Nick came to the University (then UMIST) to read Chemistry in the late 1980s and continued to study for a PhD in Laser Ionisation Mass Spectrometry of Biomolecules, awarded in 1996. His postdoctoral research involved the development of the Biotof, an imaging ToF-SIMS instrument, with a focus on laser post-ionisation, sputtered neutral mass spectrometry (SNMS).
He was awarded a Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship to further develop the Biotof as a Chemical Microscope, following which he was appointed lecturer in Chemistry. Nick briefly moved to the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science (CEAS), during the merger of UoM and UMIST in 2004, before moving back to Chemistry in 2011. With his research group in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), and also the Photon Science Institute (PSI), he has explored a range of imaging mass spectral modalities in the area of biology and biomaterials, together with technique and instrument development.
As the result of successful bids to EPSRC and the Royce Institute he was awarded a major grant to replace the Ionoptika J105 3D Chemical Imager with a new instrument. This will involve consolidating the research group in the PSI providing opportunities to further explore advanced materials and photonic approaches to mass spectrometry.