Professor Tom McLeish, FRS
Tom McLeish is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research). He studied for his first degree, in physics, and PhD (1987) in polymer physics at the University of Cambridge. The PhD work, sponsored by Courtaulds Research, was carried out in the group of Sir Sam Edwards in Cambridge, where he developed an interest in branched polymer dynamics. After a post-doctoral position also at the Cavendish Laboratory and funded by ICI, he became a lecturer in physics at the University of Sheffield. There he built up a group working on the theory of dynamics of complex fluids. In 1993 he took the chair in polymer physics at the University of Leeds. He has since won several awards both in Europe and the USA for his work on molecular rheology of polymers, including the Weissenberg Award of the European Society of Rheology (2007) and the Gold Medal of the British Society of Rheology (2009).
From 2000-2005 he was a Senior Research Fellow of the EPSRC (UK), and from 2003 -2009 the Director of the UK Polymer IRC, a multidisciplinary consortium of over 100 polymer scientists from the Universities of Durham, Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield, strongly integrated with industry. From 2004 - 2008 he was also Director of the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre in Biomolecules and Cells at Leeds, a collaboration between life scientists and physical scientists at Yorkshire Universities. He is a consultant for a number of chemical industries.
His research interests include: (i) molecular rheology and processing of entangled polymeric fluids (especially the role of molecular topology); (ii) macromolecular biophysics including protein dynamics, folding and interactions, and biological self-assembly; (iii) issues of theology, ethics and science and the history of science. He has published over 130 scientific papers and reviews, and is a co-author of the collaborative volume "Values in Higher Education" (Aureus, 2005).
He is also involved in science-communication with the public via regular radio, TV and schools lectures, discussing issues from the Physics of Slime to the interaction of Faith and Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Physical Society. In 2011 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.
Tom chairs the Research Committee, is a member of Academic Progression Committee, University Executive Committee and Senate. He is in attendance at meetings of Finance and General Purpose Committee and Council, a member of Ethics Committee and a member of Collingwood College Council.