The Committee

Chair:  Finn Box MInstP

Dr Finn Box holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship hosted by the University of Manchester. He enjoys using laboratory experiments to explore flows, fluid-structure interactions and elastic instabilities. Presently, he’s trying to figure out how to develop flexible, deployment fluidic devices. Finn received his PhD in Nonlinear Physics from the University of Manchester and has worked as a post-doctoral research associate in the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the ESPCI ParisTech.

Mark Hardman MInstP             

Dr Mark Hardman is a researcher and teacher educator at UCL Insitute of Education.  He previously ran programmes at King’s College London, Imperial College and Canterbury Christ Church University, training physics teachers, particularly those with a research background. His research centres on describing classrooms as complex systems, and the implications of this.  He also has a pet tortoise.

Jean Boulton CPhys FInstP

Dr Jean Boulton is a Visiting Fellow with the Department of Social and Policy Studies at the University of Bath and also with Cranfield University. She has a PhD in quantum physics and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. The focus of her work for many years has been in the field of complexity theory, following the tradition of Prigogine and she is lead author of ‘Embracing Complexity’ (2015:OUP). She has a particular interest in the ontological implications of complexity and in exploring the utility and validity of these ideas for the social and natural world. She teaches complexity thinking in several universities and institutions as well as undertaking consultancy assignments in the field of strategy and policy. She was a research fellow with Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies in 2019, out of which the thinking in this talk emerged.

Johannes Pausch

Dr Johannes is a Teaching and Research Fellow in Mathematics at St. Catharine’s College and the DAMTP in Cambridge. He was a Doctoral Prize Fellow at Imperial College London, where he also completed his PhD in Applied Mathematics. He holds a MASt in Physics from the University of Cambridge, a Master in Mathematics from UPMC Paris VI, and BSc.s in Physics and Mathematics from TU Berlin.

His research interests lie in the field of dynamic, stochastic systems which exhibit a tremendously rich phenomenology including phase transitions and pattern formation. Naturally, such systems have a zoo of applications in biology, neuroscience, finance and beyond, for which Johannes builds analytic models. His preferred tool for creating these models is Doi-Peliti field theory.

Josh Macholl

Josh Macholl is in his final year of undergraduate studies at the University of Exeter. He has a particular interest in the mathematical physics governing the weather and climate and its associated non-linearities. Josh is also a committee member of the IOP Communicators group and has experience of helping out at secondary schools and sixth form colleges. He successfully taught the fundamentals of chaos theory to secondary school students and supervised a Year 12 project on random walks.

Paul Burns

Paul Burns is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, Mathematics Department at the University of Exeter.  His work is focused on exploring the role of nonlinear resonance in the creation of low-frequency (slow) dynamics, drawing from asymptotic theory.  With a focus of better understanding Earth’s oceans and climate, the work has relevance in the fields of astrophysics and fusion science.

Paul completed his PhD in atmospheric physics and numerical modelling at the University of Hertfordshire, after an MSc in meteorology at the University of Reading.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and delivered a 3rd of the MSc-level course ‘Waves, Instabilities and Turbulence’ in 2020.

Rosalba García Millán

Rosablab is Research Fellow in Mathematical Physics at St John’s College, Cambridge

Applying the tools of physics to living matter has improved our quantitative understanding of many biological phenomena such as bird flocking, wound healing and brain activity. My research focuses on the development and application of new mathematical tools to study such living matter, where many interacting individuals give rise to large scale patterns despite fluctuations in time and space.

During my PhD at Imperial College London and my postdoc at DAMTP, I developed and used field-theoretic methods that retain the particle entity of the agents involved, an aspect disregarded in many other theoretical approaches, but one that is crucial to account for the different interacting individuals systematically. I have applied these tools to study neuronal activity, bacterial motion and DNA organisation.

In my research at St John’s I am working on providing a bridge between the small scale and large scale phenomena observed in living systems. Similar to the advent of thermodynamics, which helped develop efficient steam engines in the Victorian times, my research lays the foundation to harvest energy from highly efficient microbiological engines.

Fernando Rosas

Fernando Rosas received the B.A. degree in music composition and minor degree in philoso-phy (2002), the B.Sc. degree in mathematics (2006), and the M.S. and Ph.D. degree in engi-neering sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC, 2012). He worked as postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven (Belgium), the National Taiwan University (Taiwan), and Imperial College London (UK). He received the “Academic Award” by the Department of Mathematics of the PUC (2007), was the recipient of a CONICYT Doctoral Fellowship from the Chilean Ministry of Education (2008), a “F+” Scholarship from KU Leuven (2014), and a Marie Słodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Union (2017). He is current-ly working as Postdoctoral Researcher at the Data Science Institute and the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. His research interests lay in the interface between data science & AI, complexity science, cognitive science, and neuroscience.

Matteo Taffetani

Matteo Taffetani is a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol. Prior to joining UoB in 2020, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford and in the Department of Mathematical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano. He earned his PhD degree in Structural Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, also being awarded a scholarship given by the `Scuola Interpolitecnica di Dottorato (SIPD)’ in the subject of Biomedical and Biomechanical Engineering. His research activity is in the field of continuum mechanics with the long term aim on providing links between the fundamental research of the mechanics of the continua and the formation of patterns and shapes, towards their applications in soft morphing structures and in the understanding of the physics of biological systems.

Recent Committee Members