Professor Mark Thomson

STFC Executive Chair

Professor Mark Thomson is Executive Chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Mark is Professor of Experimental Particle Physics at the University of Cambridge. He is an author on over 1,000 publications. He obtained a degree in physics (1988) and doctorate (1992) in particle physics, both from the University of Oxford. He then spent two years as a Research Fellow at University College London, before being employed by CERN for six years, first as Fellow then as a staff research scientist. At CERN he played a leading role in the precision measurements of the properties of the W and Z bosons with the OPAL experiment at the Large Electron Positron collider.

In 2000 he moved to the University of Cambridge to take up a lectureship at the Cavendish Laboratory and a Fellowship at Emmanuel College. Since moving to Cambridge, his research has spanned a number of areas, including neutrino physics (MINOS, MicroBooNE and DUNE) and physics at future colliders. He is one of the pioneers of high-granularity particle flow calorimetry, demonstrating the potential significant gains in jet energy resolution compared to traditional techniques.

Mark has held national and international research leadership roles at the forefront of particle physics in both neutrino physics and collider physics. Most recently, he has been the co-leader of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a collaboration of over 1000 scientists, working towards the construction of a major new project in the US. He was the scientific lead for the recent £65 million UK investment in DUNE, which has secured the UK’s leading role in the construction of DUNE.

Beyond his own research, Mark has held numerous research oversight roles in the UK and abroad. He has worked closely with STFC in various capacities, including chairing its main peer review body. In 2013, he published ‘Modern Particle Physics’, a textbook that has been widely adopted for undergraduate courses at universities around the globe.

Last updated: 5 September 2023

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