New Director appointed to lead the Cockcroft Institute

The Cockcroft Institute at Daresbury Laboratory has appointed Professor Peter Ratoff as its new Director.

He is currently the Acting Director of the Institute and will take up the full time role on 1st March 2015. 

The Cockcroft Institute is a joint venture in Accelerator Science and Technology (AST) involving the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester, Lancaster University and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). 

A Professor of Experimental Particle Physics and Head of the Physics Department for the last eight and a half years at Lancaster University, Professor Ratoff’s research focuses on the design and construction of particle detectors and experiments using particle accelerators and colliding beam machines. 

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Ratoff said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the extraordinarily talented team at the Cockcroft Institute as it embarks on an exciting new phase in its evolution.”

Looking to the future, he remarked on the abundance of challenging new research projects in the Institute’s portfolio, ranging from upgrades of the LHC machine at CERN to a ground breaking R&D programme in light sources at Daresbury, and novel acceleration techniques that have the potential to revolutionise the field. He also stressed the importance of developing the wider impact of the Institute’s research in healthcare, security, manufacturing and energy. 

Professor Ratoff has spent most of his career testing the Standard Model of Particle Physics in both the strong and electroweak sectors, carrying out research to help identify the top quark and Higgs Boson – the key to understanding the origin of mass, and the exploration of CP violation in the properties of heavy quarks and neutrinos – potentially an important step towards the elucidation of the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe.

He was a founding member of the Cockcroft Institute when it was established in 2004. Dedicated to the design and optimisation of new accelerator technologies at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, as well as at other accelerator laboratories around the world, the Institute enables UK scientists and engineers to play a major role in accelerator design, construction, and operation.

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