COMPOS Advisory board


Ian Shipsey


Marina Sakharov-Liberman

bellos 394x492

Alex Bellos


Jonathan Flint


David Thomas

Ian Shipsey FRS is a particle physicist, who has shaped research directions in the US and UK in particle physics, cosmology and the application of quantum sensing and technology to fundamental questions about dark matter, dark energy and gravitational waves from the cosmos. He is distinguished for contributions to the flavour problem, the Standard Model’s (the prevailing theory) inability to explain three generations of fermions (electrons and the quarks inside protons are examples of fermions). He made crucial contributions to the most precise determination of four of the nine weak force quark couplings (with  CLEO/CLEO-c  at Cornell), observed rare b-quark decay processes (with  CMS  at  LHC ) and contributed to evidence for Higgs-field generation of the muon mass (with  ATLAS  at LHC), first measurement of LHC b-quark production (CMS); and Upsilon suppression in heavy-ion collisions, providing evidence for the Quark-Gluon Plasma (CMS). To enable these measurements, he constructed silicon digital cameras for CLEO and CMS, and currently ATLAS. Instrumental to the approval and success of CLEO-c, he was thrice elected CLEO/CLEO-c co-leader. Ian co-led the  LHC Physics Center at Fermilab . Leveraging his silicon expertise, he pioneered U.S. DOE particle-physics involvement in Rubin Observatory’s flagship Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), contributes to development of its 3-Gigapixel CCD camera, and is a Director of the LSST Corporation. He was instrumental in developing UKRI’s  Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics Programme .

Prof Shipsey is the Henry Moseley Centenary Professor for Experimental Physics at Oxford. He has been the Head of the Department of Physics since 2018 and is a Professorial Fellow of St Catherine’s College. Prior to his appointment at Oxford, he was the Julian Schwinger Distinguished Professor of Physics at Purdue University. He received the IoP’s James Chadwick Medal and Prize in 2019,  he was a co-recipient of the European Physical Society’s  Europhysics Prize in 2005 and 2013, and is an  APSAAAS  and IoP Fellow. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2022 and awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Physics in 2023.




Marina Sakharov-Liberman received her MSc, specialising in biophysics, from the Physics Department of Moscow State University. She holds an MBA from Stanford University. Marina has many years of research, industry and consulting experience. She serves as a Vice President of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation (USA), a non-profit 501c3 organization, dedicated to furthering the legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Andrei Sakharov. In this capacity, the focus of her work has been supporting science education and cultural activities. She serves on the board of the Sakharov Science Endowment Fund, which she launched in 2020 to support talented physics students at several universities. Through the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, Marina is working on a number of other initiatives in the UK, Germany and the US, aimed at preserving Sakharov's scientific legacy through the support of young scientists. She also acted as a principal consultant on several films and contributor and editor of numerous publications on Sakharov.

Alex Bellos is the author of several bestselling books of maths and puzzles. He studied mathematics and philosophy at Oxford before training as a journalist, working for various national papers before ending up as South America Correspondent for the Guardian between 1998-2003. Returning to the UK he began to write about mathematics. His books, including Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, Alex Through the Looking Glass and Can You Solve My Problems? have sold more than a million copies worldwide. He has a puzzle column in the Guardian and his YouTube clips have received 30 million views. Alex’s other books include Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life and the children’s book series Football School, which explains the world through football.

Mr Jonathan Flint (CBE, FREng, FInstP) is the Chairman of the Board of Marshall of Cambridge. He is also Chairman of the scientific instrumentation company Refeyn.

After obtaining a Physics degree from Imperial College London and an MBA from University of Southampton, Mr Flint started his career designing scientific and communications satellites. Subsequently, he held various aerospace management roles at Marconi and BAE Systems. He has worked as the Senior Independent Non-Executive Director for Cobham plc and was Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Instruments plc for eleven years. He was also a non-executive director at Oxford University Innovation, providing oversight of commercial spin out companies from Oxford University.

He is a past President of the Institute of Physics, the professional body for physicists and advises various University physics departments. He also chairs the QuantIC strategic advisory board for the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme and sits on the advisory board for the proposed gravity wave instrument, AION.

He is a Trustee of Oxford Trust, a charity that promotes science education and enterprise. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2012, he was awarded a CBE for services to business and science. In 2022 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Imperial College London.

David is the CEO of Axiom Maths (formerly MESME), a charity working to radically increase the number of great mathematicians leaving school in England. He is a former maths teacher and secondary school headteacher, and has served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State for Education. He co-founded Oak National Academy, and received an OBE for services to education in 2020.