UCL News


Two UCL academics on STFC Science Board

12 June 2007

UCL academics Professor Jenny Thomas (UCL Physics & Astronomy) and Professor Gabriel Aeppli (London Centre for Nanotechnology) are among the eight appointments to the Science Board of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The STFC was formed as a new research council on 1 April 2007 through a merger of the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) and the Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and the transfer of responsibility for nuclear physics from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The board will be responsible for providing advice to Council and the executive on all aspects of STFC's science and technology programme.

The key role of the board is to work with the science programme office to formulate, prioritise and update a long-term science strategy for STFC, based on inputs from the science programme office, the Particle Physics, Astronomy & Nuclear Physics Science Committee (PPAN) and the Physical and Life Sciences Committee (PALS).

Another fundamental role of the board will be to identify and prioritise the scientific opportunities likely to arise within the next fifteen years or so, with a description of the technologies required for their success and an estimate of their cost. The board will also be responsible for prioritising all known short to medium term investment in the science and technology programme in the context of funds available against agreed and publicised criteria.

Professor Thomas, an authority on particle physics, has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the board. She is currently overall physics analysis coordinator on the MINOS project - looking at neutrino oscillations - at the Fermi National Accelerator Center, a huge particle acceleration facility in the USA.

Professor Aeppli is Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology, a joint UCL-Imperial College London venture. A distinguished academic, he has won many awards and serves on a number of scientific panels. His personal research is currently focused on the implications of nanotechnology for information processing and healthcare.

Professor Keith Mason, STFC Chief Executive and former Head of the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, said: "As one of Europe's largest multidisciplinary research organisations, STFC is positioned to deliver world class science for the UK on a global scale. The work of the science board will be crucial in fulfilling this objective and I look forward to working with them in order to achieve this."

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