Michael S. Pierce

Rochester Institute of Technology
Physics Department
Building 8, Room 3218
8 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623

Ph: 585-475-2089
Em: mspsps@rit.edu


Michael S. Pierce

Current Position

  • Assistant Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, Rochester Institute of Technology, 2011-present


  • Assistant Physicist, Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory 2009-2011
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory 2006-2009
  • PhD in Physics, University of Washington, 2006 (Awarded Henderson Prize for outstanding physics PhD thesis)


  • APS Proposal Review Panel, Argonne National Laboratory, 2013.
  • Invited speaker for several upgrade and x-ray development workshops including the CHESS XDL-2011 Energy Recovery Linac, X-ray Interface Science at the APS 2012, and the WiFEL upgrade workshops.
  • Affiliated faculty member in Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (RIT) and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering (RIT).
  • Public outreach presentations, discussions, and panels to explain modern light sources and user facilities.


  • I am a condensed matter physicist with interests in surfaces, magnetics, phase transitions, and x-ray science. My primary experiments have consistently employed modern x-ray sources, both at the APS and elsewhere. During my career I have relied upon a wide range of x-ray tools: both hard and soft x-rays, coherent and traditional diffraction techniques, single energy and resonant scattering. I have been deeply invested in applying coherent x-ray diffraction in new and novel areas, and am actively pushing for the unification of x-ray imaging techniques with dynamics tools such as x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy.


  • I am committed to x-ray science and am keen to assist in the stewardship of user facilities such as the APS. I will use my experience from over a decade of x-ray experiments at different facilities and stations to represent the needs of the user community and push the scientific boundaries of the APS facility for the upgrade. My history as both a scientist at ANL and, more recently, as an external user provides me sufficient perspective to advocate for the users of the facility, while also being well acquainted with the difficulties and challenges faced by the facility itself. I will strive to keep the APS at the leading edge of modern light sources, especially as new x-ray facilities and techniques develop.