Three members have been elected to the IOP’s Council

18 July 2013

Three IOP members have been elected to the Institute’s Council in a ballot of all corporate members. The three were Barbara Gabrys, Michael Duncan and John Zarnecki, who will serve as ordinary members of Council from 1 October 2013 until 30 September 2017.

The ballot closed on 16 July and the results were announced at the Institute’s annual general meeting (AGM), which was held in Bristol on 18 July. The AGM also voted to adopt the annual report of the IOP’s Council and the Institute’s accounts. A resolution to appoint BDO Stoy Hayward LLP until the next AGM was approved by 1,070 votes to 20 (98% in favour). A resolution to increase the Institute’s membership subscription rates for several categories of membership from 1 January 2014 was approved by 968 votes to 126 (88% in favour).

The increases in subscription rates are based on the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation, and no more. Membership is free for those retired and aged 70 or over. Digital membership for undergraduate students is also free. The subscription will remain unchanged at £15 for i-member, those whose income is less than £12,500, and undergraduate students who choose to receive print editions of Physics World. Institute members will be informed of the new rates when they receive their renewal notices.

Seven candidates were standing for the three vacancies on Council and the results were:

Barbara Gabrys1,778
John Zarnecki1,239
Michael Duncan1,183
Total number of unique votes cast2,679
Total of voter codes issued16,590


Michael Duncan is a global director of R&D at Procter & Gamble with specific responsibility for Open Innovation and external partnerships, including those with academia. Since joining the company in 1987 he has had many roles, starting as technical brand manager then becoming senior scientist, going on to be a section head in product research, and then in global strategic alliances and formulation. He is a visiting professor of physics at the University of Durham, where he is also on the board of the Biophysical Science Institute, and until recently was an industrial adviser at Cranfield University’s Centre for Design. He sponsors P&G’s strategic partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and in 2011 chaired the Doctoral Training Review for the EPSRC and was lead industrial designer of its “Mentoring for Future Academic Leaders” programme. He gained a BSc in chemistry at the University of Sheffield in 1988 and did a PhD there in “Laser diagnostics of low-pressure electrical discharge plasmas” in 1991. During his PhD he also worked as an experimental scientist at Thorn EMI Lighting Division. He has been responsible for a number of patents and has published several papers. Since 1991 he has lived in the UK, France, Belgium and the US; he currently lives with his family in Northumberland.

Barbara Gabrys has been divisional academic adviser in the University of Oxford’s Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division since 2007, and since 2003 she has been an academic visitor in the university’s Department of Materials, where she conducts research in soft matter science. Her first degree was from the University of Wroclaw, Poland, and she holds a PhD from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. She was a postdoc with Prof. Dame Julia Higgins at Imperial College in London, and also at the University of Massachusetts in the US. She was a lecturer in physics (1987–97), then associate senior research fellow in the Institute of Physical and Environmental Sciences, at Brunel University, until 1999. She was a staff tutor and lecturer in the Open University’s Faculty of Mathematics and Computing, 1999-03. From 2003 to 2007 she was a staff lecturer in computing, course director of the diploma in computing and fellow of Kellogg College, Department for Continuing Education, at the University of Oxford. She has developed a programme for early career scientists, “Building a successful career in the sciences”, which she delivers annually. This is supported by a textbook, How to succeed as a scientist: from postdoc to professor, which was co-authored with Jane A. Langdale. She has had many international collaborations, most notably with US and Japanese scientists, and held the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship in 1996. She held the Royal Society Fellowship in 1985 and is a fellow of the IOP and of the Higher Education Academy. She chaired the IOP’s London and South East Branch (2009-12) and continues to serve on its committee.

John Zarnecki is a professor of space science at the Open University (OU) whose career has included involvement in the Hubble Space Telescope project, the Giotto mission to comet Halley and the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan. Following his first degree and master’s at the University of Cambridge, his PhD was undertaken at University College London, where he was a research assistant before spending three years at British Aerospace as a senior systems engineer. From 1981 until 2000 he was a senior experimental officer, lecturer, senior lecturer and reader at the University of Kent’s Unit for Space Sciences, before moving to the OU. He was the academic consultant for and main subject of the BBC/OU documentary Destination Titan and has done extensive media work, including for The Sky at Night and Material World. He has undertaken overseas lecture tours for the British Council and lectured at major science festivals, and is a visiting professor at Beihang University, China. He is deeply involved in space policy and strategy, not least as a member of the Space Leadership Council that advises the minister of state for universities and science, and as chair of the UK Space Agency’s Science Programme Committee. He was on the councils of the former Particle Physics and Astronomy Council and of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and was vice-president of the RAS (2009-11).