Professor John Womersley previously held the position of Chief Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
A graduate of Cambridge and Oxford (D. Phil. Experimental Particle Physics), he has played a leading role in particle physics both in Europe and the United States. Womersley worked at the Florida State University and 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 2007, Womersley took on a broader role in STFC, managing the Science Programmes Office which oversees the STFC's science and technology strategy, science operations and planning, including the STFC's processes for peer review and research grants, as well as STFC's programmes in education, training and public outreach.
Womersley's scientific achievements include his time as spokesperson for Fermilab's D-Zero experiment, when he coordinated analysis and publications, including placing the first experimental particle physics paper in Nature for more than 70 years. He was the lead author of numerous scientific papers analysing the properties of high energy particle collisions and searching for the Higgs Boson and other new physics phenomena. He has 288 articles published in refereed journals, including the co-discovery of the top quark in 1995.
Womersley represents the UK in a number of international forums including the Council of the European Southern Observatory and the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). He is a member of the ESFRI Executive Board and has worked with the European Commission to develop new ideas about EU funding of the operating costs of large research facilities in Europe. In 2011 he was elected chair of the Founding Board for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project. He has chaired European expert groups on Neutron Scattering Facilities and on Analytic Research Infrastructures, He chairs the European Commission's Expert Group on Cost Control and Management in Large Research Infrastructures.
Womersley lives in Oxford with his wife Elizabeth and is a visiting professor at the University of Durham, University College London, and University of Oxford.