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York appoints new Physics Professor

Posted on 26 February 2015

The University of York’s Department of Physics have appointed their first professor of Nuclear Physics Theory, Professor Jacek Dobaczewski.

Professor Jacek Dobaczewski

Part of a joint initiative between York and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to significantly strengthen the UK’s nuclear physics research community, the appointment will establish new nuclear physics theory activity at York. It will be followed immediately by a search for a new Lecturer in low-energy Nuclear Physics Theory at York.

One of the world’s foremost nuclear physics theorists, Professor Dobaczewski’s current research focuses on deriving energy density functionals that aims to precisely describe nuclear spectroscopic data. In collaboration with colleagues in Finland and at Michigan State University, he studies exotic nuclei far from beta stability, fission properties of transfermium nuclei, shell structure and pairing correlations in nuclei.

Since 1997, Professor Dobaczewski has been Head of the Nuclear Structure Theory Division in the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Warsaw. In 2006, he was awarded an Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor grant (FIDIPRO) with the aim of building up an entirely new group of theorists at the University of Jyväskylä.

Currently holding a half-time appointment as FiDi Professor at the University of Jyväskylä until 2017, he will commence half-time at York until starting full-time in January 2018. Throughout, he will retain his honorary position at the University of Warsaw.

Professor Bob Wadsworth, from York’s Department of Physics, said: ““Professor Dobaczewski ‘s reputation in the field is well known throughout the world and his appointment is excellent news, both for the nuclear physics group at York and also for the wider UK nuclear physics community.”

This new post follows a special funding award from STFC aimed at meeting a strategic need for theory and modelling support in nuclear physics research which was identified in a 2012 Institute of Physics report.

Professor John Womersley, Chief Executive of STFC, welcomed the appointment of Professor Dobaczewski : “The arrival of Professor Dobaczewski at York is the first step in applying additional funding from STFC to strengthen the UK programme in nuclear physics theory. This new collaboration between STFC and the University of York reinforces our commitment to help keep the UK at the forefront of nuclear physics research.”

The new theory group will complement the work of York’s experimental groups and will work closely with theory groups at Manchester and Surrey Universities, as well as other groups across Europe and beyond.

The new lecturer will follow and be in place by June 2015 and the studentship will begin in October 2015. STFC will fund the chair position for approximately three and a half years, after which time York will take on the funding of the post.

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