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General Trustee: Professor Sir John Roy Sambles CPhys Hon.FInstP

Term of office: October 2023-September 2027


A headshot of Institute of Physics general trustee Professor Sir John Roy Sambles

Born in Cornwall, Roy undertook his BSc and PhD at Imperial College London. He was a postdoctoral Fellow at Imperial for two years before obtaining a lecturing post at the University of Exeter in 1972. He was promoted to Professor of Experimental Physics at Exeter in 1991.

Roy has more than 50 years’ experience in basic and applied physics research of condensed matter, ranging from the fundamentals of melting through to the principles of liquid crystal displays, molecular rectifiers, plasmonics and metamaterials. He directed the Doctoral Training Centre for Metamaterials at Exeter with more than 80 PhD students. Presently his research concerns microwave and acoustic metasurfaces.

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2002. He was a member of the Counter-Terrorism Science and Technology Centre oversight board from 2006-2013, and sat on the Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for six years. From 2015-2017 he was President of the Institute of Physics and was elected an Honorary Fellow in 2018.

Roy is presently a Consultant for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) Porton Down and Distinguished Visitor at The National Physical Laboratory.

Roy continues to deliver demonstration lectures to audiences ranging from junior school children to the University of the Third Age (u3a). He was awarded a knighthood in 2020 for services to research and outreach.