Professor Sir David Wallace

Subject Physics
Fellow type Emeritus
Year started 2006


Following undergraduate and postgraduate study at the University of Edinburgh, Sir David Wallace CBE FRS FREng FRSE continued research in theoretical physics as a Harkness Fellow at Princeton University in 1970. In 1972 he was appointed lecturer in the Physics Department at the University of Southampton. In 1979 he returned to the University of Edinburgh as Tait Professor of Mathematical Physics, where he was also Director of Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre. He was Vice-Chancellor at Loughborough University for 12 years, from 1994, and moved to Cambridge in 2006, as NM Rothschild & Sons Professor of Mathematical Sciences & Director of the Isaac Newton Institute to 2011, and as Master of Churchill College to 2014.

He is a former President of the Institute of Physics, Treasurer and Vice-President of the Royal Society and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has served as a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, and as an Expert to the European Commission in a number of areas. Other service includes: Chair of the Council for the Mathematical Sciences in the UK; member of the management board of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851; and Governor of Harrow School. His non-executive directorships have included the Scottish Life Assurance Company, Taylor & Francis Group plc and UK e-Universities Worldwide Ltd. He has received honorary doctorates from Heriot Watt, Edinburgh, Leicester, Loughborough, Southampton and East Anglia Universities, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire from 2001 to 2006. He is currently a member of Court (the Governing Body) of the University of St Andrews, chair of the Board of the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) and a trustee of the Bill McLaren Foundation.

He was awarded a CBE for services to parallel computing in 1996, and knighted in 2004 for services to UK science, technology and engineering.

In 1995 he ran the London Marathon, raising £8000 for Sports Aid Foundation and Loughborough Sports Scholarships. His time of just under four hours is surely the slowest ever in a Loughborough vest.
He retired to Scotland in 2014 with his wife Elizabeth. They have one daughter, Sara.

College positions

2006 – 2014