PTCL Electronics

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

The electronics workshop is led by Kevin Valentine, who is the workshop supervisor.


Kevin is the supervisor, who allocates jobs to the rest of the team. He also looks after ordering of components, maintaining stock, and attempts to maintain order. Kevin has collaborated with Phil, some experimental group members, along with other departments on a gas controller which needs multiple microcontrollers talking to each other and a computer, along with controlling of temperatures, laser voltages/currents and data acquisition.




Phil has become the deputy of our workshop. He has amassed a number of years of experience of designing and producing of laser controllers, and has gained a bit of experience of us of LabVIEW (minimal through it is!!). Since the retirement of Neville, he has ungraciously accepted the job of winding Helmholtz coils. He is also the culprit of digging up a vast array of dinosaur chemists skeletons that are around the building. As-well as the ones on display, he did find a spider chemist, but that has mysteriously vanished.




John is the longest standing member of our team. His main role is carrying out repairs on commercial equipment. This includes the fixing of (clean) stirrer/hotplates, and other items across chemistry such as water baths, dryer ovens, shakers/stirrers and older lasers. Before contacting manufacturers or throwing the unit away, consult John. He has saved the department a fair amount due to not needing to throw away/repurchases new units. He is willing to have a look at in house built things as well if the person is away for a period of time.
He also looks after the majority of the laser interlock systems in the labs, so understands the majority of the faults. The most common issues are either people not turning the system off before (un)plugging the cables in, or the tubes on the older units dying (the newer units utilise an LED board). Assuming that he is made aware at a suitable time, those issues don't take long to sort out and are typically given priority.
John typically looks at his email only once or twice a day, so if you require quick assistance, please call for his assistance.



Tim has not yet specialised, except in doing lots of odd jobs. He has spent a fair amount of time mounting high voltage units into boxes, and attempting to fix them the best he can when the user blows them up.
One area that Tim has been involved in is the mounting up of LED's as well as the controllers of some commercial lasers. This involves creating the control circuitry for the LED's and wiring of the interlock within the laser control box and ensuring the interlock works under reasonable conditions.

He has recently got some grounding in programing Arduino's so can advise/produce code to some degree for them, and also has experience of mounting them (in house shields can be produced, should they be required).






Robert is one of our newest member of the team.
Because he hasn't been here long, he hasn't yet specialised into any areas, however, he brings areas of programing that others haven't branched into yet.






Chris is our other new member of the team, and is currently studying for an apprenticship.
Because he hasn't been here long, he hasn't yet specialised into any areas, however, he brings his youth and (hopefully) new ideas to us.


mailchristian.martinscardoso @




If you wish to email us then follow our name with

If you are unsure whom to contact, then email  and the people who monitor the address will get back to you with who is needed.


Some of the people in the workshop do make strange noises, so please don't be deterred by them when you come down the corridor. We can act as normal or as silly as required!


Neville was the deputy before he retired. He was our resident expert in coil winding, and designer of Helmholtz coils.



To contact Neville, please contact another in the team, who will consult with Neville to see if he wishes to contact you.