Physicist from France to join KU’s lineup of Foundation Distinguished Professors

Kansas University is importing its next Foundation Distinguished Professor — an expert in forward and diffractive physics — from France.

Christophe Royon is research director at CEA-Saclay, or the French Atomic Energy Commission, a public research organization in the fields of energy, information and health technologies, and defense and national security, according to its website.

Royon is scheduled to join KU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in January 2016.

Christophe Royon

KU, in announcing Royon’s hire on Monday, described him as a “world leader” in his field and emphasized his experience with international research collaborations.

“Professor Royon’s international reputation and expertise in particle and nuclear physics will enhance KU’s already prominent reputation in this arena,” Provost Jeff Vitter said in a news release. “His scholarly endeavors have implications for numerous fields beyond physics, and I anticipate he will lead several interdisciplinary research ventures.”

Royon’s research involves atom-smashers such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, detecting the characteristics of particles after they collide and developing instruments to aid in future research. He is a prolific researcher and author who has contributed to more than 925 publications, which international researchers have cited more than 60,000 times, according to KU.

Royon is the ninth Foundation Distinguished Professor named to date.

KU has received state funds for its Foundation Distinguished Professor initiative, which aims to recruit 12 “eminent” scholars to support the university’s four strategic initiative themes.