Posted: Mon 18th Oct 2021

Glyndwr University professor appointed Institute of Physics Honorary Secretary

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A Wrexham Glyndwr University professor has been appointed Honorary Secretary of the Institute of Physics.

Professor Alison McMillan will hold the prestigious post for four years, and will be eligible for election to a second four-year term.

Alison undertook a BSc in maths and physics at University College London, an MSc in mechanical engineering at Cranfield University, and a PhD in computational modelling of vibration and impact of laminates at Staffordshire University.

Following postdoctoral positions at the universities of Oxford and Keele Alison moved into industry, taking up a post with Rolls-Royce in Derby in 1997, and remained there until October 2011.

Between 2007 and 2011, Alison was also a part time Royal Society Industry Fellow at the University of Bristol, an experience that bridged the gap between industry and academia, and in 2011 she returned to academia for a brief spell as Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of South Wales, before moving to Wrexham Glyndŵr University in September 2012.

This industry experience perfectly positions Alison to understand academic issues from an industrial point of view, bringing valuable industrial experience to the lecture theatre and student laboratory.

Now, as Professor of Aerospace Technology at Wrexham Glyndwr Glyndŵr University, Alison is developing research interests in computational mechanics applied to surface and subsurface defects in materials, and leading a research group focussing on research topics in computational methods.

Alison said: “I am looking forward to serving the IOP and its membership over the coming four years.

“When I submitted my nomination candidature, I focussed on the voice of the membership. I sincerely believe that my primary duty is to represent the views and needs of members to Council and to the IOP executive staff, and to address the needs of communications, both with and between members, and regarding outreach and influence in the Global Community.

“We are told that the actions that we take over the next ten years will be make or break for Climate Change: we have already experienced 18 months during which there have been radical changes to our way of life. It is going to take a planet full of humans to make the changes needed: we need to enable and mobilise the talents of our membership and work together with other groups to find solutions that everyone can get behind.”

Outgoing President Jonathan Flint CBE said: “I congratulate all those who are joining our Council at this vitally important time for the IOP, and I am immensely grateful to those who have served with me over the past four years.

“I would also like to thank all our members who made their voices heard by voting in these elections.

“It is clear COVID-19 will continue to present us with challenges for some time to come, while the climate emergency and sustainable economic recovery remain priorities for us.

“Physics has a critical role to play in helping society address all these issues. I know the IOP will continue to ensure physicists play a full role in society, while seeking to enable people from all parts of society to become successful physicists.”

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