Professor Gabriel Aeppli steps down as Director of the LCN

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Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at UCL, Professor Gabriel Aeppli FRS, stepped down from his position on 21 March after almost twelve years at the helm.

Professor Aeppli, who will still remain Quain Professor of Physics at UCL, has taken on a new role as head of the Department of Synchrotron Radiation and Nanotechnology at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and is also a professor at ETH Zurich and at EPFL.

The LCN was co-founded by Professor Aeppli in 2002, and during his time as Director, he transformed the centre from a concept and a vacant lot in Bloomsbury into a world leading institute taking advantage of interdisciplinarity to advance science, medicine and technology. It was formed from the outset to create new paradigms for solving practical problems, with translation to clinic and industry the ultimate goal. The near term would be devoted to the associated enablers: technical excellence, recruitment of talent, infrastructure development and fund-raising. In regard to the ultimate objectives, achievements of LCN staff have ranged from a nanotube solvation and separation process recently licensed to Linde to the formation of Endomagnetics, a company exploiting magnetic nanoparticles in breast cancer diagnosis. Its talent base, unique operating model and solutions focus, together with the ever growing demand for new technical approaches to health and planet care, assure that the LCN is well-positioned to thrive even more in the future.

Professor Richard Catlow, FRS, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, said "Both the LCN and the whole UCL community are hugely grateful to Gabriel for his inspirational leadership in building up the LCN into a world class centre in the field. We wish him all the best with his challenging roles in Zurich and Lausanne and look forward to his continuing contribution to the scientific programme of the LCN"

Prior to taking his Directorship in the autumn of 2002, Professor Aeppli was a Senior Research Scientist for NEC (Princeton), a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, a Research Assistant at MIT, and an industrial co-op student at IBM. His current research currently focuses on the implications of nanotechnology for information processing and health care and he has won several awards for prior work on quantum magnetism.

Professor Aeppli has been succeeded by  Professor Des McMorrow, who assumed his responsibilities as acting Director from the 24th March.