Ian Robinson trained in biological crystallography with Steve Harrison at Harvard. He then moved to Bell Labs and the University of Illinois to work on new synchrotron diffraction methods for solving surface structures. His discovery of “crystal truncation rods” has led to the new field of surface x-ray diffraction, still widely used at synchrotron facilities all over the world. He then worked on developing the coherent x-ray diffraction (CXD) method at a beamline at the Advanced Photon Source in Chicago. In 2005 he moved to University College London and has been building CXD capabilities at the Diamond Light Source.