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Kenneth Shankland

  • Lead for Pharmaceutical Calculations in the MPharm course
  • Exams Officer for CIPPET, Physician Associate programmes and MSc by Research

Areas of interest

Kenneth's main scientific interests lie in the area of structures and transformations in pharmaceutical materials and he is heavily involved in software development for crystallographic analysis of these and other systems. His work with Prof. Bill David of the STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab on the subject of global optimisation strategies for the structure determination of molecular materials from powder diffraction data led to the publication of several key papers in the field and ultimately to the production of the DASH software package. DASH was marketed to both academic and industrial users for 20 years by the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, but is now available as an open-source package.

His underlying interest in the use of computing methodologies to further this work has seen particular utility in the development of highly parallelised versions of DASH and other closely-related codes such as GALLOP that run on distributed computing systems, including cloud services. He is an expert user of the CAF's X-ray powder and single-crystal diffractometers. He is a member International Union of Crystallography’s Meeting Support Committee and wrote a key chapter on powder diffraction for the IUCr’s International Tables Volume H. He was also a co-director of the IUCr’s prestigious "The Power of Powder Diffraction" Crystallography Course at Erice in June 2011.

He currently has two PhD students working in the area of crystal structure determination, on materials as diverse as pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and framework materials. He has an h-index of 36, and 9 of his 178 scientific publications have been cited more than 100 times. His key paper on the workings of DASH has been cited over 470 times.


Kenneth graduated BSc (Hons 1st Class) in Pharmacy from University of Strathclyde in 1985 and qualified as a pharmacist the following year, having completed his pre-registration training at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow. He returned to Strathclyde for his PhD work on the use of laser light scattering for characterising nanoparticle size distributions before changing fields to crystallography for his PDRA at the University of Glasgow. In 1994 he moved South to take up an appointment as a Higher Scientific Officer at the ISIS Facility of the Rutherford Appleton Lab in Oxfordshire, where he stayed for 15 years, finishing up as Group Leader for the Data Analysis Group. He then took up an appointment as Reader in Pharmacy at University of Reading, where he is a currently a Professor and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.


  • Books: Co-editor of "Structure Determination from Powder Diffraction Data" International Union of Crystallography Monographs on Crystallography, 13. More than 1000 copies sold.
  • Books: Co-editor of “Uniting Electron Crystallography and Powder Diffraction”, Springer. Accessed online more than 79,000 times.


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