Institut des
NanoSciences de Paris

Early History

Ian was born in Hamilton, New Zealand on the first of December 1958. At the end of his schooling, he spent a year teaching high school maths and science, before leaving home for Lumsden and Te Anau in the South Island of New Zealand, to spend a year learning to shear sheep and working as a labourer in the Fiordland National Park.

Then followed a four year (1979-1982) BSc(Hons) degree in physics at the University of Otago, with the honours project being to determine the refractive index distribution in the lens of the eye of a jumping spider.

After a year spent as an industrial electrician at the Burnside Freezing Works (Dunedin) whilst waiting for a suitable position to become available in physics research, Ian landed a permanent scientist position at the Institute of Nuclear Sciences in Lower Hutt near Wellington. Four years later, having learnt the basics of ion beam analysis and of operating a small particle accelerator, Ian was awarded a DSIR Group A Overseas Study Award to undertake doctoral studies in the Group of G. Amsel, at the Groupe de Physique des Solides in Paris, where he met his wife-to-be and had the first of his two daughters. Their second daughter came along after the return to New Zealand. In 1997, frustrated at the heavily market-led reforms of the public science sector in New Zealand, Ian left the country with his family to take up a position in the CNRS, based in Paris, France. He likes making beer ( and knives (