From education to employment

Professor Richard Craster to lead Imperial’s Faculty of Natural Sciences

man in blue suit and polka dot tie

Leading mathematician and Director of the Abraham de Moivre CNRS-Imperial international research unit Professor Craster has been appointed Dean.

Professor Craster will take up the role of Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences on 1 January 2020. He will be responsible for providing strategic leadership, planning and coordination for the faculty, and for driving continuing excellence in research and education.

Professor Craster’s ties with Imperial go back to the beginning of his career, as he completed his BSc and his PhD at the College. He joined Imperial as a lecturer in 1998 and since then has held a number of key leadership roles.

An experienced leader

As Head of the Department of Mathematics, a role he held from 2011 until 2017, Professor Craster headed up a transformation that brought a tripling of PhD student numbers and a similar increase in research turnover. His tenure also saw the department’s first Athena SWAN award and an increase in the number of female postgraduate students and staff – including their first female professor.

In January 2018 Professor Craster was appointed Director of the new joint mathematics laboratory set up by Imperial and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). Based at Imperial’s South Kensington Campus, the UMI Abraham de Moivre is the first CNRS laboratory of its kind to be located in the UK.

man in suit talking at lectern with tapestry in background
Professor Craster speaking at the opening of the UMI Abraham de Moivre

Outside Imperial, Professor Craster is the Co-Director of the EPSRC-funded UK Acoustics Network, launched in 2017. Under his leadership, the network has rapidly grown to over 700 members, with around half each from industry and from academia.

From strength to strength

Professor Ian Walmsley, Imperial’s Provost, said: “With the opening of the Molecular Sciences Research Hub in White City and the establishment of the UMI Abraham de Moivre, the Faculty of Natural Sciences is at an exciting moment in its history. As well as his world leading research contribution, Professor Craster is also an experienced leader, and I am confident he will take the faculty from strength to strength.”

Professor Craster said: “It’s an honour to take up the role of Dean in the faculty where I have conducted my entire academic career. I look forward to working with colleagues across our departments when I start in January.”

Applied mathematics

Professor Craster’s research focuses on wave mechanics, metamaterials, fluid mechanics and elasticity. He has worked alongside research groups in engineering for most of his career – alongside his role as Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, he is also a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

In relation to engineering, Professor Craster has carried out research on the non-destructive evaluation of components, as well as on thin films, surface chemistry and multiphase flow.

His research interests also stretch into areas of physics, including metamaterials and the design of structured interfaces to redirect light or sound.

Related Articles