Graduate Profile

Prof Andrew Wallard, BSc 1968, PhD 1971



Andrew Wallard is currently Director of "Bureau International des Poids et Mesures" - an intergovernmental body on international territory near Paris. The BIPM is the organisation at the centre of world metrology.  Here Andrew is responsible for an annual budget of some 10 Million Euro.  The BIPM is the home of the world time scale and international prototype kilogramme, on which the SI measurements of time and mass are based.  It is also extending its work into traceable measurements related to chemistry and laboratory medicine.

He says "Four happy years at St Andrews gave me a BSc in Natural Philosophy - physics to those south of the border.  At that time my natural inclination was to a research career stimulated by fine teachers and a vacation job at the National Physical Laboratory.  I also found that the NPL would sponsor me for a PhD with St Andrews.  This kept my options open whilst I worked on advanced laser spectroscopy applied to real measurement problems.  At the same time I gained early experience of teamwork nationally and internationally.  All these formative influences have been immensely important at different stages in my career"

Andrew's post-University career started in science policy making at the Department of Trade and Industry in Whitehall.  Here his work was a mixture of politics and science, but he found working the solution out was a huge satisfaction.  He later returned to the NPL as a manager, where his mix of physics research skills and the management skills developed at the DTI were put to good use.  He rose to the post of Deputy Director of the lab before being appointed Director of the BIPM in 2004 .

Career Profile on the Institute of Physics Web site

First posted BDS 17.9.04