David J. Wales

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David Wales

Professor David Wales FRS.jpg
David Wales at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2016
David John Wales

(1963-09-21) 21 September 1963 (age 55)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (BA, PhD, ScD)
Known forStone–Wales defect[2]
Scientific career
ThesisSome theoretical aspects of cluster chemistry (1988)
Doctoral advisorAnthony J. Stone
Other academic advisorsR. Stephen Berry

David John Wales (born 1963)[1] FRS[4] FRSC is a professor of Chemical Physics, in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge.[5]


Wales was educated at Newport Free Grammar School[1] followed by the University of Cambridge where he was awarded an open scholarship to study at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge[3] receiving his BA degree in 1985. He went on to complete a PhD on cluster chemistry, awarded in 1988[6] for research supervised by Anthony J. Stone. In 2004 he was awarded a ScD degree from Cambridge.[4]

Career and research[edit]

During 1989, Wales as an English-Speaking Union Lindemann Trust Fellow at the University of Chicago, doing postdoctoral research supervised by R. Stephen Berry. He returned to a research fellowship at Downing College, Cambridge in 1990, was a Lloyd's of London Tercentenary Fellow in 1991, and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF) from 1991 to 1998.[4] He was appointed a Lecturer in Cambridge in 1998.[4]

Wales research investigates energy landscapes, with applications to chemical biology, spectroscopy, clusters, solids and surfaces.[4][7][8][9] Wales is the author of the textbook Energy Landscapes: Applications to Clusters, Biomolecules and Glasses[10][11] and a co-author of Introduction to Cluster Chemistry with Michael Mingos.[12]

His research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).[13]

Awards and honours[edit]

Wales was awarded the Meldola Medal and Prize in 1992 and the Tilden Prize in 2015,[3] both by the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was a Baker Lecturer at Cornell University in 2005, and the Inaugural Henry Frank Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Wales was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2016[4] and is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.[when?]


  1. ^ a b c WALES, Prof. David John. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2017 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. closed access (subscription required)
  2. ^ Stone, A. J.; Wales, D. J. (1986). "Theoretical studies of icosahedral C60 and some related structures". Chemical Physics Letters. 128 (5–6): 501–503. Bibcode:1986CPL...128..501S. doi:10.1016/0009-2614(86)80661-3.
  3. ^ a b c Anon (2016). "Tilden Prize 2015 Winner: Professor David Wales". London: Royal Society of Chemistry. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Anon (2016). "Professor David Wales FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 29 April 2016. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

  5. ^ Anon (2016). "David J. Wales group homepage". Cambridge: University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016.
  6. ^ Wales, David John (1988). Some theoretical aspects of cluster chemistry. ethos.bl.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 556426622.
  7. ^ Wales, David J.; Doye, Jonathan P. K. (1997). "Global Optimization by Basin-Hopping and the Lowest Energy Structures of Lennard-Jones Clusters Containing up to 110 Atoms". Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 101 (28): 5111–5116. arXiv:cond-mat/9803344. Bibcode:1997JPCA..101.5111W. doi:10.1021/jp970984n.
  8. ^ Wales, D. J.; Scheraga, Harold A. (1999). "Global Optimization of Clusters, Crystals, and Biomolecules". Science. 285 (5432): 1368–1372. doi:10.1126/science.285.5432.1368.
  9. ^ Martiniani, Stefano; Schrenk, K. Julian; Stevenson, Jacob D.; Wales, David J.; Frenkel, Daan (2016). "Turning intractable counting into sampling: Computing the configurational entropy of three-dimensional jammed packings". Physical Review E. 93 (1). arXiv:1509.03964. Bibcode:2016PhRvE..93a2906M. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.93.012906.
  10. ^ Wales, David J. (2004). Energy Landscapes: Applications to Clusters, Biomolecules and Glasses. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511721724. ISBN 9780511721724. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016.
  11. ^ Heuer, Andreas (2005). "Energy Landscapes. Applications to Clusters, Biomolecules and Glasses. By David J. Wales". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 44 (12): 1756–1757. doi:10.1002/anie.200485197.
  12. ^ Mingos, D. M. P.; Wales, D. J. (1990). Introduction to cluster chemistry. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0134743059.
  13. ^ Anon (2016). "UK government grants awarded to David John Wales". gtr.rcuk.ac.uk. Swindon: Research Councils UK. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016.