Bayesian probability theory in areas ranging from structural incompleteness to parametric data analysis.

Bill’s materials focus is in energy storage, beginning with his research on lithium battery cathodes. More recently, he has worked on lightweight hydrogen-storage materials such as reversible imide-amide systems. Following his discovery of a new family of ammonia-decomposition catalysts, his main energy research interests are in materials that facilitate the safe and effective utilisation of ammonia as an energy vector.

Bill’s awards include the IOP CV Boys Prize (1990), the inaugural British Crystallography Association Prize (2002), the European Society for Applied Physical Chemistry Prize (2006), one of three Bragg Lecture Awards (2013) marking the centenary of the discovery of X-ray diffraction, and the 2015 RSC John B Goodenough Award recognising exceptional and sustained contributions to materials chemistry. 

Professional positions

STFC Senior Fellow, ISIS Facility, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Professor of Materials Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Energy storage materials: discovery and characterisation, Imides amides and oxides, Neutron & X-ray powder diffraction, Neutron & X-ray Synchrotron Diffraction Instrumentation, Nitrides, Novel energy storage systems, Novel hydrides