I studied physics and economics at the Universities of Frankfurt (Germany) and UC Berkeley (USA) and completed my PhD in accelerator physics at the University of Frankfurt. After two years as Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and almost three years as Fellow at CERN, I founded the QUASAR Group in 2007. I have been a member academic staff at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Cockcroft Institute of Accelerator Science and Technology since 2008. I was promoted to Full Professor of Physics in 2011 and was Head of the Physics Department between 2016 and 2023. Under my leadership, the Department has developed into one of the UK's very best physics departments (REF2021 and 2x Guardian Top 10).
My research covers the design and optimization of accelerators and light sources and underpinning technologies, in particular advanced beam diagnostics for accelerators and light sources, novel accelerators, as well as the application of accelerators with a focus on healthcare instrumentation and data science. My Group has pioneered many innovative beam monitoring techniques - from gas jet-based non-invasive beam monitors, and high dynamic range halo monitors, all the way to cryogenic current comparators for the characterization of nA beams.
As Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, I am constantly pushing for improved teaching standards. I have initiated and coordinated no less than six pan-European research and training networks that were supported by the EU with 25M€ and have successfully trained more than 100 Marie Curie Fellows. I am also Director of two STFC CDTs on Data Intensive Science, LIV.DAT and LIV.INNO. These are some of the largest research and training initiatives ever realized in my research area. As past Chair of STFC's Education Training and Careers Committee, member of the UKRI Skills Advisory Group, member of STFC Council, and advisor to governments and policy organizations, I help improve researcher training across the UK and internationally.
I have organized more than 50 international conferences, schools and topical workshops for our students, staff and the wider scientific community. My outreach activities have reached Millions around the world and allowed me share my passion for particle accelerators and physics more widely. As a member of various scientific advisory committees, I help define future research trends and the advancement of physics.
Prizes or Honours
- Viddy Platinum award (Viddy Awards, 2022)
- Galileo Galilei Award (European Journal of Medical Physics - Physica Medica, 2021)
- W3 Silver Award (Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, 2020)
- Helmholtz-University YIG Award (Helmholtz Society, 2006)