Invited speakers

For more information on invited speaker's talks and abstracts, please click here.


Professor Jim Al-Khalili 

University of Surrey, UK


Professor Jim Al-Khalili is theoretical nuclear physicist, author and broadcaster. Since 2005, he has held a joint chair in physics and in the public engagement in science at the University of Surrey. He received his PhD in nuclear reaction theory in 1989 from Surrey before working as an SERC Postdoctoral Fellow at UCL before returning to Surrey. In 1994, he was awarded a five-year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship before being appointed as a permanent member of staff in 1999.

Jim has written 11 books, between them translated into twenty-three languages. His book, Pathfinders, was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize in 2013, and more recently, Life on the Edge: the coming of age of quantum biology was shortlisted for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, including the Bafta nominated Chemistry: A Volatile History and Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity. For the past seven years he has presented the award-winning weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific.

Jim is president elect of the British Science Association, and will be taking up office in September of this year. He is a current board member of CaSE (The Campaign for Science and Engineering), a trustee of the Institute of Physics and on the judging panel of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. As an advocate for secular humanism, he served as president of Humanists UK for three years. He is a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. He received an OBE in 2007 for ‘services to science’.


Dr Claudia Lederer-Woods

University of Edinburgh, UK

     Claudia Lederer-Woods, Reader at the University of Edinburgh, completed her PhD at the University of Vienna, Austria. After a post doctoral research position at the University of Frankfurt, where she was awarded the Adolf Messer Prize , she joined the Nuclear Physics group of the University of Edinburgh on an FWF Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship. Claudia’s research aims at understanding how the chemical elements are produced inside stars. This involves the measurement of key nuclear reactions and properties at international accelerator facilities, such as the neutron facility n_TOF and the radioactive beam facility HIE-ISOLDE (CERN). Claudia’s research activities are currently supported by an STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship, and an ERC Starting Grant.


Professor Peter Thirolf 

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany



  • 1987: Diploma in Physics, Ruprecht-Karls-University (RKU) Heidelberg
  • 1992: PhD in Physics, University of Heidelberg
  • 2004: Habilitation, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) München


  • 1992-1994:  Scientific employee, Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg
  • 1995-1996:  Research Associate at National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
  • 1996-2004:  Scientific Assistant, LMU München since 2004:  ‘Privatdozent’,  LMU München


  •  1980 – 1987:  Fellow of the ‘Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes’
  •  2017: GSI/FAIR GENCO membership award  


Instrumentation for medical physics applications, structure of exotic nuclei, nuclear mass spectrometry, laser ion acceleration, fundamental physics.

February 2018: 272 publications, h-index: 36  (from: Web of Knowledge)


Professor Jacek Dobaczewski

University of York, UK

    Jacek Dobaczewski started his scientific career at the University of Warsaw, Poland, in 1974, where he received his MSc, PhD, and DSc degrees and now holds a honorary full professor position. In 2007-2017, he has been holding the Finland Distinguished Professor position at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and since 2015, he holds Chair in Theoretical Nuclear Physics at the University of York, UK. Doctor honoris causa at the Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, France, Member of the Polish Physical Society, Poland, Fellow of the American Physical Society, USA, Member of the Institute of Physics, UK, and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Physics G. His area of expertise is in theoretical nuclear structure and nuclear density functional theory.


Dr Bryan McKinnon

University of Glasgow, UK


Bryan McKinnon is a Research Fellow in the field of Hadronic Physics. After completing his PhD at the University of Glasgow, he continued in his current research position and leads the Group’s programme using CLAS/CLAS12 in Hall-B at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab), Virginia, USA. His fundamental research activities are focussed upon gaining insight into the structure of matter and understanding the processes of Quantum Chromodynamics (the strong interaction). He is a leading expert in Exotic Hadrons, specifically in searches for baryon states comprising of more than the usual 3-quarks. Bryan is the Membership Chair of the CLAS Collaboration and serves on the IOP Nuclear Physics Group Committee.

Dr Liam Gaffney

CERN, Switzerland

    Liam Gaffney is a research fellow at CERN, focussing on physics with post-accelerated radioactive ion beams at HIE-ISOLDE. He completed his PhD at the University of Liverpool in 2012 on octupole deformation of actinide isotopes, studied with the technique of Coulomb excitation. His thesis was celebrated with the award of the IOP Nuclear Physics Group Early Career award in 2012 and the European Physical Society's Thesis Prize for Nuclear Physics (2012-2014). He joined the Instituut voor Kern- en Stralingsfysica at KU Leuven in 2013 and held a FWO Pegasus Marie Curie Fellowship (2014), investigating the structure of heavy elements using laser spectroscopy. In 2015, he returned to the UK, and to the study of octupole deformation, with a post-doctoral research position at the University of the West of Scotland. Since 2016, Liam is the local responsible for the Miniball gamma-ray array at HIE-ISOLDE and the newly installed ISOLDE Solenoidal Spectrometer. He currently holds a COFUND fellowship at CERN that runs until 2019.


Dr Natasha Timofeyuk

University of Surrey, UK

  Dr Natasha Timofeyuk is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. She has got her education from Moscow State University and completed her PhD project at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).  Before coming to the UK she worked as a researcher in this institute and  at Brussels Free University. She specialises in nuclear theory with an emphasis on reactions and reaction-structure interface. She has worked on (d,p) reaction theory, theory of asymptotic normalization coefficients, microscopic cluster model and hyperspherical harmonics formalism. Her theoretical developments  have been mainly applied to  light nuclei, including exotic neutron- and proton-rich isotopes.


Dr Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz

University of Manchester, UK and CERN, Switzerland

    Ronald Fernando Garcia Ruiz, CERN Research Fellow. His main research activities are focused on the development of highly-sensitive  and high-precision laser spectroscopy techniques. These are used to study atomic nuclei lying at the limits of existence, impacting our fundamental understanding of the nuclear many-body problem. Ronald obtained his bachelor’s degree at the National University of Colombia. His scientific career in nuclear physics began at the National University of Mexico, where he completed his master’s degree analysing data from coulomb excitation experiments performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA. In 2011, He began studying towards his PhD at KU Leuven, Belgium, where he studied neutron-rich calcium isotopes with laser spectroscopy techniques. As part of his PhD, he moved to CERN, Switzerland, to join two world-leading laser spectroscopy experiments in the study of exotic isotopes, COLLAPS and CRIS, at ISOLDE.  After his PhD, he became a Research Associate working as part of the ERC-funded project Fundamental Nuclear Properties Measured by Laser Spectroscopy at the Nuclear Physics group of The University of Manchester, UK. He is currently a research fellow at CERN and is the local coordinator of the CRIS experiment at ISOLDE.


Professor Iain Moore

University of Jyväskylä, Finland

  Iain Moore is a Professor of Physics at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, where his research group combines methodology from nuclear, atomic and laser physics for the study of the structure of exotic nuclei. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from the University of Manchester, UK, in 2002, before moving to Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA. At ANL he worked on laser cooling and trapping of trace isotopes, namely 41Ca, for biomedical applications. In 2004, Iain moved to the University of Jyväskylä where he was tasked to develop a new laser facility for the selective production of radioactive nuclei at IGISOL. His current research interests cover laser spectroscopy, the production and manipulation of radioactive nuclei and the application of lasers for novel applications including tests of Physics beyond the Standard Model. Iain has several international responsibilities, including Spokesperson for the LaSpec collaboration and serving on the NUSTAR Board of Representatives at FAIR. He coordinates the ENSAR2 Joint Research Activity RESIST in Horizon 2020 and is a participant in the nuClock FET-OPEN project. Most recently he has been invited to the Editorial Board of Physical Review X.


Professor Paul McKenna

University of Strathclyde, UK


Professor Paul McKenna’s research interests are in high power laser-plasma physics, including laser-driven ion acceleration and applications, relativistic laser-plasma interactions, high field physics at the focus of ultra-intense laser pulses, and plasma optics. He received his PhD from Queens University Belfast, before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Glasgow and a Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. He was appointed a Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde in 2006, a Reader in 2008 and a Professor in 2011. He held an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship from 2012-17. He has served on numerous UK and international advisory committees, including STFC’s Science Board and ESPRC’s Strategic Advisory Team, and is a member of Scientific Advisory Committees for the APOLLON 10-Petawatt laser facility in France and the HIBEF facility at DESY in Germany. He is presently deputy Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde.


Professor Robert Page 

University of Liverpool, UK


Robert Page is a Professor at the University of Liverpool with research interests including exotic nuclei and shape coexistence. He first moved to Liverpool in 1994 as an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow. Prior to that, he studied at Oxford and Birmingham, before working for four years as a PDRA in Edinburgh. Alongside his research programme using a wide range of experimental techniques for in-beam and radioactive decay spectroscopy, he has worked on the development of spectrometers including GREAT, LISA and AIDA. He is currently playing a leading role in the design and construction of the ISOLDE Solenoidal Spectrometer (ISS), the installation of which will be completed next year.


Dr Daniel Doherty

University of Surrey, UK


Dan Doherty is a Lecturer in Physics at the University of Surrey. He completed his PhD in Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh in 2014. This was followed by a move to CEA Saclay, France for a postdoctoral position where he developed a strong interest in Coulomb-excitation measurements. His second postdoctoral position was at the University of York between 2015 - 2016, where he was the recipient of the IOP Nuclear Physics Group Early Career award, before he was appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Surrey in 2016. At present, Dan’s main research interests are probing the structure and shapes of exotic nuclear with a variety of experimental probes, including Coulomb excitation, decay and in-beam spectroscopy.


Dr Lee Barnby 

University of Derby, UK

    Lee Barnby is a Lecturer at the University of Derby. He began his career in Nuclear Physics at the University of Birmingham, with a PhD thesis on heavy-ion collisions measured at CERN's SPS. Following this he moved to the US completing a four-year postdoc stationed at Brookhaven National Laboratory, which saw the dawn of the era of relativistic heavy-ion collisions at the appropriately named RHIC. He returned to the University of Birmingham to continue this work on characterising the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) and, in 2008, joined the ALICE experiment in anticipation of the start of operations at the LHC. As an acknowledged expert in the physics of strangeness in heavy-ion collisions he led the strangeness physics analysis group before serving for two years as the convenor of the light flavour physics working group. Lee's interests now include the production of light anti-nuclei  and other exotic species from the QGP and the reconstruction of charmed baryon decays. By way of a one-year Scientific Associateship at CERN, an experience which he would highly recommend, he joined the University of Derby's Department of Electronics, Computing and Mathematics where he hopes to marry the groups expertise in machine learning and distributed computing to the challenges facing ALICE after the imminent LHC upgrade.


Dr Tzany Kokalova-Wheldon

University of Birmingham, UK


Dr Tzany Kokalova Wheldon is a senior lecturer in nuclear physics at the University of Birmingham and the current Chair of the IOP Nuclear Physics Group Committee. Since 2017 Tzany was also appointed as director of the Birmingham Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management programme.

Tzany completed her PhD at the Hahn-Meitner-Institute, Berlin, following Masters research at Dubna.

Tzany's research interests span the full breadth of nuclear physics from nuclear structure and alpha condensates to medical applications and industry-related decommissioning tools. This research has led to over 90 publications and, in 2016, a L'Oreal and UNESCO Women in Science Award.

In particular, Tzany's nuclear structure interests centre around the study of exotic states of nuclear matter using particle and gamma spectroscopy. These topics include alpha-gas states and nuclear molecules, fundamental nuclear symmetries, the structure of states important for nucleosynthesis and the implementation of novel detection and analysis techniques.



Dr Katarzyna Hadynska-Klek

University of Surrey, UK

  Kasia Hadynska-Klek is a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. She completed her PhD in Experimental Nuclear Physics at the University of Warsaw, Poland, in 2013, with a thesis on Coulomb excitation of highly deformed structures in atomic nuclei in the A~40 mass region. Following this, she moved for 2 years to the University of Oslo, Norway, for her first postdoctoral fellowship where she continued her resarch activities by working on shape coexistence phenomenon in stable and exotic nuclei. At the same time, she started to develop an interest in relativistic direct reactions with very exotic isotopes approaching 78Ni. In 2015 she moved to Italy for her second postdoctoral fellowship at the INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro. During her time at Legnaro, she was strongly involved in the dynamic lifestyle of the Laboratory, taking part in many experiments and leading a Coulomb excitation technique development project SPIDER - a new dedicated silicon segmented detector system. At present, Kasia's main reserach interests are focused on various experimental techniques, including Coulomb excitation, in-beam particle, gamma, neutron and electron spectroscopy, lifetime measurements, to probe the collective properties and shapes of atomic nuclei from the light masses up to the heavy species. 

Key dates

Abstract submission deadline [extended]:

6 March 2018

Registration deadline:

28 March 2018