Simon J.L. Billinge


1105 S.W. Mudd
Mail Code 4701

Tel(212) 854-2918

Simon Billinge’s research advances the study of nanoscale structure and its role in the properties of diverse materials used for energy, catalysis, environmental remediation, and pharmaceuticals. 

Research Interests

Nano-structure-property relationships in materials, nanomaterials, energy materials, electronic materials, magnetic materials, amorphous and multi-structured materials, pharmaceuticals and molecular materials, , nanoscale fluctuations in exotic electronic materials, software for complex modeling and nanostructure determination

Research Areas


He has published more than 200 papers in scholarly journals and is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Neutron Scattering Society of America. A former Fulbright and Sloane Fellow, he has earned a number of awards and honors, including an Endowed Lectureship at Texas A&M in 2015 and an outstanding service award from the Neutron Scattering Society of America in 2012. He was also honored in 2011 for contributions to the nation as an immigrant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He is the section editor of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography and regularly chairs and participates in reviews of major facilities and federally funded programs.

Billinge earned his BA in materials science at Oxford University in 1986 and a PhD in materials science and engineering from University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He joined Columbia University in 2008 as  professor of materials science and engineering, and applied physics and applied mathematics. He is also a physicist in the Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Prior to Columbia, he was a professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1994–2007, and a post-doctoral research fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico from 1992–1994. 


  •  Director’s Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1992–1994


  • Professor, Materials Science and Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, 2008–
  • Physicist, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2008–
  • Long Term Visitor, Institute Laue Langevin, Grenoble, France, 2012
  • Long Term Visitor, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France, 2011–2012
  • Professor of Physics, Michigan State University, 2003–2007
  • Visiting Professor, University of Rome, ‘La Sapienza,’ 2001–2002
  • Associate Professor of Physics, Michigan State University, 1999–2003
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, Michigan State University, 1994–1999


  • American Physical Society
  • American Crystallographic Association
  • Neutron Scattering Society of America
  • Materials Research Society


  • Texas A&M Clearfield Endowed Lecturer, 2015
  • Fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America, 2014
  • Neutron Scattering Society of America Service Award for outstanding service, 2012
  • Editor of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography, 2012
  • Fulbright Research Scholar, 2011–2012
  • Carnegie Foundation of New York, honored as one of 24 Outstanding Immigrants, 2011
  • Co-editor, Journal Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography, 2011
  • J. D. Hanawalt Award, International Center for Diffraction Data, 2010
  • University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University, 2007
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2006
  • Michigan State University, College of Nat. Sci., Distinguished Faculty Award, 2006
  • Thomas H. Osgood Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1998
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 1995
  • Sigma Xi Outstanding thesis award, University of Pennsylvania, 1992
  • Electro-science Laboratories Award, University of Pennsylvania, 1992


  • Kirsten M. Ø. Jensen, Pavol Juhás, Marcus A. Tofanelli, Christine L. Heinecke, Gavin Vaughan, Christopher J. Ackerson and Simon J. L. Billinge, Polymorphism in magic sized Au144(SR)60 clusters, Nat. Commun. 7, 11859 (2016). [pdf] [homepage]
  • Paolo Scardi, Simon J. L. Billinge, Reinhard Neder and Antonio Cervellino, Celebrating 100 years of the Debye scattering equation, Acta Crystallogr. A 72, 589-590 (2016). [pdf] [homepage]
  • Simon J. L. Billinge, Physics inside: solving protein structures without crystals, Condensed Matter Physics Journal Club, (2016). [pdf] [homepage]
  • Jianwei Miao, Peter Ercius and Simon J. L. Billinge, Atomic electron tomography: 3D structures without crystals, Science, 353, aaf2157 (2016). [homepage]
  • Alexander N. Beecher, Octavi E. Semonin, Jonathan M. Skelton, Jarvist M. Frost, Maxwell W. Terban, Haowei Zhai, Ahmet Alatas, Jonathan S. Owen, Aron Walsh and Simon J. L. Billinge, Direct observation of dynamic symmetry breaking above room temperature in methylammonium lead iodide perovskite, ACS Energy Lett. 1, 880–887 (2016). [pdf] [homepage]