Plenary speakers

Get to know more about the speakers of the Physics Days 2024 Conference.
Anna T. Danielsson

Anna T. Danielsson is Professor of Science Education and head of the science education section at Stockholm University. Her research focuses on issues of gender and identity in the context of teaching and learning science, with a particular interest in higher education physics. She recently published the co-edited book Physics Education and Gender: Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research (together with Allison J. Gonsalves) and her work has also been published in numerous international journals, including International Journal of Science Education and Physical Review Physics Education Research. Prior to her appointment at Stockholm University, she has held positions at Uppsala University, King’s College London, and University of Cambridge.

Rouven Essig

Rouven Essig is a Professor at the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University. He is a theoretical particle physicist focusing on the search for dark matter and other new particles beyond the standard model. He has helped pioneer several direct-detection concepts to probe dark matter below the proton mass and has been a leader in establishing this as a new vibrant research direction. He has also been a leader in conceiving of fixed-target experiments to search for new forces, helping to spawn several new efforts. Although a theorist, he is co-leading or participating in several experiments.

He holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Physics (2001) and in Mathematics (2002) from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and a Ph.D. in Physics (2008) from Rutgers University. He held postdoctoral studies at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University (2008-2011), before joining the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University in 2011, where he serves today as a full professor since 2021.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (2020) and has received a New Horizons in Physics Prize (2021), a Simons Investigator Award (2019), the American Physical Society’s Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics (2015), and a Sloan Fellowship (2012).

Ivette Fuentes

Ivette Fuentes is a Professor of Physics at the School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Southampton. She is Fellow of the Emmy Network and Fellow by Special Election of Keble College, Oxford. She obtained her PhD at Imperial College London. Her postdoctoral experience includes a Glasstone Fellowship and Junior Research Fellowship (Mansfield  College) at the University of Oxford and a position at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. Ivette was Assistant Professor at UNAM México, Professor of Mathematical Physics at the School of Mathematical Sciences in Nottingham and Professor of Theoretical Quantum Optics at the University of Vienna. Other distinctions include an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (Experienced Researchers) at the Technical University of Berlin and EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship, New Directions Award and Inspire Award.

​Her main research interest is understanding physics at scales where quantum theory and general relativity interplay.

Jaakko Lehtinen

Jaakko Lehtinen is a tenured associate professor at Aalto University, and a distinguished research scientist at NVIDIA Research. He works on computer graphics, computer vision, and machine learning. His particular interests are in data-driven generative modelling, realistic image synthesis, and appearance acquisition and reproduction. He is fascinated by the combination of machine learning techniques with physical simulators in the search for robust, interpretable AI.

Prior to his current positions, he spent 2007-10 as a postdoctoral fellow with Frédo Durand at MIT. Before his research career, he worked for the game developer Remedy Entertainment 1996-2005 as a graphics programmer, and contributed significantly to the graphics technology behind the worldwide blockbuster hit games Max Payne (2001), Max Payne 2 (2003), and Alan Wake (2009).

Johan Lindén

Johan Lindén (born 1965 in Helsinki) received his PhD in 1994 in technical physics at Helsinki University of Technology  (present Aalto University). Since 1995 he is senior university lecturer in physics at Åbo Akademi. During 1999-2000 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Tokyo Institute of Technology and in 2002 he was awarded the title of docent at Åbo Akademi, Physics Department.

His main research interests include Mössbauer spectroscopy, studies of magnetic oxides, perovskites and superconductors. He has strong interest in physics demonstrations and has more then twenty years of experience in showing physics and live demonstrations for upper secondary school pupils.

Philip Moriarty

Philip Moriarty is a Professor of Physics and EPSRC Established Career Fellow (2020-2025) in the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham. His research interests span a number of topical themes in nanoscience, with a particular focus on single atom/molecule manipulation using low temperature scanning probe microscopes. This “in-house” scanning probe activity is complemented by regular visits to synchrotron facilities for the analysis of nanostructured/molecular systems using a variety of electron and X-ray spectroscopies. His ORCID profile has a full list of publications and grant awards: He has a keen interest in outreach activities, primary and secondary education, and both science and higher education funding policy. In addition to participating in a number of research council-funded public engagement projects (including Giants of the Infinitesimal), he has been interviewed, and written, for The Independent, The Guardian, Times Higher Education, BBC Radio 4, Die Zeit, and The Economist amongst others. He is also a regular contributor to the Sixty Symbols YouTube project, which was awarded the UK Institute of Physics’ Kelvin prize in 2016 “for innovative and effective promotion of the public understanding of physics.” Moriarty has taught undergraduate physics for twenty-five years and has always been struck by the number of students in his classes who profess a love of metal music and by the deep connections between heavy metal and quantum mechanics, as discussed in his first pop sci book, “When The Uncertainty Principle Goes To 11” (Ben Bella, 2018). He blogs at Symptoms Of The Universe.

Laura Riuttanen

Laura Riuttanen is a university lecturer in atmospheric sciences at the University of Helsinki. After her PhD in meteorology, she has been active in developing climate change education and leading the Climate University network of higher education institutions in Finland, new Specialisation programme in climate expertise, Una Europa Micro-Credential in Sustainability as well as Climate Change Teacher's Academy in Finland. Her research group at the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research does multidisciplinary research on the learning of the climate competencies in the society.