New Chair of Natural Philosophy appointed

Prof. Wilson Poon

Wilson Poon has been appointed to the Chair of Natural Philosophy, one of the oldest and most prestigious chairs in the University.

Prof. Poon is internationally known for his 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, he set up the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership to coordinate industrial consultancy, and its clients now span many sectors, from food and confectionaries through personal care to specialty and agri-chemicals. 

"My congratulations to Wilson Poon on winning this extremely prestigious Chair.  I am very excited by the research programme that he has proposed to transform bacteria into Darwinian designers of new types of soft materials. This is a challenging vision but one that will develop new opportunities spanning both academic research and also links to industry." Prof. Arthur Trew, Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh

Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh

The Chair of Natural Philosophy was established in 1708 and over the past 300 years it has been held by such eminent scientists as Adam Ferguson, John Playfair FRS, James Forbes FRS, Peter Guthrie Tait, the Nobel Laureate Charles Barkla FRS, Norman Feather FRS, William Cochran FRS, FRSE, and, most recently, Michael Cates FRS.