The University of Southampton
Position: Head of Physics and Astronomy

Professor Jonathan Flynn combines work as a Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy with being Head of Department and carrying out his own research.

Professor Jonathan Flynn

Working at Southampton

"Academic positions are relatively few and far between so I decided to apply to come and work at Southampton when I saw a lectureship advertised here.

"It is an exciting department as there is a very active and internationally recognised research group in theoretical particle physics with a very strong subgroup in my own research area - lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD).

"We are a very friendly and supportive department both within the staff members and for our students.

"As well as carrying out my own research, I'm currently our Head of Department. Previously I have been Admissions Tutor and Director of Programmes (teaching). Over the years I have taught many of our first and second year core modules, which are taken by all physics students."

My research

"My research involves supercomputer simulations of QCD. These calculations reveal particle masses and interaction rates that we can compare to experimental results from powerful particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This tests our theoretical understanding of the standard model of particle physics and seeks clues on new physics beyond.

"For a number of years I have chaired a committee at CERN, in Switzerland, that scrutinises the computing requirements of the four main LHC experiments. I am also chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council's oversight committee for GridPP - a collaboration of particle physicists and computer scientists from the UK and CERN - that provides the UK contribution to LHC computing."

My career highlights

"I'm proud of my key achievements in research. An ongoing highlight in teaching is the moment in a discussion when a student says 'Ah, now I understand.' That's when you know you've helped. I hope my students will remember me for supporting them as they progress through their degrees."

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