Our team

Members of the OptImaTo group working on the S-BaXIT project 

Pierre Thibault

Group leader

Pierre is originally from Québec, Canada. After completing his PhD in Cornell University he was researcher at PSI (Switzerland), at TUM (Germany), then lecturer at UCL and associate professor at the University of Southampton.. He is now full professor at the University of Trieste, working on the development of high-resolution X-ray imaging techniques. Most of Pierre’s research work has been supported by the European Research Council, first with the starting grant “OptImaX” (2011-2017) and since 2020 with the consolidator grant “S-BaXIT”. 

Email: pthibault [at] units [dot] it

ORCID:  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1278-8846

Fabio studied Physics and Biophysics at the Technical University of Munich (Germany) from 2009 until 2015. He wrote his Master thesis at the Biomedical Imaging Physics group of Prof. Dr. Franz Pfeiffer on algorithmic optimizations for a grating-based X-ray phase-contrast imaging setup for microCT applications.
He remained in the group for his Ph.D. thesis, where he co-developed a grating-based X-ray imaging setup optimized for imaging the lungs of large animals with the dark-field modality. This setup was used to produce the world-first in-vivo dark-field radiographs of a pig thorax, and thus demonstrated the viability of dark-field radiography as a clinical imaging tool.

Fabio joined the S-BaXIT project in February 2021 and defended his PhD thesis in June 2021. His main interest is in the development and improvement of image retrieval algorithms for X-ray phase contrast, in particular for speckle-based phase contrast and near-field ptychography.

Email: fabiodomenico [dot] demarco [at] units [dot] it

ORCID:  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3561-7305

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Fabio-De-Marco

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/f-de-marco/

Vittorio is originally from Palermo, Italy. He completed a bachelor’s degree in Physics (2015) and a master’s degree in Medical Physics (2017) at the University of Pisa (Italy). His master’s degree thesis concerned the characterization of a system for breast-CT with synchrotron radiation implemented within the SYRMA-3D collaboration at the SYRMEP beamline of Elettra synchrotron. In 2017 he started a PhD course in experimental Physics at the University of Siena (Italy). His PhD project focused on the implementation of two state-of-the-art acquisition systems for spectral imaging applications. The first system was a lab-setup for spectral micro-CT including an energy resolving photon counting detector, the second was a setup for K-edge imaging with bent-Laue optics at synchrotron sources. As part of his PhD program, he spent six months as visiting researcher at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada), collaborating with Prof. D. Chapman in the development of acquisition procedures and reconstruction algorithms tailored for spectral imaging with bent-Laue crystals.


After defending his PhD thesis in May 2021, Vittorio joined the S-BaXIT project in July 2021. His main interest is in the development of a setup for conventional transmission micro-CT for scattering signal extraction.

Email: vittorio [dot] ditrapani [at] units [dot] it

Phone: +39 040 375 8994


PhD student

Sara is originally from Pula, Croatia. She completed a BSc in Physics (2018) and MSc in Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics (2020) at the University of Trieste, Italy. She worked on the evaluation of quality parameters in phase-contrast tomography during an internship at Elettra Synchrotron, Trieste. Her master’s thesis was on a Monte-Carlo simulation of a medical linear accelerator in Geant4.

Sara started her PhD on speckle-based X-ray imaging and tomography in November 2020, focusing on dark-field imaging in biomedical applications.

Email: sara [dot] savatovic [at] phd [dot] units [dot] it

Phone: +39 040 375 8856

ORCID:  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2702-6775

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sara-Savatovic

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sara-savatovic/

Ronan Smith

PhD student

Ronan completed an Integrated Masters Degree in Physics at Durham University (UK) in 2018. His main interests were in astrophysics, with a particular interest in instrument design.

After graduating, he undertook a summer placement at Southampton University (UK), working on commissioning the group’s Excillum Source, supervised by Pierre. He then started a PhD in the group, with the aim of modifying the UMPA algorithm to extract a directional dark-field image.

Email: ronan [dot] smith [at] soton [dot] ac [dot] uk


PhD student

Ginevra is originally from Castel Gandolfo, Italy. She completed a bachelor’s degree in Physics (2019) and a master’s degree in Condensed Matter Physics (2021) at the University of Trieste, Italy. Her master’s degree thesis was focused on the development and the characterization of a synchrotron-based spectral K-Edge Subtraction imaging setup based on bent Laue crystals. Her thesis work has been developed in the context of the KISS (K-Edge Imaging at Synchrotron Sources) project, supported by the INFN.
Ginevra joined the S-BaXIT project as a PhD student in November 2021. Her main interest is the development of a micro-CT setup for directional dark-field applications.

Email: ginevra [dot] lautizi [at] phd [dot] units [dot] it

Phone: +39 040 375 8856


PhD student

Marco was born in Parma, Italy, where he completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics in 2019. After this, he took the Master’s Degree in Astrophysics and Cosmology in Padova, which he concluded in 2021. His research field and thesis topic were extrasolar planets. Near the end of his Master’s however, he became interested in machine learning applications in physics and astrophysics research. After graduating, he started a PhD in the S-BaXIT project, where he focuses on the development of ptychographic image retrieval algorithms.

Email: marco [dot] margini [at] phd [dot] units [dot] it

Phone: +39 040 375 8736


Project manager

Email: mamati [at] units [dot] it

Phone: +39 040 558 2960

Close collaborators

Other participants contributing to the S-BaXIT effort

Dr. Irene Zanette; Postdoc at the Chair of Biomedical Physics of Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM); Foto: ©  Astrid Eckert / TU Muenchen
Verwendung frei fuer die Berichterstattung ueber die TU Muenchen unter Nennung des Copyrights

Scientist, Elettra sinctrotrone


PhD student, University of Trieste

Benedikt Daurer

Scientist, Diamond Light Source


Past group members of the Thibault research group, including in previous institutions.

Post-doc, Paul Scherrer Institut

Former PhD Student (UCL)


Beamline scientist, Diamond Light Source

Former postdoc (U. Southampton)

Beamline scientist, Diamond Light Source

Former postdoc (U. Southampton)

Postdoc, Max IV

Former PhD Student (UCL)

Former PhD student (UCL)

Former PhD student (UCL)