About the Provost
Professor Ian Walmsley FRS became the second Provost of Imperial College London in September 2018. He is also Chair in Experimental Physics at the College.
He leads the academic mission of the College, overseeing its research, education and innovation and translation activities. His role includes both strategy and planning, ensuring that resources are aligned with the strategic aims of the College’s plan.
Professor Walmsley graduated from Imperial with first-class honours in physics in 1980 and completed his PhD at the University of Rochester before working as a postdoc at Cornell University.
He became Assistant Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester in 1988 and held a number of roles there before joining the University of Oxford in 2001 as Professor of Experimental Physics, and Hooke Professor in 2005. He was also a Senior Visiting Fellow at Princeton University.
He was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Oxford in 2009, becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in 2015. At Oxford, he led the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub and headed up the creation of the Rosalind Franklin Institute.
He was a member of the EPSRC Council, Chaired the Beirat of the Max Born Institute in Berlin, was on the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics’ Science Advisory Board, and was the international advisor for the Japanese Institute for Molecular Science.
In his role as Provost, he has worked with the academic community to develop an Academic Strategy that sets out direction for the next decade of the College’s mission in key thematic areas, encompassing discovery and challenge-led research through to impact, drawing on strong disciplines and investing in all areas of student experience. As part of the Academic Strategy, he oversees the prioritisation and seed funding of major strategic projects that help the College deliver on its ambitious goals. He has also championed a values-led working culture through the Imperial Together initiative and advanced diversity, equality and inclusion through the Provost’s Visiting Professors programme, as well as bringing in a wider range of voices from across the College community to inform decision-making.
He remains an active researcher in quantum information processing using light, including quantum computing and simulation, sensing and networking, and he leads a research group at Imperial in this area. He is also one of the co-founders of ORCA Computing, a quantum computing start-up company.
In recognition of his contributions to quantum optics and ultrafast optics, Professor Walmsley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America (now Optica), of which he was President in 2018.