You are in: Submissions > Select institution > University of St Andrews > UOA 19 - Physics > RA5a

University of St Andrews

UOA 19 - Physics

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

1 Overview

 

1.1  Current status

 

The period 2001 – 2007 has seen St Andrews buck the trend experienced by many UK Physics & Astronomy departments and achieve strong growth.  Our complement of RAE category A submitted staff has risen by 20%.  A few mature research areas have been either managed down or rejuvenated, and the consequent additional new blood means that fully 50% of our category A staff have come into post since 2001.  As a result we are a young and vibrant department, with 16 category A staff in the age range 30-40, 13 between 40 and 50 and only 4 over 50.  Much of this expansion has been underpinned by the formation of the new Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) which has become one of the keystones of our research environment and strategy, as will be described in section 2.2.

 

The research-led ethos that underpins the department is demonstrated by a few notable statistics.  First, during the current census period the majority of our category A staff have held research fellowships won in open competition [2 PPARC Senior Fellowships, 1 EPSRC Senior Fellowship, 6 Royal Society URF, 4 EPSRC Advanced Fellowships, 3 PPARC Advanced Fellowships, 2 Leverhulme Research / Study Abroad Fellowships].  Second, we now average a group size of 3.5 (PDRAs plus graduate students) per category A FTE.  This is a 25% increase on our RAE 2001 submission and higher than that of any UK physics department in 2001.  Third, our citation performance is strong by any international standard: excluding early career researchers, 75% of submitted staff have more than 1000 career citations, and in the census period since 2001 alone, our category A staff have published 1047 papers averaging over 17 citations per paper with an h of 63.  This citation record bears comparison with the performance of the world’s best physics departments over the same period and is evidence that our rapid expansion has been accompanied by enhancement of the impact of our research outputs.  Recognition has also come in the form of election to learned societies, (e.g 1 FRS, 10 FRSE), the majority of which have been awarded since 2001.

 

Research highlights in fundamental and applied physics from the census period include:

 

Exoplanet research led from St Andrews, notably the transiting Hot Jupiters discovered by the WASP cameras and the record 5-earth-mass planet found using techniques exploiting gravitational microlensing [Herschel Medal, Horne 04]

 

Discovery of new generic optical potential energy landscapes for colloidal and biological science [groups of Dholakia (European Optics Prize 2003) and Sibbett (European Physical Society Prize for Optics and Quantum Electronics 2002)]

 

Discovery of a symmetry-conserving quantum critical point in Sr3Ru2O7 which promotes the formation of a quantum nematic fluid in ultra-pure single crystals [groups of Mackenzie and Grigera; Daiwa-Adrian Prize 2004].

 

Theoretical prediction of ‘invisibility cloaking’ using meta-materials [Leonhardt, Scientific American ‘50’ Award 2006].

 

Achievement of world record performance from solution-processed LEDs based on light emitting dendrimers [Samuel, Beilby Medal 2007].

 

1.2     Broad Departmental Strategy

 

Details of strategic priorities will be discussed in relation to each of our research groups, but it seems appropriate to state our broad departmental strategy up-front.  As a relatively small department compared to many international competitors, we focus our research activities carefully, aiming to select and tackle problems of depth, significance and potential impact, ranging from fundamental to applied physics.  To realize our ambitious goals we recruit from the international stage: our recent appointments came to us from Stanford, MIT, Cornell, Erlangen, Cambridge, Leiden & Oxford. We place a premium on raising research income to maintain our financial stability; unusually for physics departments we are oversubscribed at undergraduate level, and deliberately cap our intake to approximately 70 FTE per annum to distill the quality and foster and sustain our research-intensive environment.  To ensure that our post-graduates and post-docs have exposure to the full range of modern physics we played a key role in proposing and developing the pan-Scottish SUPA Graduate School, described in more depth in section 2.2.   

 

A core component of our strategy is forward planning for research thrusts in areas that extend and enrich our expertise.  Major new activities over the next five-year research cycle will be centred on:

 

1.  Extending the ground-based WASP exoplanet programme into space with the development of the British Exoplanet Explorer (BEE) with Cameron leading the science team, and establishing Horne as the leader of the Gravitational Microlensing programme of the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network.

 

2.  Creating Europe’s leading centre for cryogenic surface science of correlated electron systems.  To enable this we have recruited Baumberger (one of the world’s leading young angle-resolved photoemission specialists) from Stanford University and the international prize-winner Seamus Davis of Cornell to a 20% Research Professorship.  Both will work in collaboration on this project with Mackenzie and colleagues.

 

3.   Building on the success of recent initiatives at the interfaces between photonics and the life sciences to establish a centre of excellence in medical physics.  This will involve creating substantial new dedicated laboratory space for groups led by Dholakia, Sibbett, Samuel, Brown, Smith, and the recruitment of two new chairs in biological / medical imaging.  Much of this new activity will be housed in a new £45M Institute for Medicine and the Sciences which will adjoin the Physics building and have a physicist (Sibbett) as its Director.

 

The scale of the investment required to achieve these ambitious goals will be discussed in sub-section 2.2 (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance).

 

2Research environment

 

2.1       Department and University

 

Group structure and rationale 

 

To establish and maintain the critical mass necessary to compete successfully on the world stage, we have decided to concentrate our research on three areas, each addressed by a substantial grouping of researchers.   Photonics covers key areas of modern optical physics, including ultrafast laser science, photonic band gap materials, optical manipulation, negative refraction, optical quantum information, terahertz spectroscopy, biophotonics and polymer optoelectronics.  Its category A staff comprise ten experimentalists and two theorists.  Condensed Matter Physics focuses its attention mainly on the quantum many-body problem in solids and atomic condensates.  It has been completely rebuilt since the previous RAE, with a senior appointment in 2001 being followed by the recruitment of seven further academic staff.  It now consists of six experimental principal investigators and four theorists.  Our third group, Astronomy & Astrophysics, has interests covering exoplanets, astrobiology, star and planet formation, galaxies and cosmology.  Like the other groups, it addresses these problems with a mix of theoretical and experimental staff, and comprises five observational astronomers and four theoretical astrophysicists.  Our policy of organising our research structures around topics of interest rather than incorporating old-fashioned boundaries such as that between theoretical and experimental physics is deliberate and, we believe, successful.  It breaks down those boundaries and thus allows us to maintain an imaginative and flexible research base.  

 

Infrastructural investment and support

 

We benefit from the strong support of the University, which has made a series of key investments since 2001 to enable us to expand and modernize in line with our ambition.  Investment in new build has increased our floor space by over 25%.  In parallel with this, substantial SRIF spend of over £6M means that all our research staff now work in laboratory space renovated to the highest international standards.  A further injection has come from our success in winning four Strategic Research Development Grants (a competitive scheme run across all disciplines by the Scottish Funding Council but not eligible for declaration in RA4) providing in excess of £4M infrastructure funding.

 

Staffing Policy: Recruitment and Nurturing

 

Fully 50% of our Category A staff have been appointed during this RAE period and we are submitting nine early career researchers, so we have given considerable thought to developing a transparent and research-friendly system for promoting the research career and performance of young staff.  New academic recruits carry approximately a 60% teaching and administrative load for their first three years in post, and if they hold a personal research fellowship, this is reduced by a further factor of two on average.  All new staff recruited in this RAE cycle have been provided with laboratory space refurbished to their specifications using the SRIF spend mentioned above.  Research student selection is done first and foremost on the quality of the student applicants, but new staff are given priority and the applicants are encouraged to work with them rather than join our bigger established groups.  

 

To benchmark the quality of our staff, we award tenured positions at any level only after scrutiny by a full appointments panel including an external assessor. We therefore have a number of unestablished independent research fellows in the department, who we strive to encourage and support as strongly as possible.  They are not obliged to do any teaching unless they request it, and they receive the same priority as young appointees in the allocation of research students and refurbished laboratory space.  That our policies (whose extension to post-docs and graduate students is further described in 2.2 below) lay the foundations for successful academic careers is evidenced by St Andrews just having been shortlisted (September 2007) for a Times Higher award for ‘Outstanding support of early career researchers’ and by the moves of some junior staff to promotions elsewhere: Ebrahimzadeh and Tennant from junior academic posts to senior positions in Barcelona and Berlin, and unestablished independent fellows McGloin, MacDonald and Wijnands to permanent lectureships in Dundee and Amsterdam.  

 

Inter- and intra-group mixing and synergy

 

One of the key strengths of a department is the level of intellectual mixing that is achieved.  All our RAE category A staff are expected to lead sub-groups of their own, but also to collaborate widely within the department.  We have also encouraged cross-fertilisation of ideas by deliberately recruiting at the boundaries between disciplines.  This atmosphere of mixing and discussion has allowed us to adapt our overall research to modern challenges.  For example, a number of staff from our Photonics and Condensed Matter groups (Sibbett, Dholakia, Krauss, Smith, Green, Grigera, Brown, Pickard, Samuel) have complemented their pre-existing activity by establishing initiatives in molecular, biological and medical physics, with the new collaborations extending to include an astrophysics theorist (Wood) who won funding from the Medical Research Council for the study of radiation transfer in tissue.

 

2.2    Scottish Universities Physics Alliance

 

The single biggest improvement in the physics research environment in Scotland since 2001 has been the formation of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA), underpinned by initial £14M funding from the Scottish Funding Council, Office of Science & Technology and the participating universities.  The direct new spend on St Andrews Physics & Astronomy has so far enabled the recruitment of five of the category A staff that we submit in this assessment, as well as five further research fellows on four-year contracts.

 

The wide-ranging collaborative activities that SUPA oversees are providing major positive influences that serve to:

 

  1. Build the foundations for further growth and research strength.  As part of this, we have set out to create an internationally competitive Graduate School. We have set up remote learning rooms across seven universities in Scotland and now offer new graduate students and post-docs a choice between 50 graduate level research training courses (mainly academic but including, for example, GRADskills and entrepreneurship courses) taught collaboratively between the participating universities.  To increase the access of international students to this new level of graduate training, SUPA also runs an entirely open, excellence-based Prize Studentship competition, attracting a field in excess of 250 annually from which the very best are made funded PhD offers (a new route used to recruit 15 additional international PhD students funded either by SUPA or St Andrews funds to the department over the past two years).   
  2. Prioritise research strategies.   These are now set not only in light of individual or departmental considerations, but against the background of collaborative SUPA priority initiatives.  St Andrews has played a leading role so far in SUPA initiatives on Quantum Ordering under Extreme Conditions, Astrobiology, Nanocolloids and Biophotonics, while the major research initiatives introduced in 1.2 are key planks of an ambitious follow-up ‘SUPA2’ research restructuring plan.  Although the SUPA2 plans are still under consideration by the Scottish Funding Council, the university has made a firm pledge of a £8.2M (ex-fEC) contribution to the budgeted cost (£13M) for the research initiatives that will be based in St. Andrews.
  3. Establish critical mass in terms of research strength, research diversity and international perceptions.  This is particularly advantageous to a small department like ours which can concentrate on agenda-setting research on a few chosen topics while embedded in a collaboration that, collectively, addresses all major topics in modern physics.

 

2.3  Funding, collaboration and knowledge transfer

 

Research funding is obviously a key part of a progressive research environment, and we have had considerable success in competing for UK and EU funds, with an average of £1.27M per category A FTE raised during the RAE period (NB: spend lags funding raised for an ambitious and rapidly expanding department like ours).  Our strong records of winning (and usually heading) large collaborative awards and performing knowledge transfer are described in detail under the group-by-group ‘Evidence of Leadership’ and ‘Competitive Knowledge Transfer Awards and Support’ headings in section 3.

 


3.  Research Esteem and Strategy by Group

 

Overview

 

We first present some key accumulated esteem indicators in tabular form.  We set quality barriers in reporting these, choosing not to list the minor ‘esteem’ indicators that are more a mark of activity than of achievement.  Details then follow, group by group.

 

 

 

Group

Photonics

Condensed Matter Physics

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Category A staff

12

9.2

11

Invited talks, international conferences

244

163

91

Invited talks, national conferences

28

18

21

Invited review articles

24

11

18

Major planning and policy committees

21

13

10

Peer review committees, journal editorships / boards

20

11

21

International conference committees

41

23

21

Prizes and awards

5

5

3

Fellowships and visiting professorships

6

11

10

Academy Fellowships gained since 2001

5

3

1

Senior visitors

40

40

35

 

 


3.1 Photonics Group

 

Strategy

 

Photonics is the largest group at St Andrews and has the strategy of performing agenda-setting research in Advanced Sources, Photonic Materials and Fundamental Photonics. The group encompasses high-profile individuals who are internationally recognised in their own topic areas and also lead collaborative research at institutional, national and international levels. 

 

Advanced sources led by Sibbett, Dunn, Brown, Samuel, Smith, Turnbull, Krauss and Dholakia spans the topics of novel light source developments (eg compact femtosecond-pulse sources, polymer lasers, dendrimer light-emitting diodes (LEDs), microfluidic-compatible integrated lasers, terahertz sources) as well as the use of specialist tailored light sources (eg Bessel, Laguerre-Gaussian, optical lattices).  Historically, this area’s outstanding success is the invention in the group of Sibbett of Kerr-lens mode locking which has spawned the field of practical and versatile femtosecond lasers. Notable recent advances include organic semiconductor lasers and optical amplifiers, tunable terahertz sources, next-generation tungstate and quantum dot femtosecond lasers and ultrashort pulse coherent mm-wave sources for pulsed magnetic resonance and high resolution radar.

 

The activity in Photonic Materials, led by Samuel, Krauss, Miller and Turnbull, has goals such as the nanostructuring of photonic crystal devices for ultrafast optical communications, enhanced light-matter interactions and silicon photonics (Krauss, Miller,Samuel), and solution processing of organic semiconductors (notably the light emitting dendrimers pioneered in St Andrews) to fabricate lasers and LEDs (Turnbull, Samuel). Photonics-based techniques have also opened research pathways in soft condensed matter where the deployment of refined light sources for trapping within optical lattices has facilitated studies of Brownian dynamics, colloidal self-assembly and fractionation (Dholakia, Sibbett).

 

Fundamental photonics encapsulates the basics of novel laser science including key applications in colloidal science and quantum optics. Leonhardt, Korolkova and Koenig carry out ambitious high-risk, high-reward research into quantum information and quantum optics at the interface with astrophysics. Leonhardt and Koenig lead the development of schemes for observing event horizons and Hawking radiation using quantum optical schemes in fibres, in an imaginative collaboration with SibbettThey are also undertaking theoretical research into meta-materials as exemplified by Leonhardt’s recent high-impact work on invisibility cloaking (see 1.1). Dispersion engineering by Krauss has led to the demonstration and understanding of slow light and superprism phenomena in photonic crystals. Brown, Dholakia, and Sibbett have undertaken wide-ranging studies of optical vortices, supercontinuum and monochromatic “non-diffracting” beams, and have created optically bound matter in colloidal systems. 

 

The synergistic work of the group has also led to new opportunities in the growing interdisciplinary area of Biophotonics.  Our recognized track record of research in this area means we are a main partner in an Invited EU Network of Excellence in Biophotonics.  Sibbett, Brown, Dunn, Dholakia, Samuel, Krauss and Smith have brought their expertise to bear upon this activity by building upon their pioneering fundamental photonics and pulsed ESR research. The effort has been further strengthened by the recruitment of Brown to a lectureship. Phototherapies have been demonstrated to be effective in treating skin cancers in clinical trials at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, leading to the development and patenting of flexible polymer-based light sources for the same purpose (Allen, Sibbett, Samuel). Novel advanced sources (femtosecond and beam-tailored lasers) are making inroads into targeted drug therapy and rapid Raman analysis. An in-depth understanding of colloidal motion and Brownian dynamics across optical potential energy landscapes paves the route for novel microfluidic cell sorting schemes (Dholakia, Sibbett and Brown).  These successes played a key role in the university’s decision to create the new £45M Institute for Medicine and the Sciences adjoining Physics & Astronomy, as described in section 1.2.

 

Photonics Group Esteem part 1 (Collective)

 

Evidence of Leadership.  The group’s leading edge research is well recognized at international level. Its successful expansion from a traditional strength in lasers and ultrafast laser science was led by Sibbett's Directorship of the UK-wide EPSRC "Ultrafast Photonics Collaboration", a £12.5M collaboration between 5 universities and 7 companies.  Sibbett and Brown now lead a follow-up EPSRC Large Grant Award on modular ultrafast lasers, while other members of the group have expanded their leadership into a number of new areas. The Biophotonics Collaboration led by Dholakia engages with biomedical researchers and clinicians locally and internationally, with links as far as Stanford, Toronto, Singapore and Brisbane. It leads major initiatives such as an EPSRC Biophotonics Platform (Dholakia, Krauss and Samuel) and a Scottish Funding Council Strategic Research Development Grant (Sibbett and Dholakia). Dholakia leads a major international effort that exploits novel photonics for colloidal self-assembly and optical micromanipulation, with funding including a EU-FP6 STREP "Atom 3D". The Microphotonics group led byKrauss is recognised for the lowest-loss photonic crystal structures made in Europe and has been core to the developments of slow light and superprism concepts in such structures. He leads the EU-FP6 STREP "SPLASH", the nanostructuring activity in the EU-FP6-Network "Epixnet" and the nanophotonics work in the recently awarded EPSRC Large Grant "UK Silicon Photonics".  A further area of research strength relates to organic semiconductors.  Samuel has pioneered the use of dendrimers as light-emitting materials, achieving world record efficiencies for solution-processed LEDs, and leads the SFC-EPSRC funded Organic Semiconductor Centre, a multi-institution collaboration at the physics/chemistry/materials science interfaces. As Director of the EPSRC UK High Field ESR facility, Smith developed high-field mm-wave quasi-optical ESR instrumentation that is now licensed for manufacture and widely employed in leading international laboratories. He now leads a major UK collaboration developing high-field pulsed ESR, as well as being involved in four major UK and EU instrumentation collaborations related to dynamic nuclear polarisation and mm-wave security imaging. Our interdisciplinary strengths and research agility are evident in our performance in the Basic Technology calls, in which Smith, Brown, Dholakia, Miller, Krauss and Sibbett have secured approximately £5M of funding from five separate major grants.

 

Fellowships, Awards and Prizes The Photonics group has a strong record of awards, fellowships and prizes concomitant with its field-leading role.  Sibbett is FRS, F Opt Soc Am, F Eur Opt Soc and six of the twelve PIs (Dholakia, Dunn, Krauss, Miller, Samuel and Sibbett) are FRSE.  Miller is also FIEEE, and Miller and Dholakia F Opt Soc Am.  Awards and prizes since 2001 include: European Physical Society Prize and Medal for Optics & Quantum Electronics 02 and the Royal Society Clifford Paterson Lectureship 05 (Sibbett), European Optics Prize 03 (Dholakia); Scientific American 50 Award 06 (Leonhardt); Beilby Medal & Prize 07 (Samuel). Competitive fellowships won include: EPSRC Senior Fellowship (Samuel); Leverhulme Research Fellowship (Leonhardt); Royal Society URFs (Krauss, Samuel, McGloin [held 2002-7 before transfer to permanent post in Dundee]); EPSRC Advanced Fellowships (Smith, Turnbull, MacDonald [held 2005-7 before transfer to permanent post in Dundee]).

 

Senior Visitors:  The group has hosted forty senior visitors since 2001, including:

Z. Alferov (Ioffe Institute, St. Petersburg; Nobel Laureate)

Sir Michael Berry (Bristol)

T. Haensch (Max Planck Munich; Nobel Laureate)

G. Leuchs (Erlangen)

D.A.B. Miller (Stanford)

W. Phillips (Maryland; Nobel Laureate)

S. Stenholm (Stockholm)

E. Wright (Arizona)

 

Competitive Knowledge Transfer Awards and Support: The main outlet of our commercially relevant activity is the Photonics Innovation Centre (PIC) that has Dunn and Sibbett as Technical Directors. The PIC is entirely funded from industrial contracts, i.e. NOT EPSRC awards, e.g. via a Defence Technology Centre (SELEX) (£170k over 2 years), a recent DTI 2-year project on laser micro-drilling in dentistry (£206k) and a 1-year contract with DSTL on Mid- and Near-Infrared Imaging (£208k). Dunn has licensed patents to M Squared Lasers Ltd for the manufacture of THz and infrared lasers invented in his group. Smith’s involvement in mm-wave instrumentation has enabled him to provide components and consultancy to several international companies including Millivision, Alfa-Imaging, BAe systems, Oxford Instruments, Thomas Keating, Oerlikon Contraves and ERA Technology.  He has a number of licence agreements on ESR Instrumentation and has secured £758k of funding as part of a £1.5M MOD project "ERA phase 2 - NIRAD and IRAD".  Krauss's leadership in photonic crystals has led to a research grant funded entirely by Intel Inc, USA (US$ 216k).  Dholakia has received £75k support from Nikon (biophotonics), $200k of support from Boeing, USA and has a licence agreement with Elliot Scientific for the sale of portable optical tweezers invented in his group.  Samuel’s organic semiconductor research has led to over £0.5M direct industrial funding, participation in a £0.8M LINK project, the filing of more than 10 patents licensed to companies, and participation in UKTI Trade Missions. We also have a strong record of success in bidding for Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept commercialization funding, with Samuel, Krauss, Dholakia and Dunn winning a total of 5 awards valued at approximately £1M since 2001. 

 

Photonics Group Esteem part 2:  Indicators by group member

 

Year in bold is the year the person concerned ‘entered the profession’ by the RAE definition of starting their first permanent job or independent fellowship.

 

 

Dholakia 2000 FRSE 07, F. Opt. Soc. Am 07, European Optics Prize 03, EPSRC Decadal Highlight Researcher (Biophysics) 05, Tan Chin Tuan International Fellowship, Singapore 04, Hon. Chair University of Arizona 2005

 

2190 wok citations (1976 since 2001); h = 25

 

52 invited talks including American Physical Society 03, American Chemical Society 04, and Keynote Plenaries Photonics West 05, Optics Within Life Sciences VIII 04. European Biomedical Sciences 2007.

 

8 patents on optical micromanipulation and biophotonics; SPIE Photonics Circle of Excellence Award 05 for first portable optical trap for biophysics.

 

12 conference organizing committees including co-chair ‘Optical Micromanipulation’, SPIE 04 – 07.

 

 

Dunn 1968 FRSE

 

1325 wok citations (501 since 2001); h = 19

 

Invited reviews Optical Society of AmericaHandbook of Optics, 2nd Edition 01, IOP Handbook of Lasers 04

 

10 invited talks including International Conferences on Lasers & Electro-Optics 01-07

 

5 patents on laser devices, 4 licensed for manufacture.

 

8 enterprise-related Board / Advisory Committee memberships including Scottish Institute of Enterprise, 02-05, Institute of Medical Science & Technology 02 –

 

Vice-Principal (Research) St Andrews 01-03

 

 

Krauss 1995  RSURF -03 FRSE 02

 

3153 wok citations (2304 since 2001); h = 30

 

Invited commentary articles Nature Materials 03, Science 05 & Physics World 06

 

43 invited talks including Photonic and Electromagnetic crystal structures (PECS) IV 02, V 04, VI 06, Photonics West 04 05, 07, Physics 2005 – A Century after Einstein, Optical Society of America Annual Meeting 03, 04, 05

 

13 conference chair / session organizer including overall conference chair of PECS III 01 

 

 

Leonhardt 1998  Leverhulme Research Fellowship 02, Scientific American 50 Award 06

 

2229 wok citations (936 since 2001); h = 23

 

35 invited talks including Coherence and Quantum Optics 07, Nanometa 07, SPIE Photonics West 06, Quantum Optics, KITP Santa Barbara 02, IQEC 02, European Physical Society 02

 

Editorial Board Physical Review A

 

 

Miller 1979 FRSE, FIEEE, F Opt Soc Am 06

 

1640 wok citations (305 since 2001); h = 21

 

Vice-Principal (Research), St Andrews 03-

 

8 invited talks including 10th International Workshop on Femtosecond Technology 03, SPIE Photonics West 03, European Physical Society 02

 

Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee, Scottish Funding Council 04-

Research Committee, Royal Society 05

 

Book: Ultrafast Photonics, A Miller, D T Reid and D M Finlayson DM (Eds.), SUSSP and IOP, Bristol, 2004

 

 

Samuel 1995 RSURF -03 FRSE 02 EPSRC Senior Fellow 06-10, Beilby Medal & Prize 07.

 

4167 wok citations (3170 since 2001); h = 33

 

Invited reviews and commentary articles for Materials Today, Advanced Materials, Chemical Reviews, Nature & Science 

 

28 invited talks including American Physical Society 02, 04, German Physical Society Einstein Conference 05.

 

8 organising committees of international conferences e.g. SPIE Annual Meeting 04, 05, 06, CLEO-Europe 05, 07

 

DTI Advisory Panel on Information Storage & Displays

 

 

Sibbett 1977.  CBE FRS FRSE, F. Opt. Soc. Am. F. Eur. Opt. Soc. 07 

European Physical Society Prize and Medal for Optics & Quantum Electronics 02, Clifford Paterson Lecturer, Royal Society 05

 

4765 wok citations (1866 since 2001); h = 30

 

18 invited talks including International Conference on Coherent and Nonlinear Optics 07 and Femtochemistry & Femtobiology 8, 07

 

Chair, Scottish Science Advisory Committee and Chief Scientific Advisor to Scottish Executive 02-06

 

UK Photonics Leadership Group, DTI 06 –

 

 

Smith 1998 EPSRC Advanced Fellowship -03

 

Leader ‘Bringing the NMR Paradigm to ESR’, top-ranked 2003 Basic Technology programme

 

2 invited review chapters and 20 invited talks including lead plenary at 40th anniversary International ESR meeting 07

 

Deputy chair, EU COST network “Advanced Paramagnetic Resonance Methods in Molecular Biophysics”

 

 

Brown 2005 Early Career 

 

Invited Perspective Science 01, invited review New Journal of Physics 04

 

7 invited talks including SPIE Europe 06, Femtochemistry and Femtobiology 8 (07)

 

International co-chair, Topical Problems in Biophotonics 2007, Russia

 

Patent 04 ‘The Optical Syringe - using non-diffracting beams of light to perform microsurgery on cells.’

 

 

Koenig 2003 Early Career

 

2 invited talks at Xth ICQO Minsk 04 and LPHYS 06 Lausanne.

 

 

Korolkova 2003 Early Career

 

17 invited talks including Xth International Conference on Quantum Optics 04 and LPHYS 06 Lausanne.

 

10 invited review chapters including ‘Polarization squeezing and entanglement’, in Quantum Information with Continuous Variables of Atoms and Light 07

 

5 conference organizing committees including 9th International Conference on Squeezed States and Uncertainty Relations 05

 

 

Turnbull 2002 EPSRC Advanced Fellowship 02-07

 

4 invited talks including SPIE Photonics Europe 04 and CLEO Europe 03

 

Invited reviews Encyclopaedia of Modern Optics (Elsevier) 05, Materials Today 04, Chemical Reviews 07

 

Workshop organizer, European Conference on Organic Electronics and Related Phenomena 03

 

IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Scottish Chapter Vice Chair 07-.


3.2 Condensed Matter Physics Group

 

Strategy

 

The group’s core objective is to perform a multi-faceted and co-ordinated attack on the quantum many-body problem in condensed systems.  If strongly interacting electrons move in close proximity to each other, they can, under appropriate circumstances, self-organize into intriguing collective quantum states characterized by remarkably simple parameters.  The motif of simplicity from complexity is not, of course, unique to interacting electrons, but runs through much of the natural world.  The principles that are involved are still very poorly understood, making this one of the big challenges for 21st century physics.  The two biggest advantages of addressing it via condensed matter physics rather than other fields such as biology are (i) the level of control that can be achieved in condensed matter systems and (ii) the opportunity for experimental and theoretical physics to work together.  One of its triumphs has been the demonstration (to which we have contributed) that quantum critical points are a rich ‘breeding ground’ for novel quantum states.

 

With the above considerations in mind, we spent 2001-6 assembling a team to perform complementary and co-ordinated research in this field.  Mackenzie, Grigera and Lee provide expertise in low temperature materials physics, ultra-high purity single crystal growth, neutron scattering and muon spin rotation.  The technique of angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy has come to considerable prominence as spectacular advances have been made in its resolution over the past two decades, but this mini-revolution has been led from the USA, Japan and continental Europe, with the UK playing only a minor role.  To redress this, we recruited one the brightest young international stars, Baumberger, whose work will be a powerful complement to the activities of our group.  The fifth experimentalist, Cassettari, will approach the problem from a different viewpoint, working with cold atoms in optical lattices, in collaboration with members of Photonics.  To profit from the interplay between theory and experiment, the group is rounded off with four talented theorists.  Green’sinterests are mainly in equilibrium and non-equilibrium quantum criticality, while Hooley and Betouras work on interacting electron and atomic physics, and Pickard brings considerable experience and expertise in ab-initio electronic structure calculations.

 

Condensed Matter Group Esteem part 1 (Collective)

 

Leadership and collaboration.  In UK terms, our role as a leader in the field was evidenced by the award of EPSRC’s Bristol-Cambridge-St. Andrews Portfolio Partnership on Novel Quantum Order in Interacting Electron Metals.  The formation of SUPA (whose Condensed Matter and Materials Physics theme is led by Mackenzie) has enabled us to establish a particularly exciting link with Edinburgh’s Centre for Science in Extreme Conditions, whose Professor Andrew Huxley is siting his main laboratory in our department, with funding of approximately £800 K from SUPA, SRIF and the two universities.  Pickard is a co-leader of the collaboration that produced the CASTEP electronic structure calculation package (630 citations and hundreds of international sales since completion in 2001), and his recent breakthroughs in the calculation of ultra-high pressure structures will further enhance this collaboration. 

 

Beyond the UK, we have strong and established collaborations with the groups such as those of ZX Shen (Stanford), Y. Maeno (Kyoto), S. Sondhi (Princeton) and J. Moore (Berkeley).  Lee’s work involves obtaining substantial beam time at international facilities (approximately 130 days at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Zurich, 35 days at ILL Grenoble and 35 at ISIS since 2001).  Pickard’s work on molecular NMR at the physics / chemistry interface incorporates a major collaboration with Prof. L. Emsley of ENS Lyon.  In 2004 Mackenzie and Grigera instigated a collaboration with Davis at Cornell, later joined by Baumberger.  It is testimony both to the potential of this collaboration and to our position as a leading group on the world stage that Davis (who has received offers from approximately ten of the best universities in the USA and Europe since 2004) chose to join our department as a 20% Research Professor.  We are currently working on the ambitious plans to establish the European centre of excellence in cryogenic surface spectroscopies first outlined in section 1.2 above.  

 

Fellowships, Awards and Prizes: We believe that the most telling indicator of the group’s quality is that its members have consistently proved themselves in open competition for early and mid-career fellowships that establish them as leaders of their cohort.  In fact, every member has won a prestigious personal research award.  Grigera and Green won Royal Society University Research Fellowships (2002 and 2001 respectively) and Mackenzie also held one for part of the RAE 2008 period (tenure 1993-2001).  Cassettari won a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2002, while Hooley and Pickard and Lee won EPSRC Advanced Fellowships in 2004, 2002 and 1995, Baumberger a “Stipendium für angehende Forschende” from the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2002, Davis a Packard Fellowship in the USA and Betouras a Marie Curie Fellowship.  In addition, group members have won major international prizes (Daiwa-Adrian Prize 2004 (Mackenzie and Grigera), Fritz London Memorial Prize 2005 (Davis).  Lee and Mackenzie are FRSE, and Davis F. Am. Phys. Soc.

 

Senior Visitors:  The group’s international reputation and links are reflected in the large number of senior visitors that it has hosted.  In total, over forty such visits have taken place since 2001, including:    

G.G. Lonzarich, Cambridge 

Y. Maeno, Kyoto University, Japan 

                                                A.J. Millis, Columbia University, USA

                                                J. Orenstein, UC Berkeley, USA 

                                                T.M. Rice, ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

                                                Z.X. Shen, Stanford University, USA  

                                                A Tsvelik, Brookhaven, USA

                                                J. Zaanen, Leiden, Netherlands

 

Competitive Knowledge Transfer Awards and Support:  Although primarily a fundamental physics research group, we have received industrial support for various aspects of our activities.  Lee won Joint Research Equipment Initiative grants including cash support from Oxford Instruments (£118k, 1999-03), Quantum Design (£94k, 2001-4) and direct support of £74k from DSTL for a biosensor project 2001-4.  He also received access to research facilities valued in total at £72k from Seagate (2001-2), IBM Almaden (2001-4) and Hitachi (2004-6).  Pickard received £130k from Accelrys in royalties and software, and Mackenzie £94k from Cambridge Magnetic Refrigeration for a project developing novel adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators.

 

Condensed Matter Group Esteem Part 2:  Indicators by Group Member

 

Key:  Year in bold is the year the person concerned ‘entered the profession’ by the RAE definition of starting their first permanent job or independent fellowship.

 

 

Davis1993.  F. Amer. Phys. Soc 05, Ehrenfest Lecturer (Leiden) 02, Fritz London Memorial Prize 05.

 

3099 wok citations (2865 since 2001); h = 24

 

70 invited talks including keynote plenaries at European Physical Society 02, LT-23 (02), STM-03, German Physical Society 04, Nano-05, ECOSS-23 (05), LT-24 (05), M2S Dresden 05, Stripes 06, IVC-17/ICSS-13 (07).

 

7 conference organization including Conference Chair, Gordon Research Conferences in Superconductivity and Strongly Correlated Electron Systems (both 06)

 

American Physical Society Division of Condensed Matter Physics Executive Board 05

 

 

Lee 1995 FRSE 06.

 

1709 wok citations (738 since 2001); h = 22

 

ILL International Neutron Selection Panel 01-05; PSI International Neutron Beam Selection Committee 07-10; IOP Superconductivity Group Committee 01-04

 

14 invited talks including European Physical Society 02, MRS Fall Meeting 03, 10th Joint MMM/Intermag Conference 07, XIV International Conference on Hyperfine Interactions 07 (Plenary)

 

Session chair MMM/Intermag 07, XIV Hyperfine Interactions 07

 

 

Mackenzie 1993 FRSE 04, RSURF -01,  Daiwa-Adrian Prize 04, Ehrenfest Lecturer (Leiden) 07.

 

3127 wok citations (1960 since 2001); h = 29

 

Reviewing Editor, Science Magazine 2003 -, Visiting Professorships Stanford 03, Kyoto 04, Cornell 06

 

Invited Reviews Rev Mod Phys 03 (250 wok citations), Adv Phys 03

 

35 invited talks including American Physical Society 02, Gordon Research Conference 04, Strongly Correlated Electron Systems 05, LT-24 05, Physics 2005 A Century after Einstein, BCS@50 (celebrating 50th anniversary of BCS theory of superconductivity) 07.

 

12 conference sessions organized or chaired inc. American Physical Society 06, Gordon Research Conference 01, 04, 06.

 

Green 2001  RSURF 01 –

 

Invited Perspective, Science 07

 

6 invited talks including American Physical Society 02, Kavli ITP Workshop on Quantum Criticality 05

 

 

Grigera 2002  RSURF 02 - , Daiwa Adrian Prize 04

 

Invited Perspective, Science 05

 

16 invited talks including Physical Phenomena at High Magnetic Fields IV 01, European Physical Society 04, Gordon Research Conference 06

 

 

Pickard 2002.  EPSRC Advanced Fellowship 02-07

 

2007 wok citations (1960 since 2001); h = 17

 

3 invited reviews including  J. Phys: Condensed Matter 02 (630 wok citations)

 

Visiting Professorships Université de Paris VII 01, Tamkang University Taiwan 02, 04

 

15 invited talks including 14th Annual Workshop on Recent Developments in Electronic Structure Methods (Berkeley) 02, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 03, Eighth International Workshop on Physical Characterization of Pharmaceutical Solids 06.

 

 

Baumberger 2006 Early career  Director, Scottish Centre for Interdisciplinary Surface Science (founded with £1.7 M Strategic Research Development Grant won from Scottish Funding Council).

 

11 Physical Review Letters (6 as lead author) since 2001

 

2 invited talks inc M2S-VIII 06

 

Invited by Diamond to lead working party designing new Photoemission beam line.

 

 

Betouras 2006 Early career

 

4 invited talks including Kavli ITP Workshop on Moments and Multiplets in Mott Materials, Santa Barbara 07

 

 

Cassettari 2002 Marie Curie Fellowship 01, RS Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship 02

 

Invited review Phil Trans Roy Soc 03

 

2 invited talks including Euroconference Quantum Optics 03

 

Science Advice Committee, IOP 06 - , Review Panel for EuroQUASAR, ESF 07

 

 

Hooley 2004 Early Career  EPSRC Advanced Fellowship 04 –

 

Invited Perspective, Science 07

 

Organiser and Chair, EPSRC Theoretical Physics Summer School Physics by the Lake 05

IOP Theoretical Physics Committee 06 -

 

 

 


3.3       Astronomy and Astrophysics Group

 

Strategy

 

Since 2001, we have expanded our Astrophysics group into an internationally prominent team of observers and theorists, working closely together to advance understanding of extrasolar planets, star and planet formation, the assembly of galaxies and the nature of gravity and dark matter.

 

In our quest to discover and characterise planetary systems beyond the solar system, we use transits to discover hot planets and microlensing to discover cool planets. As leading players in the SuperWASP transit survey St. Andrews (Cameron, Horne) pioneered methods to detect the transiting planets, leading to SuperWASP's success in discovering 7 new Hot Jupiters during 2006-7 and its goal to find 100 more in the coming years. We characterise each new planet by follow-up observations, using e.g. HST and Spitzer and are developing the British Exoplanet Explorer (BEE) for rapid characterisation as discovery rates increase.  To profit from these discoveries we recruited Helling whose expertise is in understanding the internal and atmospheric structure and dynamics of gas giant planets as they respond to their evolving environments.  To discover cool planets with masses as small as the Earth, our PLANET/RoboNet team (including Horne, Dominik) uses a global network of small telescopes to search for planet-caused anomalies in the magnified light curves of microlensing events, resulting in the discovery of a 5 Earth-mass planet in 2006. By expanding our robotic telescope infrastructure via the SUPA Planet Finder in partnership with Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, we expect to discover and measure the abundance of cool Earth-mass planets within 5 years. At still colder extremes, studies of cold comet belts (Greaves) detect distant gas- and ice-giants through their gravitational perturbations, and will define the cometary bombardment rates for potential life-bearing worlds around nearby stars.

 

The frequency and properties of planets ultimately depend on how stars and planetary systems form.  Our large-scale simulations, supported by our new SUPA-astro HPC machine (St Andrews/Edinburgh), are used to explore the dynamical processes of star and planet formation (Bonnell). Recent successes include leading models for the origin of the initial mass function and the formation of the most massive stars. These are complemented by a combination of 3D MHD and radiative-transfer models to understand the accretion of mass onto young stars and the early stages of disk and planet formation (Jardine, Wood).  Observational studies of low-mass objects (Scholz) and gas-giant planets (Cameron) can establish evolutionary sequences once we know their ages, which we will obtain by calibrating stellar spindown rates to obtain a powerful new cosmic clock (Jardine,Cameron). 

 

On larger scales, galaxy formation links the role of gravity and dark matter in the Universe with the formation of stars and planets. Driver has been chosen to lead an international team conducting large-scale surveys studying the populations and properties of galaxies in order to determine how galaxy masses are accumulated. The GAMA-project (Galaxy And Mass Assembly) will provide the next generation Sloan Digital Sky Survey by combining proprietory and public data from the AAT, VST, VISTA, GALEX, HERSCHEL, SCUBA-II and ASKAP facilities. The final outcome will be a database of 200,000 spatially resolved galaxies with complete coverage across the full energy spectrum within the next 5-10 years.

 

Galactic-scale simulations including star formation and feedback will provide the necessary physical inputs for models of galaxy formation and evolution (Bonnell). Driver and Zhao will study the causal relationship between super-massive black holes and the host galaxy properties, while Horne will employ echo-mapping to study the physical environment of black hole accretion discs in active galactic nuclei. Finally, one of the longest standing problems in astrophysics is the existence of dark matter and the nature of gravity on large scales. Zhao has been instrumental in developing models of galaxy dynamics and gravitational lensing in order to establish the large-scale distribution of the dark matter in galaxies and galaxy groups. This work underpins important unbiased tests for alternative theories of gravity that aim to explain the motions of galaxies (Horne, Zhao).

 

Astronomy and Astrophysics Group Esteem part 1 (Collective)

 

Leadership:  The group continues to make major impact in international research. Evidence of this comes from the large number of invited reviews at international conferences (62) as well as the lead roles that we play in major international projects.  In addition to Cameron and Horne being the scientific leaders of the Super-WASP and RoboNet planet-hunting consortia, Driver leads the Millenium Galaxy Survey and GAMA and Greaves is Survey Manager for the JCMT Legacy Debris Disk Survey.  Following competitive bidding from all round the world, a team led by Jardine won the right to hold Cool Stars XV in St Andrews in July 2008.  This will mark the first time this, the biggest regular international meeting in the combined areas of solar-stellar physics and formation and evolution of low-mass stars and planets, is held in the UK.  

 

A key metric of leadership in astronomy is time won on telescopes.  We have a strong record in this regard, having won time worth in excess of £6 M over the census period:

 

Major Space Observatories 

 - Spitzer Space Telescope: 47.4 hours @ £13k/hour = £0.62M

-         Hubble Space Telescope: 9 orbits: uncostable

 

Optical/IR telescopes of 6-10 metre class 

ESO VLT/GEMINI/Magellan: 36N @ £30k/night = £1.08M

 

Optical/IR telescopes of 4 metre class

 - AAT/WHT/UKIRT/CFHT/Calar Alto/ (4-metre) : 155N @ 17k/night = £2.64M

 

Large (sub-)mm and radio facilities

 - JCMT/IRAM/APEX/SMA/Merlin/VLA/GBT (submm) : 811.5H = 76N @ 17k/ night = £1.29M

 

Optical/IT telescopes of 2.0 to 2.5-metre class

 - RoboNet/LT/INT/ESO2.2m/OHP1.93m : 88N @ £5k/night = £440K

 

Prizes, awards and fellowships.  Evidence of the quality of the group comes from the success of its members in open competitions for research fellowships.  These include winning PPARC Senior (Cameron and Horne) and Advanced Fellowships (Greaves, Wood, Zhao, Jardine, Bonnell and Wijnands [who subsequently moved to a permanent academic position in Amsterdam]), Royal Society URF (Dominik), Long Term Space Astrophysics Research Fellowship (Wood) and Mount Stromlo Observatory Fellowship (Driver).  Prizes and awards include the Herschel Medal (Horne), Distinguished Overseas Young Researcher, Beijing Observatory (Zhao), Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Person’s Award (Jardine), and election as FRSE (Cameron, Horne).

 

Senior visitors:  35 over the census period, including:

 

K. Freeman (ANU)

M. Garcia (Harvard)

M. Livio (Space Telescope Science Institute)

J. Pringle (Cambridge)

K.C. Sahu (Space Telescope Science Institute)

H. Zinnecker (AIP Potsdam)

 

Astronomy and Astrophysics Group Esteem part 2 (indicators by group member)

 

Year in bold is the year the person concerned ‘entered the profession’ by the RAE definition of starting their first permanent job or independent fellowship.

 

 

Bonnell 1995

 

3192 ADS citations (2602 since 2001); h = 29

 

17 invited talks including IMF at 50 (04), Protostars & Planets V (06)

 

9 invited review papers including IAU 200 (01), 227 (05) & 237 (06)

 

7 organising committees and time allocation panels, including Hubble Space Telescope 07, Spitzer Space Telescope 05

 

 

Cameron 1989 FRSE 02 PPARC Senior Fellow -03

 

3397 ADS citations (2192 since 2001); h = 31

 

Invited review Astronomy & Geophysics 02

 

12 invited talks including COSPAR General Assembly 06, IAU XXV GA Joint Discussion 20 03

 

Vice-Chair, Board of Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, La Palma -01,

STFC Exoplanets Strategy Panel 07­,

ESO/VLT SPHERE Instrument Science Team 07-,

ESO Observing Programmes Committee 2002-2004,

WASP Steering group 02-,

 

4 Conference committees, including Co-organiser, Cool Stars 15 

 

Editor, MNRAS 05-

 

 

Horne 1985 FRSE  PPARC Senior Fellow -03, Herschel Medal of Royal Astronomical Society 04

 

8320 ADS citations (3705 since 2001); h = 47

 

PI: Robonet Microlensing Planet Search Key Project

 

Erskine (Canterbury NZ 07), Gauss (Göttingen 06) and  Beatrice Tinsley (University of Texas 01) Visiting Professorships, Emilios Harlaftis Lecture, Hellenic Astronomical Society 05, David Elder Lecture, Strathclyde 05

 

16 invited talks including Echo Tomography of Black Hole Accretion Disks, Cambridge 02, Astrotomography, IAU Sydney 03, Status and Prospects of Planetary Transit Searches, Washington 03,  Robotic Microlens Planet Search, Nagoya 07

 

RoboNet Consortium Board 04-, WASP Steering Group 02- , ESA Eddington Science Team 02-04, PPARC Astronomy Advisory Panel 01-04; UK Exoplanet Roadmap Committee 04-06.

 

 

Driver 1998 Mount Stromlo Fellow 01-06

 

7009 ADS citations (6308 since 2001); h = 41

 

10 International Boards & Committees including Deputy Chair, VISTA Science Committee -02, Interdisciplinary Science Team, James Webb Space Telescope 04, Australian Gemini Science Advisory Committee 04-06, STFC Astronomy grants panel 07-

 

3 invited talks including 204th AAS65.06 (04)

 

3 invited review papers including PASA 04

 

Major Surveys(>100 nights): 2dFGRS(Co-I, -01), MGC(PI, -07), GAMA(PI,  

08-), VIKING(Co-I, 08-)

 

 

Greaves 1999 PPARC Advanced Fellowship 05 

 

1682 ADS citations (1278 since 2001); h = 22

 

Survey Manager, JCMT Legacy Debris Disk Survey

 

8 invited talks including AbSciCon 06, 2nd Darwin/TPF International Conference 04

 

Invited review Science 05

 

Council, Royal Astronomical Society 07

 

14 International, Research Council & Conference Committee memberships inc. Science Advisory Committee Atacama Large Millimetre Array 06, MERLIN Time Allocation Committee, STFC 07-

 

 

Jardine 1995   RSE Young Person’s Award 02

 

7 invited review papers, including IAUS 243 (07), 226 (04), 219 (03)

 

8 invited talks including SOHO 15 (06), Cool Stars 14 (06)

 

7 Conference Chair / Organising Committees, including Chair Cool Stars 15, 2008 (St Andrews)

 

NASA Chandra Time Allocation Panel 04, 07

PPARC Fellowships Committee, 03

 

 

Zhao 2002 PPARC Advanced Fellow 02-07, Distinguished Overseas Researcher, Beijing Observatory 05

 

1829 ADS citations (1394 since 2001); h = 22

 

10 invited talks including COSPAR General Assembly 06, Lenses 2002

 

Invited review, Astronomy & Astrophysics 07

 

3 conferences organised including ‘Dark Matter vs. Alternative Gravity’ 06

 

 

Dominik 2006 Early career RSURF 06

 

3 invited talks including 11th Marcel Grossmann Meeting on General Relativity 06

 

Invited review Astronomy & Geophysics 06

 

Royal Society International Joint Projects Panel 07-

 

 

Helling 2006 Early career

 

6 invited talks including New Trends in Radiation Hydrodynamics 07

 

Board, Astronomische Gesellschaft 02-

 

3 conference organizing committees including Annual Meeting German Astronomical Society 07

 

 

Scholz 2007 Early career  

 

2 invited talks including Cool Stars 14 (06)

 

Invited review Protostars and Planets V 06

 

3 conference organizing committees including Multiplicity in Star Formation 06, Cool Stars 14, 15 (06, 08)

 

 

Wood 1996 NASA Long Term Space Astrophysics Research Fellowship -01

PPARC Advanced Fellow 01-06

 

1243 ADS citations (1212 since 2001); h = 23

 

6 invited talks including From Discs to Planets, Pasadena 05, CDJO 2004

 

2 invited reviews including Protostars and Planets V 06.