UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


About the Dean and Vice-Deans

The faculty is focused not only on nurturing excellence in discipline-based research, but in enhancing cross-disciplinary exchanges and increasing our impact on society.

Professor Ivan Parkin

Dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Prof Ivan Parkin, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Professor Ivan Parkin is an inorganic materials chemist, who became Faculty Dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences in October 2016.

Prior to his appointment as Dean, he was Head of Department for UCL Chemistry. Within this role he led the development of new inorganic materials and the discovery of new phases and polymorphs. His work has included light activated antimicrobial polymers; self-cleaning window glass; discriminating gas sensors based on zeolites; thermochromic coatings by Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) and Photoaccustic based ultrasound fibers.

His work on antimicrobial coatings was featured in a display at the Science Museum (Aug-Dec 2014) and his thermochromic work has been featured in over 200 articles in the media (press, magazines, TV).

Professor Parkin is assisted by six Vice-Deans, who focus on the faculty's research, enterprise, education and international strategy.

Professor Andrew Wills

Vice-Dean (Research)

Andrew Wills

Professor Andrew Wills's research crosses physical, inorganic and theoretical chemistry and focuses on magnetism. Before coming to UCL he gained a MA in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and worked as a researcher in the groups of Prof J.E. Greedan at the BIMR (the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, McMaster University), the French Atomic Energy Commission, the CNRS and the Institut Laue Langevin (Grenoble).  

Professor Nguyen T. K. Thanh

Vice Dean (Innovation & Enterprise)

Professor Nguyen T. K. Thanh

Professor Nguyễn T. K. Thanh, FRSC, FInstP, FIMMM FRSB a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2005-2014). She was appointed a Full Professor in Nanomaterials in 2013 at University College London. She leads a very dynamic group conducting cutting edge interdisciplinary and innovative research on the design, and synthesis of magnetic and plasmonic nanomaterials for biomedical applications.

Nguyễn T. K. Thanh

In 2019, she has been honoured for her achievements in the field of nanomaterials, and her impactful project proposal and was awarded  highly prestigious Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Medal

She is Editor-in-chief of the Royal Society of Chemistry book Series, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

She leads to innovative project on “Market mapping and prototyping development of T1 MRI contrast agent” funded by EPSRC IAA. 

Professor Katherine Holt

Vice Dean (Education)

Professor Katherine Holt

Professor Katherine Holt is a physical chemist with research interests in electrochemistry, solutions and interfaces. She has been at UCL since 2004, first as a Ramsay Fellow and then as an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow.  She previously held the role of Director of Studies / Chair of Teaching committee in the Department of Chemistry for 4 years and has played an active role in different Royal Society of Chemistry committees, most recently in degree accreditation. 

    Professor Ofer Lahav

    Vice-Dean (International)

    Professor Ofer Lahav

    Ofer Lahav is Perren Chair of Astronomy at the Physics & Astronomy Department, and Vice-Dean (International) at the MAPS Faculty. He is also co-Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Data  Intensive Science. Previously he served as Head of Astrophysics and as MAPS Vice-Dean (Research). He earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge, where he was later a member of staff. Ofer's research area is observational cosmology, in particular probing dark matter and dark energy using large galaxy surveys. He has served in leadership roles at the Dark Energy Survey and other international projects. His work involves advanced statistical methods e.g., machine learning for big data.

    Professor Nick Achilleos

    Vice-Dean (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion)

    Professor Nick Achilleos

     I moved to UCL to take up a postdoc position in planetary science. I developed a global model of Jupiter to support the infrared observations of the planet being done by the planetary atmospheres group. After six years at UCL, I moved into industry, working as a software developer for Logica, mostly within the Space division working on onboard software and satellite control. In 2007, I moved back to UCL to take up a lectureship with the Physics department, and contribute to the work of the Atmospheric Physics Laboratory / Centre for Planetary Science. I continue to collaborate with Cassini/Saturn scientists and also have returned to work on global models of the giant planets.

    Dr Nick Ovenden

    Vice-Dean (Development) 

    Nick Ovenden

    Dr Nick Ovenden from the Mathematics Department has been appointed to the position of Vice-Dean of Development, a role unique to MAPS focusing on external giving and Alumni affairs. Dr Ovenden's research is concerned with developing mathematical models of problems from medicine and industry, typically involving challenging aspects of fluid mechanics, that utilise asymptotic and perturbation methods. He gained his BSc and PhD in Mathematics from UCL, and is involved in research groups covering Fluid Mechanics, the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Mathematical Modelling in biology, finance, industry and society.