Wilson Poon

Photo of Professor W C K Poon, FRSE, FInstP
Professor W C K Poon, FRSE, FInstP

Professor W C K Poon, FRSE, FInstP

Position

Professor

Contact details

Email: w [dot] poon [at] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 5297
Location: Room 2620, JCMB

Websites

Research institute

Research groups

Further information

Research interests

I am internationally known for my work using very well characterised, 'model' colloids to study phenomena that are ubiquitous across condensed matter and statistical physics, particularly the structure and dynamics of arrested states such as glasses and gels. Understanding such states is a grand challenge facing 21st century physics; at the same time, they occur widely in a very large range of industrial processes and products. To exploit the latter connections, I set up the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP) a few years ago to coordinate industrial consultancy. Our clients now span many sectors, from food and confectionaries through personal care to specialty and agri-chemicals. 

Funded initially by an EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship, and now continuing under an European Research Council Advanced Grant and an EPSRC Programme Grant, I also work on the physics of active particles. These colloids are intrinsically non-equilibrium, in that they continually transduces free energy from their surroundings to engage in activities such as growth (in size and number) and self propulsion (i.e. they are micro-swimmers). My group studies both active particles in the form of bacteria as well as synthetic colloidal swimmers. Our long-term goal is to discover and understand new modes of collective behaviour in active particle systems, both on their own, and in the company of passive particles. The results should provide impetus for theory development in a frontier area of statistical mechanics, lead to new material designs, and throw light on selected biological phenomena (such as the growth of biofilms). 

Teaching

I was funed by an EPSRC Senior Research Fellowship during 2007-2012 to engage in full time research. From 2014 onwards I will be funded for full time research by a combination of an EPSRC Programme Grant (30%) and and ERC Advnaced Grant (70%). My teaching effort has and will remain therefore limited largely to the supervision of Senior Honours and Undergraduate Masters Projects. I also contribute to the teaching of SUPA Graduate School modules on disordered materials and probes of soft matter. I also do a small amount of teaching at the School of Divinity in a masters programme on 'Science and Theology'. 

Last updated: 12 Aug 2015 at 20:30