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Fellows Directory

David Wallace

David Wallace

Sir David Wallace CBE FREng FRS


Elected: 1986


David Wallace is a theoretical physicist with particular contributions to understanding phase transitions — changes of a material’s state such as from liquid to gas, or in its properties like magnetism. David’s work enabled efficient evaluation of key properties of systems in or near phase transition, overcoming computational and analytical problems characterised by microstructure that has many different length scales. Modelling such transitions is important in fields as dissimilar as geosciences and electronic engineering.

David’s academic interests extend to numerical simulation and computing, including studying artificial neural network models and championing high-performance parallel computing systems. His career includes service as the Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University, Master of Churchill College, Cambridge, and Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.

David’s many awards include the Maxwell Medal of the Institute of Physics, which he later served as President. For his services to parallel computing, he was made a CBE in 1996. Eight years later he was knighted for services to UK science, technology and engineering.

Professional positions

Trustee and Governor, John Lyon's Foundation, Harrow School
President, Cambridge Society for the Application of Research, University of Cambridge
Chairman, IEEE/ RSE James Clerk Maxwell Award, Royal Society of Edinburgh
Deputy President, and Vice President, Royal Society of Edinburgh
Member of Court, University of St Andrews, School of Physics and Astronomy

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Mathematical and theoretical physics
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