Professor Jonathan Yates


Jonathan Yates joined the College in October 2008 as tutor in Materials Science. He holds a University lectureship in Materials Modelling, and a Royal Society research fellowship. Jonathan is also the College Dean and is responsible for all student welfare matters.

I have overall responsibility for welfare matters in the college. I work alongside members of the decanal team, the welfare officers, the student welfare reps, and the college medical staff to support the well-being of all members of our student community in a safe, respectful, and confidential manner. I can be contacted at

I was brought up on Merseyside and after attending Deyes High School went to study Natural Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge. I stayed in Cambridge to take a PhD with Prof Mike Payne FRS at the Cavendish laboratory. Before moving to Oxford I held a research fellowship at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, with a two year intermission spent at the University of California in Berkeley.

Outside of the lab I like to walk or cycle – the Oxfordshire countryside providing a pleasant change to the flatness of the fens. I have been involved with the Scout movement almost as long as I can remember, and I currently run a Scout Troop in the New Marston area of Oxford. Within the College I am ‘Keeper of Pictures’, which means I look after all of our works of art.

The main focus of my research is the development of theoretical and computational techniques to predict and understand the properties of materials. The fundamental theory on which this research relies was discovered in the early 20th century – Quantum Mechanics. This has been found to give an astonishingly accurate description of the world on an atomic scale. Although simple in form the equations of quantum mechanics are complex to solve and it is only with the advent of modern computing that progress has been made. Using theoretical advances and making full use of the power of modern computers, we are able to solve these equations for a wide range of realistic situations. Materials currently being studied include: nanomaterials such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, pharmaceutical compounds, biominerals, and glasses for nuclear waste storage.

I am the co-author of two Materials Modelling codes used worldwide both in industry and academia: CASTEP and Wannier90.

Where next?

Materials Science

Undergraduate course page

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The Art of Ballet: The Peter Farmer Collection at Teddy Hall

12 Jun 2019

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The Morris Window

30 Apr 2019

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Triptych – our connection to the medieval Hall

20 Nov 2019

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A Coastal Mystery

6 May 2020

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Health and Welfare (current students)

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