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Royal Society recognition for outstanding York scientists

Posted on 2 September 2013

Two University of York scientists have received Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Awards in recognition of their outstanding achievement and potential.

Professor John Clark, Deputy Head of the Department of Computer Science and Professor Bruce Lipschultz, who is moving to the Department of Physics at York from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were among 22 recipients of the awards.

It is a great honour to receive a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and I am excited about researching the application of search based approaches to solving problems in chemistry and physics as well as within my own discipline

Professor John Clark

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the scheme supports scientists of outstanding achievement and potential to ensure the vitality of research within the UK.

Professor Clark’s work concentrates on the application of techniques from Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence to systems and software design and analysis tasks. In particular, he has worked with outstanding scientists in the UK and internationally to contribute to the field of Search Based Software Engineering, and currently contributes to the emerging field of Dynamic Adaptive Automated Software Engineering.

Professor Clark’s vision supported by the award seeks to further promote search based approaches to problem solving within contemporary software and systems development, but also to reach out to other disciplines. He intends, for example, to work with quantum physicists to investigate search based approaches to quantum algorithm discovery and with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy experts to seek radio frequency pulse sequences with excellent information revealing properties. The goal is to use computer based search to find the solutions to problems that equal or surpass those that come from researchers’ thought alone.

Professor Clark is a member of the Non-Standard Computation Group in the Department of Computer Science, and the interdisciplinary York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA). He says: “It is a great honour to receive a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and I am excited about researching the application of search based approaches to solving problems in chemistry and physics as well as within my own discipline.”

This Award will enable me to continue the pursuit of plasma surface interaction physics and the development of fusion in the UK at the world-class facilities at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

Professor Bruce Lipschultz

Professor Lipschultz’s research focus is on the plasma physics of low temperature, moderate density plasmas at the edge of fusion energy related devices. He has worked extensively on tokamak magnetic confinement devices including the discovery and initial model for the ‘MARFE’ phenomenon, a unique combination of atomic and classical transport physics, which plays a role in fueling and density limits in tokamaks. He developed the vertical plate divertor design, now ubiquitous in divertor tokamaks. His research has contributed to the understanding and development of the use of atomic processes to remove energy and momentum from the tokamak exhaust plasma as well as the applicability of high-Z materials (e.g tungsten) for plasma interaction surfaces.

Professor Lipschultz has played a leading role in the International Tokamak Physics Activity plasma group (covering research on subjects from materials to plasma and neutral transport) as well as chairing the International Plasma Surface Interactions meeting and serving on a number of laboratory scientific advisory committees.

He said: “This Award will enable me to continue the pursuit of plasma surface interaction physics and the development of fusion in the UK at the world-class facilities at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, near Oxford with which the York Plasma Institute has close links.”

Notes to editors:

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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