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News archive


3rd October

Austen LamacraftJorge Espinosa

As the new Academic Year commences, TCM congratulates Prof Austen Lamacraft on promotion to being a professor, and Dr Jorge R Espinosa on gaining a Fellowship at Emmanuel College.

The Group also welcomes six new postdocs and visitors, and twelve new graduate students. We wish all a pleasant a productive time in the Group.

12th September

Kevin Duff

TCM congratulates Kevin Duff on passing his PhD viva. Kevin now works for Enthought in its Cambridge offices.

2nd September

Edward Linscott

TCM congratulates Edward Linscott on passing his PhD viva. Edward will be moving to the group of TCM alumnus Nicola Marzari at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.

26th July

We are delighted that TCM alumna, Dr Alix Pryde, has been elected to the Institute of Physics Council. She takes on this role on top of her other responsibilites as Director of Service Strategy and Operational Delivery at Sky UK and a Non-Executive Director at the King's College Hospital NHS Trust.

2nd July

Mark WarnerNigel Cooper

We are delighted that, in this year's IoP Awards, Prof Mark Warner was awarded the Bragg Medal, jointly with Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright, for setting up and directing the Isaac Physics programme which "has revolutionised physics education for teachers and students in an extraordinary number of UK schools."

Prof Nigel Cooper received the Lord Rayleigh medal "for profound contributions to the quantum theory of many-particle systems, concerning both topological phases of cold atoms in artificial gauge fields and novel phenomena in electronic materials."

6th June

TCM Formal

The first TCM research formal of the 2018-19 academic year took place on Thursday 6 June at St John's College. A fun night was had by all, hopefully the first of many!

22nd May

Gareth Conduit

A pioneering application of machine learning by Gareth Conduit has been experimentally proven to predict accurately the properties of metal-organic frameworks. This class of materials has many promising applications including the extraction water from the air in the desert and the storage of dangerous gases including in hydrogen-based cars.

16th May

Danny Bennett

Danny Bennett has appeared on National Television speaking about his voluntary work to encourage people to sign up to be stem cell donors.

30th April

Chris Parmee

TCM congratulates Chris Parmee on successfully defending his PhD thesis. We wish him well for the future.

8th April

Prof David Thouless

Image ©Nobel Media AB / Pi Frisk

It is with great sadness that we report the death of former colleague, Prof David Thouless. Prof Thouless held posts in TCM in the 1960s and 1980s, and was a frequent Summer visitor thereafter whilst working at the University of Washington, Seattle. His illustrious career contributing to the theory of phases of matter culminated in the award of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, which he is shown above left receiving from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

22nd March

Bingquing Cheng

We welcome Dr Bingqing Cheng who has just joined the Group as a Junior Research Fellow of Trinity College. She has recently completed her PhD at EPFL, working on statistical mechanics and atomistic modelling.

22nd February

Nontawit Cheewaruangroj

Congratulations to Nontawit Cheewaruangroj for passing his PhD viva today. Nontawit is going on to work on public policy in science and technology for the Thai government.

17th January

Yu Yang Liu

Three TCM researchers, Yu Yang Liu, Bart Andrews, and Gareth Conduit, had their paper "Direct evaluation of the force constant matrix in quantum Monte Carlo" selected as Editors' Pick in the Journal of Chemical Physics 150, 034104 (2019). Well done!

3rd January

Bart Andrews

TCM congratulates Bart Andrews on passing his PhD viva. Bart is currently working as a postdoc in the University of Zurich.


13th December

Ben Irwin

TCM congratulates Ben Irwin on passing his PhD viva. Ben leaves us to work with a local company applying machine learning to drug design.

3rd December

Alice Allen

TCM congratulates Alice Allen on passing her PhD viva. Alice remains in Cambridge, taking up a postdoc position with Prof Gábor Csányi in the Engineering Department.

29th November

front cover of book

Prof Mark Warner has just published Pre-University Mathematics for Sciences, the latest in a series of Sixth Form level text books aimed particularly at the Physical Sciences and available at The series is sold at cost price, £1 per book, and over 120,000 copies have been sold.

15th November

Katarzyna Macieszczak

TCM congratulates Dr Katarzyna Macieszczak on taking up the Henslow Research Fellowship at Selwyn College. She will remain in TCM as she continues her research on non-equilibrium quantum systems.

10th October

Gareth Conduit

Dr Gareth Conduit has won a £1M InnovateUK award alongside Optibrium and the Medicines Discovery Catapult to use deep learning to improve the efficiency and productivity of drug discovery.

1st October

Ben Simons

We congratulate Prof Ben Simons on the award of a Royal Society EP Abraham Research Professorship. He moves to DAMTP, and he will also establish an experimental lab. Ben has been central to activities in TCM and the Cavendish for many years, through his outstanding record of research across disciplines, and through his leadership, notably as Head of the TCM Group. We wish him every success in his new activities, and are pleased that he has chosen to remain co-affiliated with TCM.

30th September


As the new academic year starts TCM welcomes over a dozen new PhD students and two new postdocs, Drs Jan Behrends and Shovan Dutta. We wish all our new members a pleasant and productive time in the Group.

With the close of the 2017-18 academic year we express our best wishes to those who recently left TCM, moving to a variety of fulfilling positions in the UK and beyond.

11th September

Gareth Conduit

Dr Gareth Conduit and startup Intellegens have licensed their deep learning code Alchemite™ to Optibrium for resale to clients in drug discovery. Optibrium CEO, Dr Matt Segall, who completed his PhD in TCM, comments "their deep learning technology, already proven in the field of materials design, has shown remarkable results when applied to challenging drug discovery".

10th September

Daniel Malz

Congratulations to Daniel Malz for passing his PhD viva. Daniel will shortly leave us to take up a postdoc postition at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics at Munich.

9th September

Daniel Rowlands passed his PhD viva and will take up a position in the Catholic Church.

8th September

Johannes Hofmann

We congratulate Dr Johannes Hofmann as he moves from a Research Fellowship at Caius to be a College Teaching Officer at Peterhouse, and from TCM to DAMTP.

20th August

Ed Tait

Congratulations to Ed Tait for passing his PhD viva. Ed is now working for a local software company.

21st July

Graham Spink

Congratulations to Graham Spink on graduating his PhD. We wish Graham well for his lectureship at the University of Chester.

19th July

Adam Smith

Congratulations to Adam Smith on a successful PhD viva. We wish Adam well for the future: in September he leaves us for a postdoc position in Germany.

22nd June

Max McGinley

Congratulations to Max McGinley on winning the Nature Reviews Physics prize for the best poster at the ICTP Conference on Quantum Dynamics of Disordered Interacting Systems in Trieste.

8th June

Bruno Loureiro

Congratulations to Bruno Loureiro on a successful PhD viva. We wish Bruno well for the future.

23rd May

Bartomeu Monserrat

Congratulations to Dr Bartomeu Monserrat on receiving a five-year Winton Fellowship for research on ab initio computer modelling of materials at room temperature, with applications including solar cells. Dr Monserrat will remain a member of TCM, and is TCM's fifth Winton Fellow.

4th May

Pavao Santak

Pavao Santak has been elected MCR President of Fitzwilliam College. Well done!

26th March

Gabriel Constantinescu

TCM congratulates Gabriel Constantinescu on a successful PhD viva. Gabriel now leaves us for the world of finance.

13th March

Bartomeu Monserrat

TCM is delighted that Bartomeu Monserrat won the Volker Heine Young Investigator award, presented at the German Physical Society's Spring Meeting.

14th February

Angela Harper

TCM congratulates Angela Harper on receiving the American Physical Society's LeRoy Apker Award "for significant contributions to printed electronics research and outstanding leadership of the Society of Physics Students and Society of Women in STEM fields."

2nd February

Joe Prentice

TCM congratulates Joe Prentice on successfully defending his PhD thesis. Joe is now a postdoc at Imperial College.

23rd January

Thomas Whitehead

TCM congratulates Tom Whitehead on successfully defending his PhD thesis "Interacting Fermi Gases". Well done!


13th December

Gareth Conduit

Cambridge Enterprise has provided funding for Intellegens, a spin-out company, co-founded by Gareth Conduit, which has developed proprietary algorithms to allow neural networks to be trained on incomplete data. The technique has already been applied to materials design and drug discovery, but is much more generally applicable.

8th December

Alex Chin

Our congratulations to Dr Alex Chin who is moving to a permanent academic post at the CNRS, Paris, in the New Year.

8th December

Paulo Medeiros

Our congratulations to Dr Paulo Medeiros who is moving to a permanent post at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute in the New Year.

7th December

David Turban

TCM congratulates David Turban for passing his PhD viva.

3rd November

Michael Rutter

We congratulate Dr Michael Rutter on being asked to serve another one-year term as President of the Cambridge Branch of the UCU.

1st November

Karolina Milowska

We welcome Dr Karolina Milowska who has just joined the Group as a postdoc working with Prof Mike Payne using linear scaling DFT. She previously worked in the Materials Science Department.

1st October

Benjamin Beri

The new academic year sees TCM welcoming many new members. We extend a particular welcome to Dr Benjamin Béri, who joins us from Birmingham University to take up a joint lectureship between Physics and DAMTP. We also welcome Drs Matteo Brunelli and Tom Hiscock as postdocs, Profs David Bowler and Claudio Chamon as sabbatical visitors, and over a dozen new PhD students.

We wish all our new members a pleasant and productive time in the Group.

26th September

Edouard Hannezo

We are pleased to report that Edouard Hannezo will take up a faculty position at the Institute of Science and Technology near Vienna.

26th September

Philip Greulich

Philip Greulich has moved to a lectureship in the Mathematics Department of the University of Southampton.

26th September

Steffen Rulands

Steffen Rulands has moved to start his own Research Group in the Max-Planck Institute for Complex System, Dresden.

14th September

Nicholas Worth

TCM congratulates Nicholas Worth for passing his PhD viva. Nicholas is currently working for MathWorks.

11th September

Gareth Conduit

TCM congratuates Gareth Conduit for winning the Society of Chemical Industry presentation award.

8th September

Andrew Morris

We are pleased that Andrew Morris has been appointed to a Lectureship at Birmingham University from October. He will remain in close contact with his many collaborators in TCM, and we expect him to be a frequent visitor.

6th September

Sarah Morgan

We congratulate Sarah Morgan on being awarded a Springer Thesis prize for her PhD thesis. Sarah is now a Research Associate in Cambridge Neuroscience.

29th August

Martin Mayo

We congratulate Martin Mayo on his successful PhD viva.

22nd August

John Biggins

We are pleased that John Biggins has been appointed to a Lectureship in the Mechanics, Materials and Design Division of the Engineering Department, a position which he will take up in September. We are sure that John will retain strong links with TCM as he joins a Division already containing a TCM member, Prof Gábor Csányi.

1st August

Nigel Cooper

We are pleased to report that Nigel Cooper has been selected as a 2017 Simons Investigator in Physics. The program provides "support for outstanding scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists." Quoting from the citation, "Nigel has shown how to design optical lattices for cold atoms that provide controllable laboratories for exploring the physics of interacting particles in the presence of gauge fields. He is also known for foundational works on the topological Kondo effect and on quantum oscillations in topological insulators."

13th June

Majorana fermion

Dr Knolle's work as part of an international team including experimentalists from Oak Ridge National Lab has led to the observation of magnetic Majorana fermion quasiparticles. Neutron scattering experiments at very low temperatures in ruthenium trichloride showed close agreement to the theoretical quantum spin liquid predictions.

The image shows a neutron (blue line) scattering from RuCl3 producing a Majorana fermion (green wave) which disrupts the electron spins. Image credit Jill Hemman / ORNL press release.

31st May

Joseph Nelson

TCM congratulates Joseph Nelson on passing his PhD viva. Joseph remains with us as a postdoc in Andrew Morris's group.

29th May

Te in carbon nanotube

Drs Andrew Morris and Paulo Medeiros, with PhD student Jamie Wynn, have simulated the world's thinnest metallic nanowire, a 1D chain of tellurium inside a carbon nanotube. The computational simulations revealed a number of different configurations which the Te atoms take up within the nanotube as the tube's diameter varies in the range 0.7nm to 1.1nm, with only the thinnest tubes giving a linear chain rather than a helical twisted chain. Collaborators in the University of Warwick have shown that their predictions match the structures found experimentally.

18th May

James Hamp

TCM congratulates James Hamp on passing his PhD viva.

16th May

Johannes Knolle

TCM congratulates Johannes Knolle on gaining a lectureship at Imperial College. He will take up this post at the start of the new academic year, and we are pleased that he intends to continue to collaborate closely with TCM.

15th May

Yang Liu

TCM congratulates Yang Liu on winning a poster prize at the CCP9 Young Researchers event.

3rd May

Salvatore Tesoro

TCM congratulates Salvatore Tesoro on passing his PhD viva.

15th March

Lars Schonenberg

TCM congratulates Lars Schonenberg on passing his PhD viva.


10th December

Prof David Thouless

Image ©Nobel Media AB / Pi Frisk

TCM alumni Prof David Thouless (pictured) and Prof Duncan Haldane receive the Physics Nobel Prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

7th December


TCM celebrates its annual Christmas party, complete with traditional pantomime written, starred, and directed by the new 1st-year PhD students. Many thanks to all the new students, especially Mark Johnson for writing the pantomime and Ezequiel Rodriguez Chiacchio for leading the organisation. Merry Christmas to all!

4th November

Michael Rutter

We are delighted that Dr Rutter has been re-elected to President of the UCU Cambridge branch.

26th October

Aurelio Romero-Bermudez

TCM congratulates Aurelio Romero-Bermudez on passing his PhD viva.

6th October

Sarah Morgan

TCM congratulates Sarah Morgan on passing her PhD viva.

4th October

TCM is proud and delighted to announce that two of its alumni shared in the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. Prof. David J. Thouless moved from the Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics Department in Cambridge to take up a lectureship in the Solid State Theory group (the early incarnation of TCM) from 1964-65 before moving to the University of Birmingham, where he remained on the faculty for many years. In 1980, David returned to TCM as a Royal Society Research Professor, moving soon after to the University of Washington, Seattle. Fortunately, he remained a frequent Summer visitor to the group. Prof. F. Duncan M. Haldane was a graduate student in TCM working under the supervision of another Nobel Laureate from the group, Prof. Philip Anderson, and receiving his PhD in 1978 before transferring to a post-doctoral position at the Institut Laue-Langevin. . Together with Cavendish graduate Prof. J. Michael Kosterlitz, they received the Nobel Prize "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter". Further information can be found at the Nobel website.

1st October

Emillio Artacho

TCM starts the academic year by welcoming eleven new PhD students to its ranks. We are also delighted that Prof Emilio Artacho is now full-time with TCM.

The previous academic year saw our members gain lectureships elsewhere, as well as many other achievements. At this time we particularly congratulate Prof Gábor Csányi, a postdoc in TCM from 2001 to 2007, on becoming a Professor in Cambridge's Engineering Department.

29th August

Thomas Bilitewski

We congratulate Thomas Bilitewski on passing his PhD viva. Thomas has a position in a Max Plank Institute.

19th August

Sam Smith

We congratulate Sam Smith on passing his PhD viva. Sam leaves TCM for a job in London.

18th August

Connie Hsueh

We congratulate Connie Hsueh on passing her MPhil viva. Connie is now a PhD student at Stanford University.

17th August

Tom Price

We congratulate Tom Price on passing his PhD viva. Tom recently started a postdoc position at Utrecht University.

13th July

Edgar Engel

We congratulate Edgar Engel on passing his PhD viva. Edgar will remain in TCM as a Trinity College Junior Research Fellow.


Philip Greulich

We congratulate Philip Greulich on his appointment to a Lectureship in Applied Mathematics at the University of Southampton.

15th April

David MacKay

Prof Sir David MacKay

With sadness we pass on the news that Prof. Sir David MacKay, FRS, Regius Professor of Engineering, visitor to TCM from 2013, has passed away after a battle with cancer. His enthusiasm, broad interest in science, and genius for communication made him a pleasure to know.

Many obituaries have been published, including in The Guardian, The Telegraph, and Bill Gates' blog.

18th March

Gunnar Moller

We congratulate Gunnar Möller on his appointment to a Lectureship in theoretical condensed matter physics at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

26th February

Jonathan Lloyd-Williams

We congratulate Jonathan Lloyd-Williams on passing his PhD viva. He will remain in TCM as a postdoc.

18th January

Danny Cole

We congratulate Dr Danny Cole on being appointed to a lectureship in computational medicinal chemistry at Newcastle University. He will be much missed when he leaves in July.

12th January

Edgar Engel

We congratulate Edgar Engel on being offered a four year Junior Research Fellowship by Trinity College.


31st December

David Mackay

TCM congratulates Prof Sir David Mackay on receiving a knighthood in the Queen's New Year honours list for services to Scientific Advice in Government and Science Outreach.

23rd December

TCM celebrates Christmas two days early because all members now have complete web profiles. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year!

7th December

We congratulate Antoniya Aleksandrova on passing her PhD viva.

1st December

We congratulate Teresa Krieger on passing her PhD viva.

25th November

TCM is delighted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has commited £75 million to rebuild the Cavendish Laboratory.

9th November

We congratulate Jian-Hao Li on passing his PhD viva.

2nd November

We are delighted that Dr Rutter has been re-elected unopposed to President of the UCU Cambridge branch.

18th October

Graham Spink

TCM member Graham Spink awarded a Lectureship in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Chester.

12th October

Prof Simons delivered the Larmor Lecture to the Cambridge Philosophical Society. His title was "The statistical physics of stem cell biology: Dicing with fate".

1st October

We congratulate Dr Hannezo on taking a Junior Research Fellowship at Trinity College, and Dr Hofmann on taking a Research Fellowship at Caius College.

As the new academic year starts, TCM welcomes fifteen new PhD students and visiting students, and five new post docs, visitors and Fellows.

18th September

Prof. Mark Warner's" The Isaac Physics Project" shortlisted for The Times Higher Education Awards 2015 Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research award.

15th to 18th September

TCM hosted a Onetep Masterclass from 15th to 18th September attended by thirty researchers from the UK & Europe.

20th July

Prof Simons

Congratulations to Prof Simons on being awarded the Royal Society's Gabor Medal 2015 for his "work analysing stem cell lineages in development, tissue homeostasis and cancer, revolutionising understanding of stem cell behaviour in vivo".

13th July

TCM 60th group photo

The TCM 60th photo is now available to view and order online.

10th July

Volker cuts the TCM 60th cake

To mark 60 years of SST/TCM, we held a half-day symposium and a celebratory dinner.

10th July

TCM's new website goes live at 11:36. First bug report at 11:37.

9th July

Prof Chris Pickard

Congratulations to Professor Chris Pickard who has won the 2015 Rayleigh Medal.

10th June

TCM's Claudio Castelnovo has been promoted to a Readership.

10th June

Watch TCM's John Biggins explain the chain fountain on BBC1's the One Show!

7th May

It is with great sadness that we report the death of former colleague, Professor Sir Sam Edwards. Professor Sir Sam Edwards was the Cavendish Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Science Research Council.

18th March

Congratulations to TCM alumnus Prof Mike Cates on being elected to the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics. Prior to moving to a chair in Edinburgh, Mike was a lecturer in TCM. Former holders of this chair include Profs Stephen Hawking, Paul Dirac, and Isaac Newton.

18th March

Dr Chris Pickard

Congratulations to Prof Chris Pickard on being elected to the Sir Alan Cottrell Chair of Materials Science at Cambridge.

5th January

Dr Dmitry Kovrizhin is awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship.


26th December

The chain fountain is demonstrated by Jimmy Carr on the Christmas Edition of QI.

26th November

Dr Michael Rutter has started his term as President of the UCU Cambridge branch.

1st October

Bartomeu Monserrat

Mr Bartomeu Monserrat receives a Henslow Research Fellowship.

30th September

The Rutherford Physics Partnership, lead by Prof. Mark Warner, launches an open online course for school physics students

19th September

Dr Gareth Conduit has secured a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

18th August

Congratulations to Prof Mike Payne on winning the IoP's 2014 Swan medal and Prof Ben Simons on winning the IoP's Franklin medal.

3rd-10th August

Quantum Monte Carlo and the CASINO program IX, Vallico Sotto, Tuscany. Organised and hosted by Dr Towler.

26th July-2nd August

Quantum Monte Carlo in the Apuan Alps IX, Vallico Sotto, Tuscany. Organised and hosted by Dr Towler.

7th-11th July

International Conference on Highly Frustrated Magnetism 2014, Queens' College, Cambridge. Organised and hosted by Dr Castelnovo et al.

26th June

Dr John Biggins has been appointed to a 3-year University Lectureship.

1st January

Dr David Huggins

Dr David Huggins is awarded a Medical Research Council Advanced Fellowship.


Dr Gunnar Möller


12th January

Dr Gareth Conduit has won the Institute of Physics 3 Minute Wonder competition.