David Wallace (physicist)


Sir David James Wallace, CBE, FRS, FRSE, FREng[2] (born 7 October 1945) is a British physicist and academic. He was the Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University from 1994 to 2005, and the Master of Churchill College, Cambridge from 2006 to 2014.[5]

Sir David Wallace
Higgs, Peter (1929)2.jpg
David Wallace (left) and Peter Higgs
6th Master of Churchill College, Cambridge
In office
Preceded bySir John Boyd
Succeeded byDame Athene Donald
Personal details
David James Wallace

(1945-10-07) 7 October 1945 (age 76)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Anne Yeats[1]
AwardsOrder of the British Empire
Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Deputy Lieutenant
Harkness Fellowship
Fellow[2] of the Royal Academy of Engineering[2]
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
Princeton University
University of Southampton
Loughborough University
University of Edinburgh
Harrow School[3]
Institute of Physics
ThesisApplications of current algebras and chiral symmetry breaking (1971)
Doctoral advisorPeter Higgs[4]
Doctoral studentsChristopher Bishop
Neil Gunther[4]

Early life and educationEdit

Wallace was born on 7 October 1945.[1][6] He was educated at Hawick High School[1] in Hawick, Borders, Scotland and went to the University of Edinburgh where he earned a degree in Mathematical Physics and a PhD in Elementary particle theory, under the supervision of Peter Higgs.[4][7]


After postdoctoral research work as a Harkness Fellow at Princeton University, Wallace became a physics lecturer at the University of Southampton in 1972.

In 1979 he became the fourth Tait Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, succeeding Nicholas Kemmer. He won the James Clerk Maxwell Medal and Prize in 1980. He became Director of the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) and in 1996 he was appointed a CBE for his computing work.

Wallace is currently Vice-President for Physical Sciences of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, of which he was made a Fellow of in 1982.[8][9] He was formerly Vice-President and Treasurer of the Royal Society and Chair of the Council for the Mathematical Sciences. From 1994 to January 2006 he was the Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University. From 2006 to 2011 he was the Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge. Wallace has also been President of the Institute of Physics and Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering[2] in 1998, and was a commissioner of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 from 2001-2011.[1]

In 2014, the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Loughborough University launched a series of public lectures honouring Wallace. The Sir David Wallace lectures are hosted by the University. Speakers have included Cédric Villani and Michael Berry (physicist).[10]


He has a wife, Elizabeth[3][1] and a daughter, Sara.


  1. ^ a b c d e "'WALLACE, Sir David (James)', Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press".(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d "List of Fellows".
  3. ^ a b "David Wallace CV" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b c David Wallace at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ David Wallace publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  6. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. 7 October 2014. p. 37.
  7. ^ Wallace, David (1971). Applications of Current Algebras and Chiral Symmetry Breaking (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh.
  8. ^ "Royal Society of Edinburgh Council". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellows" (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Sir David Wallace Lectures". Loughborough University. Retrieved 12 February 2018.

External linksEdit

  • Cam.ac.uk: "Master Appointed to Churchill College
  • Number-10.gov.uk: "Master Of Churchill College, Cambridge" (via The National Archives, UK)
  • Archive Version of Loughbourgh University: Vice-Chancellor's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived 5 February 2005)
  • University of Cambridge: "Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences appointed"
Academic offices
Preceded by Vice-Chancellor of
Loughborough University

Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of
Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Succeeded by
Preceded by Master of Churchill College
Succeeded by