New Lincoln Mathematics and Physics school appoints department head

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Professor Andrei V. Zvelindovsky, an expert in computer simulation, has been appointed as the founding Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Lincoln.

The school is enrolling its first research students this month, and will welcome its first undergraduate students in September 2015.

The school will offer undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate programmes (MMaths and MPhys).

The new school is housed at the Joseph Banks Laboratories (formerly Becor House) at the university’s Science and Innovation Park.

It was made possible due to a £6.8million investment from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE).

The professor’s expertise in Computational and Theoretical Physics will help to create an internationally renowned centre for research and teaching.

With a focus on student experience and employability, a distinctive feature of the courses will be the availability of industrial placements, with students taking part in applied, real-world research during final year projects and internships.

Professor Zvelindovsky, who comes to Lincoln from the University of Central Lancashire, believes there is huge demand for graduates with a deep understanding of maths and physics in the complex high-tech industries which flourish in today’s global economy.

He said: “If you observe everyday life, technology is becoming more and more complex. But how many people actually understand how things work?

“For example, the first man-made plastic was only patented about 150 years ago in the UK and yet we depend on various plastics enormously today with very few of us really understanding their properties.

“Being such a complex civilisation we need more people who have numerical, computing and technological skills.

“Lincoln made a bold decision to open the first new School of Engineering in 20 years and has a strong connection with world-leading industry.

“A School of Mathematics and Physics naturally follows on from this as these subjects underpin the technology developed by engineers.

“We want the School of Mathematics and Physics to be truly distinctive and our aim is for the University of Lincoln to become one of the largest centres for computational modelling in the UK.”

Professor Zvelindovsky has extensive industry links and has collaborated with leading developers of materials modelling software from all over the world.

He added: “I foresee many opportunities to work alongside colleagues from across the College of Science.

“This collaborative community is at the heart of what Lincoln does. The School will focus on computational and theoretical research, forging close ties with engineering, chemistry, pharmacy, life science and computer science colleagues.”

Joining Professor Zvelindovsky are Dr Marco Pinna and Dr Manuela Mura, who are also computational physicists.

Dr Pinna won the Institute of Physics PhD Thesis Prize in Computational Physics in 2009 in a competition open to all students in the UK and Ireland.

In 2011, Dr Mura was awarded the Tadion-Rideal Prize for Molecular Science from King’s College London for her PhD thesis on the understanding of mechanisms of the self-assembly of nano-structures.