Professor John Womersley

Professor John Womersley
Special Advisor, The University of Edinburgh

Professor John Womersley is a Special Advisor within the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.  His responsibilities include coordinating the university’s activities in space, and identifying new interdisciplinary research opportunities. He chairs the Technical Advisory Committee for the IFMIF-DONES European fusion materials testing facility under construction in Spain, the Project Advisory Committee for the Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope Project, and is a member of the Board of Fermi Research Associates which operates Fermilab on behalf of the US Department of Energy.

Dr. Womersley was Director General of the European Spallation Source from 2016-2022. He previously held the position of Chief Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the United Kingdom’s funding agency for large-scale science facilities and national laboratories, particle physics, nuclear physics and astronomy. He led the UK’s membership of the European XFEL, ESS, and the SKA telescope project, and established the Hartree Centre as a £300m joint project with IBM.

A graduate of Cambridge and Oxford (D. Phil. Experimental Physics), Prof. Womersley has played a leading role in particle physics both in Europe and the United States. John worked at Fermilab before becoming a scientific advisor to the Department of Energy in the US. He returned to the UK in 2005 to become Director of the Particle Physics Department at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at a time when it was building and delivering vital components to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. In time John took on a broader role as Director of the Science Programmes Office and was then appointed Chief Executive in 2011.

He has served on the councils of CERN and ESO and the board of Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy, has chaired the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the European Commission’s Expert Group on Cost Control and Management in Large Research Infrastructures. John has also served on numerous review panels and boards as an expert including the Helmholtz Association and the Human Brain Project.

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336. Is e buidheann carthannais a th’ ann an Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann, clàraichte an Alba, àireamh clàraidh SC005336.