Christine Davies is currently head of the particle physics theory group at the University of Glasgow and chairs the Project Board of the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s DiRAC High Performance Computing facility.
Her research focuses on understanding the properties of the fundamental constituents of matter known as quarks through numerical solution of the theory of the strong force, which binds quarks into the subatomic particles known as hadrons that we see in particle detectors. The numerical calculations require supercomputing facilities (such as DiRAC) but are now yielding accurate results. These enable information about the properties of quarks (for example, their masses) to be determined from experimental measurements of the properties of hadrons at the Large Hadron Collider and other facilities.
From her first degree and PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, Christine Davies moved to Cornell University for postdoctoral work and then to Glasgow in 1986, becoming a professor there in 1999. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2001, won the Rosalind Franklin award from the Royal Society in 2005 and was awarded an OBE in 2006. She was a member of the RCUK review panel for physics (Wakeham Committee) 2008 and chaired the Institute of Physics Diversity Committee 2007-2011. She has given many public lectures, including a tour of Canada as Royal Society Women in Science lecturer in 2006. She currently holds a Wolfson Research Merit Award.