Philippe Sarrazin


Philippe Sarrazin’s education and career are at the interfaces of science, engineering, research, and business. After studying chemistry, physics, and engineering, he obtained a Ph.D. in Materials Sciences. He devoted most of his career to technology development for innovative scientific instruments. As a scientist at NASA, he developed the technology of the X-ray diffraction (XRD) instrument inside the Curiosity Mars rover. In 2004, he founded inXitu Inc. to develop the technology at the commercial level, launching his first product in 2007 (Terra XRD/XRF, now product of Olympus). Starting in 2007, a collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute and then Chief Scientist Dr. Chiari lead to adapting the technology to non-invasive analysis for Cultural Heritage applications. The Duetto XRD/XRF instrument was born from this effort. In parallel of eXaminArt, Dr. Sarrazin pursues his research on instruments for planetary exploration at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center, exploring new concepts such as energy dispersive Laue XRD, elemental mapping by spatially resolved XRF, high-resolution miniature Guinier XRD, etc.

Barbara Lafuente

Mineralogist and Database Specialist

Dr. Lafuente supports the development of in-situ planetary mineralogical instruments (XRD, XRF, Raman), and participates in Mars analog rock and soil research via mineral characterization. She has over 10 years of experience applying a variety of analytical techniques for mineral identification and characterization including single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, Raman and NIR spectroscopies and microprobe analysis.

Dr. Lafuente also specializes in scientific databases with a focus on mineralogy and astrobiology. She contributes to the development of the Open Data Repository (ODR), a NASA’s founded open-source software to easily create and publish databases, and she is the Project Manager of the Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED), a NASA’s repository to share and explore user-contributed astrobiology data.

Maite Diez Sanchez

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineer

Maite Diez is an Aerospace and Mechanical Engineer in the field of instrument design and testing. Her work at eXaminart is focused on the development of new instruments. In parallel, she works at the SETI Institute on the development of XRD/XRF instruments for planetary exploration.

Maite obtained a MSc degree in Aeronautical Engineering in Madrid (Spain) and a MEng in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Chicago (US) in 2022. Her previous flight instrument experience includes software development and testing for the RAMAN laser instrument for the ESA mission ExoMars 2022.

Giacomo Chiari


Giacomo Chiari studied chemistry at the University of Turin where he became a full professor in applied mineralogy. While his main initial research was in crystallography, he grew interested in scientific issues related to cultural heritage conservation. Beginning in 1968, he studied ancient earthen architecture in Iraq and developing treatment measures. In 1975 he was hired by UNESCO to propose a treatment for a 2,800-year-old decorated frieze in Peru, an assignment that led to additional UNESCO work. By the early 1980s, his professional life was divided between crystallography research and conservation work—including participating as a teacher in the ICCROM courses on earthen architecture. In 1988, funded by a major grant from Italy’s Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, he devotes himself full-time to conservation-related activities, which included extensive study of Maya blue (identifying the pigment’s compounds and its geographic distribution) and working with Torraca on the analysis of ancient mortars and the development of mortars for repair. He continued his work in earthen architecture and consulted on a variety of projects in northern Italy and Rome, including analysis of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.  Under the position of Chief Scientist of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) between 2003 and 2013, he leads a team of 18 renowned conservation scientists and fostered the development of the Duetto XRD/XRF instrument. Today, G. Chiari applies his expertise as a consultant on dedicated conservation research projects, including for the deployment of Duetto instrument and advanced user training.