Staff

sir michael atiyah
Sir Michael Atiyah
Honorary Professor of Mathematics
University of Edinburgh
 
harry braden
Professor of Integrable Systems
University of Edinburgh
Harry was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Australia. He was an undergraduate at Sydney University and obtained his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He subsequently had a Fellowship at Corpus Christi College (Cambridge) and postdoctoral positions at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Durham University before coming to Edinburgh in 1990. He has worked in many areas of mathematical physics over the years with complete integrability (both in the classical and quantum regimes) a recurring theme. He has applied his research techniques to a wide range of problems beyond the horizons of mathematical physics (to problems such as network design and card shuffling).
 
Anastasia Doikou
Reader in Mathematical Physics
Heriot-Watt University
Anastasia was born and grew up in Greece. She studied Physics as an undergraduate in University of Athens. She got her PhD in Theoretical Physics from University of Miami. She then spent three years as a postdoc in UK (Durham and York), three years in LAPTH, France and two years in University of Bologna, Italy. She then returned to Greece in U. Patras as an assistant Professor. She is now a reader in Heriot-Watt University since 2013. Her research interests are: mathematical physics, statistical physics; in particular quantum and classical integrable models, and quantum groups.
 
chris eilbeck
Professor of Mathematics
Heriot-Watt University
Chris has been at Heriot-Watt for over 30 years. He is interested in solitons and nonlinear wave equations. His work covers pulses in continuum systems, and on lattices, which approximate soliton behaviour, both in classical and quantum systems; also systems with exact solutions that can be studied using techniques from algebraic geometry and computer algebra.
 
josé figueroa-o'farrill
Professor of Geometric Physics
University of Edinburgh
José was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Madrid, Spain. He obtained a BS in Physics from MIT in 1984, with a thesis supervised by Alan Guth. He obtained a PhD in Theoretical Physics from SUNY Stony Brook in 1989 under the supervision of Martin Roček. He held postdoctoral positions in Universiteit Leuven (1989-1991), Universität Bonn (1991-1993) and Queen Mary and Westfield College (1993-1998). After one year as a lecturer in Queen Mary, he came to Edinburgh in 1999. His research interests lie in the mathematical aspects of supersymmetry, gauge theories, (super)gravity and string theory. He has also worked on conformal field theory and integrable systems and has even dabbled in knot theory to pass the time.
 
jelle hartong
Jelle Hartong
Royal Society University Research Fellow
University of Edinburgh
Jelle obtained his PhD in theoretical physics within the subject of string theory from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Albert Einstein Center in Bern, the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Brussels University (International Solvay Institutes) and at the University of Amsterdam. His research concerns holographic dualities in quantum gravity and string theory. In particular he is interested in limits of the AdS/CFT correspondence in which the duality becomes more tractable. In relation to this, he has worked on the foundations and applications of non-Lorentzian geometries, such as Newton-Cartan geometry, that arise in limits of string theory and general relativity. Finally, he also works on the fluid/gravity correspondence in non-AdS holography and on applications of non-Lorentzian geometry to fluid dynamics for non-relativistic fluids.
 
lotte hollands
Assistant Professor and Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow
Heriot-Watt University
Lotte was born in the Netherlands. She studied mathematics and physics at the University of Utrecht and obtained her PhD in string theory in 2009 at the University of Amsterdam. She subsequently moved to Caltech as a postdoctoral fellow, and to Oxford as a research fellow. Lotte's research is on the interface of quantum physics and mathematics. On the physics side it involves questions from gauge theory and string theory. On the mathematics side there are often deep relations to geometry, topology and algebra.
 
des johnstone
Professor of Mathematical Physics
Heriot-Watt University
Des Johnston grew up in Belfast and studied physics as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge before getting a PhD in Theoretical physics from Imperial College, London in 1986. He then spent three and a half years as a postdoc in LPTHE (now LPT) Orsay, France (1986-7), Caltech (1987-9) and the Free University of Berlin (1989-90)- just in time to see the wall come down. Deciding it was a good idea to get a proper job, but reluctant to get a haircut and put on a suit, he came back to Britain to work as a temporary lecturer at Lancaster University in the school of physics, before arriving at Heriot-Watt in 1990, where he has languished ever since apart from a year away in 1993-4 at Orsay again. His research interests are in statistical mechanics and disordered systems, with dabblings in simulating discretized models of gravity.
 
anatoly konechny
Anatoly Konechny
Lecturer in Mathematical Physics
Heriot-Watt University
Anatoly did his undergraduate studies in Moscow. He received diplomas from the Independent University of Moscow and Moscow Oil and Gas Institute in 1995. He did his PhD studies in mathematics at the University of California at Davis under the supervision of Albert Schwarz. Subsequently he held postdoctoral positions at Berkeley (1999-2002), Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2002-2004) and Rutgers University (2004-2006). He joined the faculty at the Heriot-Watt University in September 2006. His research interests are in string theory, noncommutative geometry, two-dimensional conformal field theory, renormalization group flows in low-dimensional systems and their applications to string theory and condensed matter physics.
 
james lucietti
James Lucietti
Lecturer in Mathematical Physics
University of Edinburgh
James was born in Leicestershire and was raised there and northern Italy. He studied at the University of Cambridge, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Natural Sciences (2000), followed by Part III Mathematics (2001) and a PhD in string theory at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (2005). He was then a college lecturer at Oxford University (2005-2006) and a postdoc at Durham University (2006-2009). In 2009 he was awarded an EPSRC career acceleration fellowship with Imperial College London, where he spent a year, before moving to the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer in 2010. His current research interests concern higher dimensional gravity/General Relativity, usually in the context of string theory and the gauge/gravity correspondence. He has a particular interest in black hole solutions.
 
oliver penrose
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics
Heriot-Watt University
 
christian saemann
Lecturer in Mathematics and EPSRC Fellow
Heriot-Watt University
Christian grew up in Fulda, Germany and Thessaloniki, Greece. He obtained a degree in church music, before he went to the University of Würzburg, where he studied for three years and received undergraduate degrees in both Mathematics and Physics. He then moved to Austin, Texas where he worked on a thesis on supermathematics resulting in his MA. After completing his PhD on twistor string theory at the University of Hannover, he held two postdoctoral positions at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and Trinity College, Dublin. His research interests include twistor geometry and integrability, noncommutative geometry and geometric quantization as well as string and M theory. He came to Edinburgh in September 2009 as an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow at Heriot-Watt University. He became a Lecturer in 2011.
 
bernd schroers
Professor in Mathematics
Heriot-Watt University
Bernd was born in Germany. After attending the United World College of the Atlantic he studied physics and mathematics at the University of Bonn and obtained his PhD at the University of Cambridge (DAMTP). He then worked as a post doc in Durham, and Amsterdam and as an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh before joining Heriot-Watt University in September 2000. Bernd's research interests include topological solitons (particularly magnetic monopoles, vortices and skyrmions), quantum groups and quantum gravity in (2+1) dimensions.
 
joan simón
Joan Simón
Reader in Mathematical Physics
University of Edinburgh
Joan was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. He obtained a BS in Physics from the University of Barcelona in 1996 and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the same university in 2000 under the supervision of Joaquim Gomis. He has held postdoctoral positions in The Weizmann Institute, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California in Berkeley. His research interests lie in the understanding of the structure of space and time, using the study of black holes and cosmological singularities in the framework of string theory, and the possible observational signatures that this theory may have in experiments.
 
richard szabo
Professor of Mathematical Physics
Heriot-Watt University
Richard was born in Montreal, Canada and completed a Joint Honours Mathematics & Physics BSc degree at McGill University in 1990. He did his MSc and PhD degrees in Theoretical Physics at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Gordon Semenoff. He then did postdoc stints at Oxford University in 1995 and the Niels Bohr Institute in 1998, before settling permanently at Heriot-Watt in 2000. His research centres around the applications of geometrical and topological methods to problems in quantum field theory and string theory, focusing in particular on techniques drawn from K-theory, noncommutative geometry and algebraic geometry.
 
bart vlaar
Bart Vlaar
Research Associate
Heriot-Watt University
Bart was born and grew up in the Netherlands. In 2012 he obtained his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. He has since worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Nottingham and the University of York. In 2018 he returned to Scotland to join Heriot-Watt University as a research associate, working closely with Robert Weston and Anastasia Doikou. Bart's research is mainly in quantum integrable systems and the associated algebraic structures such as quantum groups, Hecke algebras and their module categories. In particular, he likes the versions of these things where there is a boundary involved that preserves some of the integrability.
 
robert weston
Lecturer in Mathematical Physics
Heriot-Watt University
Robert Weston was born and grew up here. He was an undergraduate at Nottingham and a graduate student at DAMTP in Cambridge. Following postdocs at Durham University and at the Université de Montreal, he arrived at Heriot-Watt University in 1998. His research interests are primarily in integrable quantum systems, both statistical-mechanical models and quantum field theories.