Ian Shipsey

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Ian Shipsey

Head of Department

Ian is the Henry Moseley Centenary Professor of Experimental Physics, Head of the Sub-department of Particle Physics, and an Associate Head of the Physics Department. He is a Professorial Fellow at St. Catherine's College.

Ian is an experimental particle physicist. He works in large international science collaborations. These collaborations seek to understand how the universe was born, how it will evolve and how it will end using particle accelerators and telescopes. Ian studies heavy quarks and the Higgs Boson, searches for dark matter, and studies dark energy. He develops the instrumenation that enables these studies; most recently a pixel detector that identfied the Higgs Boson for the first time.

His contributions to the elucidation of the physics of heavy quarks were recognised by Fellowship of the American Physical Society in 2002 and his contributions to particle physics at the Large Hadron Collider by Fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012.

He was elected Chairperson of the Collaboration Board of the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment (CMS) at the LHC at CERN, Switzerland (2013), elected a member of the Board of Directors of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation (2009-12 & 2017-2021), the co-coordinator of the LHC Physics Center at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) (2009-2012), and three times elected co-Spokesperson of the CLEO experiment at Cornell University (2001-2004). He was elected Chairperson of the APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) (2011-2014).

A short CV, summary of contributions to research and a publication list may be found under attachments at the top right corner of this webpage.

Ian is profoundly deaf. He has given ninety colloquia and talks to the public on hearing, cochlear implants and perception since the miracle of a cochlear implant restored his hearing. A recent example is here: https://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/bionic-hearing-science-and-experience

Ian teaches Physics at all levels. He is passionate about teaching both one-on-one and in a large lecture format. He has received awards for teaching at the Departmental, Divisional, and University levels at Purdue University USA, where he spent most of his career. Students at Purdue gave him their highest award for teaching.

Ian is privileged to have had more than a dozen brilliant students receive a PhD at Purdue and currently has four DPhil students at Oxford. He has also mentored 10 postdoctoral fellows.

Selected Honours (Education)
1. Honorary Life Member, Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Student Honor Society (USA) (2010) & Alpha Lambda Delta National Student Society (USA) (2010).
2. Induction into “The Purdue University Book of Great Teachers” (2004). (Approximately 300 faculty in the 148-year history of the university have received this honour.)
3. Life Fellow, the Purdue University Teaching Academy (1998). The Academy has approximately 300 fellows.
4. Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching (Purdue) (1998). (The highest undergraduate teaching award. Four awards are made annually. Purdue has approximately 2,200 faculty.
5. Top Ten Teacher, College of Science, Purdue (2001).
6. The Spira Award (Physics Professor of the Year), Purdue (1994).

1. ATLAS at LHC (April 2015-): He is Oxford ATLAS group leader. With his students, he is making measurements of the properties of the Higgs boson and using the Higgs as a probe for new physics. He designed (2014-15) and oversaw commissioning (2016) of Oxford’s new silicon detector fabrication facility OPMD that will construct pixel modules for one ATLAS endcap pixel detector. He will serve on the ATLAS Advisory Board to the Collaboration Board (2018-19).
2. Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (2008-present): He initiated UK particle-physics LSST involvement in 2014, he has interfaced LSST with UK CCD camera vendor e2v, is work package leader for LSST:UK CCD characterization (conducted at Oxford in OPMD), and is spokesperson of the fledgling particle physics component of LSST:UK. He is an LSST Corp. Director (2017-21 & 2008-12). He studied wave-front reconstruction with NOAO. He was Chair of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration Advisory Board (2015-17). His science interest is measurement of dark energy via cosmic shear weak lensing tomography.
3. Instrumentation (throughout career): For particle physics, cosmology & photon science: micro pattern gas & silicon-based detectors.
4. Mu3e at PSI (2017-): He has initiated a new group at Oxford to search for lepton flavour violation with the Mu3e experiment at PSI, & fabrication of novel ultra-low mass CMOS silicon sensor modules for the experiment.
5.. Photon Science: (2016-) he has co-initiated a new collaboration (Oxford Physics, RAL and Open University) to develop CICADA a very high-speed hybrid pixel X-ray imaging system, optimised to operate at FEL facilities such as LCLS2 at SLAC to individually image X-ray diffraction patterns at intervals as short a 1 micro-second. He initiated Oxford membership in the Medipix4 Collaboration. This CERN-based initiative is a consortium of Universities and National Labs that are supporting the development of two novel radiation imaging systems providing significant advances in resolution, readout speed, and sensitivity to both energy and time. With collegaues he is forming a cluster of interested departments at Oxford to take advantage of these systems. Currently this targets the following research: large area detectors and particle tracking in Physics, new detectors for electron microscopy in Materials Science, improvements in resolution for Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry in Chemistry, and work by the Luminescence Dating Laboratory in Archaeology.
6. CMS at LHC (2001-15): As Quarkonia Convener he made the first LHC Upsilon cross-section measurement, an important test of non-perturbative QCD. He and his student observed upsilon suppression in LHC heavy-ion collisions, a smoking gun of the long-sought Quark-Gluon Plasma. With his post docs he formed one of two CMS teams that observed strange-B-meson di-muon decay, a long-sought process with high-sensitivity to new physics. He was sensor-module production manager of the Forward-Pixel detector, a key CMS instrument. He was co-coordinator, the LHC Physics Center (LPC), Fermilab (2009-12). Under his leadership, LPC became a jewel in CMS’s crown. Elected CMS Collaboration Board Chair (2013), he designed and established the CMS Data Analysis School and co-designed the CMS Instrumentation Upgrade School.
7. CLEO at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (1986-2012): He constructed key CLEO instrumentation including the muon detector and was a designer and fabrication manager of the CLEO-III silicon vertex detector. He made the most precise measurements of four of the nine quark couplings in nature, discovered Y(5S) strange-beauty-meson production, pioneered studies of charmed baryons, and beauty-quark rare-decay searches. An intellectual leader and prominent proponent of CLEO-c/CESR-c, he played a crucial role in obtaining funding for the experiment and was elected three times co-Spokesperson of CLEO/CLEO-c. Built on time and on budget, CLEO-c achieved its science objectives, opening a new frontier in the weak and strong interactions through per cent level experimental tests of Lattice QCD calculations of decay constants and form factors, and producing over 100 referred journal publications in PRL & PRD.