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I am a scholar. My area of study is materials science - an interdisciplinary subject spanning the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

I was educated at Oxford University (BA and MSc) and the University of Pennsylvania (PhD). Following eight years as a Royal Society University Research Fellow I was appointed to a faculty position in materials science at Oxford University in 1991. In 2003 and 2004 I held a joint appointment with Helsinki University of Technology, which became part of Aalto University in 2010, as a Professor of Computational Engineering. I left Oxford University and Helsinki University of Technology in December 2004 to take up a professorship of nanotechnology in January 2005 in the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, where I became Head of the Condensed Matter Theory Group for 6 years. I retired from academic life in October 2018 to focus on scholarship.

Soon after I arrived at Imperial College in 2005 I helped to create the Thomas Young Centre, which is the London Centre for Theory and Simulation of Materials. Since then it has become a collaboration involving around a hundred research groups across Imperial College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London and University College London. The academic departments involved include physics, materials, chemistry, earth sciences, biology, and several branches of engineering.

In 2011 I led the introduction of Imperial Horizons. Horizons offers undergraduates at Imperial College a unique opportunity to collaborate with students from other disciplines to address global challenges, such as global warming.

In 2009 I established the renowned Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) on Theory and Simulation of Materials, funded by EPSRC. This became one of the most successful CDTs in the country, attracting outstanding students from the UK and overseas and establishing strong collaborations with large companies and SMEs. My book Rethinking the PhD describes how this CDT was such a rich and rewarding experience for its students, academic staff and industrial collaborators. In 2012 I was awarded the Rector's Medal for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching for my work on Imperial Horizons and the CDT.

Together with my students, post-docs, academic and industrial collaborators I have published 240 research papers. I have written five books, three of which were published since I left the academic world in 2018. My magnum opus, co-authored with Professor Robert W Balluffi at MIT, is entitled Interfaces in crystalline materials. It is an 852-page research monograph, first published by OUP in 1995 and reissued in 2006 in the series Oxford Classic Texts in the Physical Sciences. In 1993 I published Electronic structure of materials, primarily intended for undergraduates of materials science, physics and chemistry. My book Physics of elasticity and crystal defects was published in 2020 and is a postgraduate text, based in part on a course I gave for ten years in the CDT. My latest book is Concepts of materials science, published in 2021. I wrote it primarily to introduce students and teachers in secondary education to materials science. But it also enables undergraduates of materials science to see a bigger picture than can usually be gleaned from textbooks. At postgraduate level it offers students and post-docs entering materials science from other disciplines an introduction to the big ideas of the subject. Even some senior academics have said they were surprised by how much they learnt from it. It seems the book has something for everyone.

I have consulted for Rolls-Royce plc in the UK, Hewlett-Packard Inc in the USA and The Toppan Printing Company in Japan.

I was elected to a Fellowship of The Royal Society (FRS) in 2003.

I live in Oxford, sharing a lovely house and gardens with my wife Pat White. Pat is a published author of short stories and she teaches the Alexander Technique. We enjoy walking together in the understated beauty of the Oxfordshire countryside, while it lasts, and taking trips to sunnier climes.