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New Head of School of Mathematics and Physics

Professor Mauro Paternostro took up the position of the new Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences on 1 August 2020.

head and shoulders crop of Professor Mauro Paternostro in the cloisters in Queen's University Belfast, 2019

Mauro earned his PhD from Queen's in 2005 for his work on 'Theoretical quantum information processing'. After a period spent in Australia (Queensland) and after having been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Vienna of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, he was then awarded an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship, which is presented to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career. In 2008, Mauro then returned to the School as an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow and Lecturer in Quantum Information. He then became Reader (2011) and Professor (2013).

In June 2019, Mauro was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship, Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics for the Quantum to Classical Transition. This scheme provides long-term support to UK universities and research institutions in making strategic research appointments through the recruitment and retention of outstanding senior researchers.

For the past six years, Mauro held the position of Director of Research at the School for the Centre for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.

Mauro's research interests are in the areas of quantum information and quantum technology. He has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics and the design of quantum technologies for all his academic career. His work has pioneered the fields of cavity optomechanics, quantum communication, quantum thermodynamics, and the foundations of quantum mechanics.

He has authored 200+ research papers published in top-tier international journals (including Nature and Phys. Rev. Lett.) and has attracted over 10,000 citations (h-index = 53) and €10+ million of research funding from various sources.

He is Vice Chair and Grant Holder of COST Action CA15220, of which he was one of the primary proposers. He is Chief Editor of the De Gruyter journal Quantum Measurement and Quantum Metrology and serves as Editorial Board Member of Phys. Rev. Research and New Journal of Physics.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Chris Johnson, Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Engineering and Physical Sciences commented:

"I am delighted that Mauro has agreed to take up this new role. We are really lucky to have colleagues willing to take on the leadership and management responsibilities that ensure the future of our Schools, the Faculty and the University. As with any new role, there is always a period of transition where you learn how to meet a new set of challenges and expectations. Please support Mauro during this time and remember that he is arriving in post at a unique moment for Higher Education. It's unique not just because of COVID but also because with the development of ARPA and new forms of research funding there are fantastic opportunities for the Faculty – many of those opportunities rely on Maths and Physics as the foundations of our disciplines."