World-leading scientist to head Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at Oxford | University of Oxford

World-leading scientist to head Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at Oxford

23 April 2015

Professor Donal Bradley, one of the world’s foremost experimental physicists, is to be the next Head of Oxford University’s Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division.

Professor Bradley is currently Lee-Lucas Professor of Experimental Physics, Director of the Centre for Plastic Electronics and Vice-Provost for Research at Imperial College London. He will take up his post at Oxford in September, succeeding Professor Alex Halliday as Head of Division.

Professor Bradley’s research interests focus on plastic electronics – encompassing fundamental studies on low-temperature/solution processed semiconductor materials and their application in a range of fields including energy efficient displays, lighting and solar panels. He is a co-inventor of conjugated polymer electroluminescence, co-founder of Cambridge Display Technology and Molecular Vision, and has more than 25 patent families to his name. In addition, he is ranked in the top 1 per cent of most highly-cited physicists in the world.

Professor Bradley has been Imperial’s Pro-Rector/Vice-Provost for Research since October 2011. His championing of cross-faculty research has included coordination of impact acceleration activities, the successful launch of a pan-College PhD scholarships programme, pump-priming new research initiatives and overseeing the formation of twelve Imperial-led EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training. The latter includes the CDT in Plastic Electronics established jointly with Oxford’s Physics, Materials and Engineering Science Departments.

As Head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, Professor Bradley will lead one of the largest and strongest science groupings in the world. One of Oxford’s four academic Divisions, its departments span the spectrum of fundamental and applied research in the mathematical, computational, physical, engineering and life sciences. With an emphasis on solving major societal and technological challenges, the Division’s research is increasingly focused on interdisciplinary areas. It achieved the UK’s highest proportion of scientific research rated world-leading in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment exercise.

Professor Bradley, who will also continue his own research at Oxford, said: “I’m greatly looking forward to engaging with colleagues and learning more from them about the work of the Division. The Division is clearly in a very healthy place and I welcome the opportunity to build on its achievements under Professor Halliday’s leadership. I enjoy working across disciplinary boundaries - my own research involves physics, chemistry, material science and engineering - and at Oxford, I hope to encourage new collaborations which can tackle key challenges and stimulate economic vibrancy in the city, in the UK and globally.”

The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: “Professor Donal Bradley’s appointment is an exciting one, which will build on Professor Alex Halliday’s excellent work in driving Oxford’s achievements at the forefront of international science. Professor Bradley has an outstanding record in scientific discovery, cross-disciplinary working, commercial and environmental applications of his research and in developing new researchers. These are also strengths of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at Oxford, making Professor Bradley the ideal person to inspire the Division to greater global success.”

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