Seven new trustees prepare to take up their places on the IOP Council

28 September 2017

Four new trustees who were elected by a vote of the IOP’s membership are to take up their places on the Institute’s Council on 1 October, together with the new president-elect, Jonathan Flint, and new honorary secretary, Professor Brian Fulton, who were both elected unopposed.

Seven new trustees prepare to take up their places on the IOP Council

The four, who are all Fellows of the IOP, are Dr Mark Telling, who becomes vice-president, membership, and ordinary members Professor Wendy Flavell, Dr June McCombie and Professor Anne Tropper. Their election was announced following the IOP’s AGM on 13 July and each will serve for a four-year term. In addition, nuclear physicist, writer and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili will serve as a co-opted member.

Jonathan Flint (pictured above), who will serve for two years as president-elect and then for two years as President, is the senior independent non-executive director for Cobham plc, a UK defence and communications contractor.

He graduated in physics from Imperial College in 1982 and also has an MBA from Southampton University Management School. He started work as a systems engineer for the Marconi Company (which was later acquired by BAe Systems), designing scientific and communications satellites. He held a variety of technical and managerial roles including, at various times, running the Earth Observation and Science business, the Electronic Warfare business, the Radar business and the Avionic Systems business.

In 2005 he joined Oxford Instruments plc, where he served for 11 years as chief executive. He has been a member of the board of the UK National Neutron Source at Harwell and of the economic advisory board for the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

He is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and served on the IOP’s Council in 2009-12. He was awarded a CBE for services to business and science in 2012.

Seven new trustees prepare to take up their places on the IOP Council

Professor Brian Fulton is dean of the faculty of science at the University of York, having previously spent a five-year period as head of the physics department. He was appointed to a chair at the university in 2001 to build up the nuclear physics group.

His research area is nuclear physics, specialising in the nuclear reactions that power astrophysical objects. Following a PhD in nuclear physics, a postdoc in the US and a period with the Engineering and Physical Research Council at Daresbury, he moved to the University of Birmingham for a lectureship appointment and continued in various roles there until moving to York.

He has served on, and was later chair of, the Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee, and served on a working group of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and on review panels for the funding agencies in the US and Germany.

He has previously been engaged with the IOP’s Nuclear Physics Group and later served as chair of the Nuclear and Particle Physics Division. He served for four years on Council and more recently on the Diversity Committee, and has chaired the Juno Assessment Panel. He received the IOP’s Phillips Award in 2016.

Seven new trustees prepare to take up their places on the IOP Council

Dr Mark Telling is a senior research scientist based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Materials, University of Oxford. His research interests focus on problems at the life sciences–physics interface which, via longstanding international collaboration, include simulative studies of protein activity and the development of injectable, bio-compatible drug delivery vehicles.

He is a chartered physicist and was chair of the Institute’s London and South East Branch from 2012–16, prior to which he served as branch treasurer (2009–12). He has also served on the IOP’s Nominations Committee and the Nations and Branches Committee.

In 2016, he received the IOP’s Phillips Award, which was established to recognise individuals who have given distinguished service to the Institute. A keen STEM ambassador, he is the principal driving force behind the IOP’s national 3 Minute Wonder science communication competition, has contributed to the IOP’s career development strategy and, through mentoring activities, championed the IOP for Africa initiative.

Seven new trustees prepare to take up their places on the IOP Council

Professor Wendy Flavell is Professor of Surface Physics and assistant vice-dean for research in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Manchester, as well as leading the Photon Physics Group at the university.

She served as deputy chair of the physics sub-panel during the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) exercise and was a panel member for the Research Assessment Exercise 2008, in both cases being nominated by the IOP. In 1990 she launched an institute-wide scheme at UMIST of Women into Science and Engineering courses; she also authored the parts of the REF2014 physics overview report that were concerned with diversity and inclusion within the workplace. In 1998 she became only the sixth female professor of physics ever to be recruited in the UK.

She has been involved in science communication to various audiences, including at sci bars and festivals, at the Royal Society, in schools, and via radio.

Seven new trustees prepare to take up their places on the IOP Council

Dr June McCombie is an academic chemical physicist/astrophysical chemist at the University of Nottingham. She also holds a visiting professorship at the University of Warwick.

She was awarded an MBE for services to science in 2013 and was runner-up in the inaugural Royal Society Athena Prize in 2016. She has been a member of the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Focus Group, the Equality Challenge Unit’s Athena Swan Panel and a university secondary school governor.

She served on the group committee of the IOP’s Division of Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics in 2001–11, was secretary of the Chemical Physics Group in 1999–2005 and is a committee member of the Molecular Physics Group and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She was also a member of what was then the IOP’s Diversity Committee in 2003–13, chaired the Juno Panel for the initial five years of the project and was a member of the site visit teams for Women in Physics and Opening Doors.

Seven new trustees prepare to take up their places on the IOP Council
University of Southampton

Professor Anne Tropper is an academic staff member in the University of Southampton’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, where she has held various roles over the past 33 years including head of school, deputy head of school for research and head of the Quantum, Light and Matter Group. Following her PhD she first worked in a six-person engineering consultancy and later in a large industrial research laboratory in the US. Her current research interests focus on the development of ultrafast semiconductor lasers and their potential applications.

At Southampton she chaired the Departmental Diversity Committee that prepared a successful bid for Athena Swan accreditation in 2014. In 2013 she was elected to serve a three-year term as director-at-large on the board of the Optical Society (OSA), where she also worked with its Awards Committee.

She is a fellow the OSA, receiving the fellowship in 2006 for her “pioneering work in the development of rare-earth-doped glass fibre lasers, planar waveguide lasers and ultrashort-pulse semiconductor lasers”.