Simon Coles

My role as Director of the NCS is to ensure the smooth running of the facility, actively lead the team by example, and seek new direction for service activities in order to maintain our position as world-leaders in the field.


I obtained my BSc and PhD at the University of Wales, Cardiff in 1992 and 1997 respectively. My PhD was in structural systematics and molecular modelling, which I undertook whilst working for the National Crystallography Service (NCS). I then moved to a PDRA post with the Royal Institution, based at Daresbury, where I worked with a collaborative team to build the highly successful Small Molecule Single Crystal beamline, 9.8.

In 1998 I moved to Southampton to establish a new laboratory and manage the NCS, which led to becoming the Operations Director and a Chemistry member of staff in 2010.

In 2016 I became Professor of Structural Chemistry and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In 2019 I became Director of the UK Physical Sciences Data-science Service (PSDS) - a sister facility to the NCS.  

My research interests are multi-disciplinary and I have successfully been awarded grants in the areas of Crystal Growth, Charge Density, Formulation, Structural Systematics, Imaging, Information Management, eResearch and eLearning.

I have served on a number British Crystallography Association committee positions and am currently on the journal editorial boards of Crystallography Reviews, Supramolecular Chemistry, Chemistry Central and International Journal of Digital Curation. A more detailed description of all my academic interests can be viewed at