8th December 2015, 4:01pm
Leading scholars are latest additions to Lincoln’s School of Mathematics and Physics
Leading scholars join School Leading scholars in the fields of pure and applied mathematics who have developed their expertise at some of Europe’s most prestigious universities have joined the newest academic school at the University of Lincoln, UK.

Lincoln’s School of Mathematics and Physics, which welcomed its first undergraduates in September 2015, has appointed two new academic team members who collectively boast almost 50 years’ experience of scientific study.  Dr Danilo Roccatano and Dr Sandro Mattarei, both originally from Italy, have joined the School to lead diverse research projects and deliver teaching to students across all levels of study.

Dr Roccatano, who specialises in computational biophysics, joins Lincoln from Jacobs University Bremen in Germany, where he was an Assistant Professor in Biochemical Engineering.  Previously he also held positions at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and the Universities of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and L’Aquila in Italy, and has conducted extensive research into complex molecular systems.

He said: “I am fascinated by the study of nature with theoretical and computational models. My scientific research is focused on the study of molecular systems using the technique of Molecular Dynamics simulation. It is fascinating to examine and recreate biological and chemical structures using powerful computer software, so that we can learn about molecular arrangements in minute nano-detail. This enables us, for example, to understand more about drug delivery in the human body.”

On Wednesday 16th December, Dr Roccatano’s scholarship in this area will be the subject of the School of Mathematics and Physics’ 2015 Christmas lecture. Speaking to secondary school pupils from across the region, he will introduce key concepts of ‘nanotechnology’ – science, technology or engineering conducted at the nano level.

“Living cells are crowded with fascinating molecular machines, however their variety of functions has not yet been completely explored because of their extremely small size,” Dr Roccatano explained. “It can be hard to imagine just how small nanotechnology is – one nanometre is a billionth of a metre. However over the last 50 years, thanks to the continuous accumulation of knowledge, the scientific community has learnt how to produce new nanosized engineering marvels. We are now able to see and control individual atoms and molecules, and it is a very exciting field of study to be in.”

The talk, which takes place on the University’s Brayford Pool campus, is free to attend and is also open to members of the public. Places are limited and should be booked in advance online.

Joining Dr Roccatano at the University of Lincoln is Dr Sandro Mattarei, who specialises in pure mathematics. Dr Mattarei received his PhD from the University of Warwick, before lecturing at the University of Padova in Italy and becoming an Associate Professor at the University of Trento. He also lectured for a year at the University of Nottingham and attained the Italian qualification for full professor shortly before joining the University of Lincoln.

His research focus is in various areas of algebra, including the theories of groups and Lie algebras, which can be described as the advanced study of symmetries. Dr Mattarei also studies problems in number theory and the theory of finite fields, providing theoretical background for cryptography (the study of secret codes) - an important area of applied research for the communication, banking and security sectors.

Dr Mattarei said: “I am delighted to be here at the University of Lincoln and look forward to working with staff and students across the School of Mathematics and Physics. It is extremely important to me that our students become heavily involved with research projects themselves. The best way to learn mathematics is to conduct your own research and make your own discoveries, and this is why it is so exciting to be working with young mathematicians.”

Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky, Head of Lincoln’s School of Mathematics and Physics, said: "Our School is just one year old and we are delighted to be attracting such high profile talent to teach and research here at the University of Lincoln, putting us firmly on the Maths and Physics map."