My research interests are primarily in topological aspects of structured light and classical field theory (especially singular optics, optical vortices, polarization singularities, optical momentum, geometric phases), and, more generally applied topology in physics (especially applications of knot theory in optics, quantum mechanics, statistical physics and molecular biology).
I am Director of the newly-established EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Topological Design (accepting doctoral students from 2019 entry), and lead the University of Birmingham Centre for Topological Science and Engineering.
I currently teach the third year (junior year) modules Radiation & Relativity and Chaos & Dynamical Systems, and am Head of the Theoretical Physics undergraduate programmes. I am responsible for much of the graduate teaching and training in the CDT, particularly the modules in Topology & its Applications and Research Proposal.
Until February 2018 I was Professor of Theoretical Physics in the School of Physics, University of Bristol, UK. While there I was Head of the Theory Group. In the last few years in Bristol, I led the Bristol side of the Leverhulme Programme Grant “Scientific Properties of Complex Knots” (part of a collaboration with Durham University). The group has a Twitter feed, @SPOCKBristol. Amongst our results was the development of an online tool, pyknotid, that anyone can use to identify and analyse knots. Try it out for yourself here.
Whilst in Bristol, my teaching and administration responsibilities included being Head of Theoretical Physics MSci, Head of Physics and Philosophy MSci and BSc, Teaching and Learning Advisor for Physics, teaching 4th yr (senior) Relativistic Field Theory and Foundations of Modern Physics, 3rd yr (junior) Analytical Mechanics and Methods of Theoretical Physics, and 1st year (freshman) Mechanics.