Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Professor Tim Wess

Professor Tim Wess


Personal Profile

Professor Tim Wess was appointed as Executive Dean, Faculty of Science CSU in May 2013.

He was the Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Pro Vice Chancellor for Estates and Chairman of the Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre at Cardiff University. Professor Wess was also a member of the governing body at the University of Newport.  He has held a number of scientific administrative roles at both national and international level, including visiting scientific advisory roles to both France and Slovenia. Professor Wess has previously been a member of the Science Board for STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council) and was the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for IPANEMA, the ancient materials' European platform at SOLEIL Synchrotron, France.

Tim has vast experience in innovation and engagement, communicating science to the public, advising science and health policy, and has worked with a number of charities. He was trustee for Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Cymru and Vale for Africa.   

Tim's research interests are in the area of order and disorder in the structure of biological systems. He studies the interactions in biological materials through contemporary to archaeological contexts, this has been described as molecular history.  His research group has been involved in the study of important historical collagen-based materials such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Domesday Book.

Professor Tim Wess' Achievements

Achievements as Executive Dean Faculty of Science
Tim joined Charles Sturt University as Executive Dean in May 2013 the faculty comprises 8 schools with a wide regional geographical spread from Dubbo to Albury and an includes Schools of allied health, nursing, Veterinary, Dental, Agricultural Biomedical  and Environmental Sciences. With 400 staff and 13,000 students, the annual turnover of the faculty is around $80M.  Since his arrival, the faculty has already rejuvenated the management structure of the faculty and developed two major themes for the faculty as Food and Water Security and Health Ageing. Tim has made a significant improvement to the scrutiny, management and therefore the financial viability of the human and animal clinics. Tim has brought his strong belief in equality to the University and recently completed a graduate certificate in Wiradjuri to show his commitment to the aboriginal people on who's land Charles Sturt University is located.

Achievements for the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences Cardiff University.
Tim was Head of School from April 2006 to May 2013. The role has budgetary control of all aspects of the school that has a £6M turnover. Tim led the school through a successful degree reaccreditation by the General Optical Council in 2007 and the RAE 2008 rated over 55% of the research output as World leading or internationally excellent.  The school consistently scored over 95% in the overall NSS for over 4 years and was the first school in Wales to gain the Athena SWAN silver award for gender equality in 2010. The school formed the World's first postgraduate education centre for Optometry in 2012, of which Tim was the chair. Tim introduced Welsh teaching for the undergraduate degree in 2012. Although the entry level for the school remains at AAA they actively pursue widening access strategies with partner universities and regional schools. Over half the academic staff are members of the STEMnet ambassadors scheme for engaging young people in research careers.

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Professor Tim Wess' background is in Biophysics, which has given him an international research profile with a main theme of understanding the structure function relations of biopolymers with over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals  and has attracted over £3.5 million in research funding.  This work was initially focussed around the main biopolymers of living organisms such as collagen, DNA, keratin, chitin and cellulose. Tim has contributed significantly to our fundamental understanding of each of these classes of all important molecules. His main research techniques concentrate around X-ray scattering and allied techniques which usually requires synchrotron sources, he has been very successful in obtaining beamtime at synchrotron and neutron sources over the last 25 years to support the research grants Tim obtained. This facilitated a strong track record in facility administration and thence research council leadership within STFC.

Grants Held:

Professor Wess has attracted over £3.5M of grant funding from BBSRC, EPSRC EU, NERC, STFC and NATO.

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Professional Leadership

International Scientific leadership
2012 UK representative for the appointment of the science director of the European Synchrotron.
2012-present advisor to Lithuanian ministries on research infrastructure and governance. I have run a series of workshops in Vilnius and Kaunas for Ministries (Economy, Education and Science) and researchers on open access to research facilities.
2011-present Board Member of RAMIRI (Realising and Managing International Research Infrastructures). Chaired by John Wood, this FP7 funded group co-ordinated workshops and training for top level large project research directors and administrators
2010-present Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for IPANEMA, the ancient materials' European platform (SOLEIL Synchrotron, France) an internationally leading research complex for cultural heritage science based at the Soleil Synchrotron Paris.  I also report as Chair to the French ministry of culture on their behalf through a Comite de Pilotage.
2007-2010 Chair of the Environmental & Cultural Heritage beamtime award committee for the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
2009-present Visiting evaluator for the Slovenian Science Ministry for investment strategies in biomedical sciences  
2006-2009 Co-Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the 2009 International Conference of Small angle X-ray Scattering.

UK National Scientific Leadership
2012-present Member of National Assembly for Wales Cross Party group on science and technology.
2012-present Member of evaluation team for the ALICE accelerator science programme at the Science and Technology Facilities Council Daresbury laboratory.
2011- present Member of the 8 person steering group for the Research Complex at Harwell. This £45M research facility is a multipurpose interdisciplinary centre for researchers to augment studies using the UK Diamond synchrotron, ISIS neutron source and Central Laser facility.
2010-present I am a panel member of the Research Excellence Framework REF2014 (A3) (Subjects allied to medicine).
2010-present Member of MEGAFOCUS (Minority Ethnic Groups Association for Ophthalmic Care Uptake and Service Improvement in Wales)
2010 EPSRC Basic Technology evaluator of the £50M investment portfolio.
2007-2010 Chair of the Photon Science Governing Body for the New Light Source Project (NLS)
2009-2012 Science in Society Fellow (SiS), Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)  
2009 member of RCUK International Bridges (China, India, US)  grant review panel.
2008-2010 Member of STFC Science board
2007-2009 Chair of Physics and Life Sciences Committee, Science and Technology Research Council
2004-2007 Member of Scientific Advisory Committee Diamond Light Source synchrotron
2004-2007 Chair of the Facilities access panel, Daresbury Laboratory.

UK National Academic Leadership
2009-present Governor University of Wales Newport. I am the main external academic lead for the board and was co-opted as such. I am a member of the Human resources committee and link governor to the school of education.
2006-10 External Examiner for the Field of Leather Technology MSc and BSc. at The University of Northampton

UK National Administrative leadership
2011 –present panel member of the UK Equality Challenge Unit Athena SWAN charter.
2010-present trustee of Royal National Institute for Blind People Wales.
2010-present Member of MEGAFOCUS (Minority Ethnic Groups Association for Ophthalmic Care Uptake and Service Improvement in Wales)
2010-present Member of All Wales Steering group for Eye Health Improvement
2009-present trustee of Vale for Africa charity to facilitate relations between the vale of Glamorgan and Tororo province Uganda.
2009-present Member of the All Wales Vision Strategy board

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Over 120 publications in peer reviewed journals to date from 1989 to 2012

Publications 2007-present include:

1.    Patten K, Gonzalez L,  Kennedy C, Mills D, Davis G, Wess T.J. Is there evidence for change to collagen within parchment samples after exposure to an X-ray dose during high contrast X-ray microtomography? a multi technique investigation Heritage Science. 2013; 1 25-40.
2.    Patten K and Wess TJ  2013   Suprafibrillar structures of collagen, evidence for local organization and auxetic behaviour in architectures  J. Biophysical Chemistry 4 103-109.

3.     Kennedy CJ,  Revie WA, Troalen L , Wade M, Wess T.J. Studies of hair for use in lime plaster: Implications for conservation and new work  Polymer Degradation and Stability 2013  98 829-926.

4.    Goh K L, Holmes D F, Lu Y, Purslow P P, Kadler K E, Bechet D, Wess T J Bimodal collagen fibril diameter distributions direct age-related variations in tendon resilience and resistance to rupture.  Journal of Applied Physiology 2012; 113 878-88. *

5.    Wade M, Tucker I, Cunningham P, Skinner R, Bell F, Lyons T, Patten K, Gonzalez L, Wess T.J. Investigating the origins of nanostructural variations in differential ethnic hair types using X-ray scattering techniques.   Int J Cosmet Sci. 2013 35 430-41.

6.    Gonzalez L, Wade M, Bell N, Thomas K, Wess T.J. Using attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR FT-IR) to study the molecular conformation of parchment artifacts in different macroscopic states.  Appl Spectrosc. 2013 67:158-62.

7.    Protein and mineral characterization of rendered meat and bone mealBuckley M., Penkman KEH. Wess, T. J,. Reaney S, Collins MJ Food Chemistry. 2012; 134(3).

8.    Gonzalez LG, Hiller J, Terrill NJ, Parkinson J, Thomas K, Wess TJ.     Effects of isopropanol on collagen fibrils in new parchment.  Chem Cent J. 2012 31; 6:24-30.

9.    Možir A, Gonzalez L, Kralj Cigić I, Wess TJ, Rabin I, Hahn O, Strlič M. A study of degradation of historic parchment using small-angle X-ray scattering, synchrotron-IR and multivariate data analysis   Anal Bioanal Chem. 2012 402:1559-66.

10.    Baldock C, Oberhauser AF, Ma L, Lammie D, Siegler V, Mithieux SM, Tu Y, Chow JY, Suleman F, Malfois M, Rogers S, Guo L, Irving TC, Wess TJ, Weiss AS. Shape of tropoelastin, the highly extensible protein that controls human tissue elasticity Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 108(11):4322-7.

11.    Regini JW, Ecroyd H , Meehan S, Bremmell K , Clarke MJ, Lammie D, Wess T, and Carver JA .  The interaction of unfolding α-lactalbumin and malate dehydrogenase with the molecular chaperone αB-crystallin: a light and X-ray scattering investigation Mol Vis. 2010 16:2446-56.

12.    Paul, A., Fallis, I., Cooper, C., Wess, T., Thomas, K., Heenan, R., King, S., Griffiths, P. (2010) A contrast variation small-angle scattering study of the microstructure of 2,5-dimethyl -7- hydroxyl -2, 5-diazaheptadecane-toluene-butanol oil-in-water metallomicroemulsions. Soft Matter, 6 (11): 2552-2556

13.    Goh, K.L., Chen, Y., Chou, S.M., Listrat, A., Bechet, D., Wess, T.J.  (2010) Effects of frozen storage temperature on the elasticity of tendons from a small murine model.   Animal,4: 1-5

14.    Dybowska, A., Manning, D.A.C., Collins, M.J., Wess, T., Woodgate, S., Valsami-Jones, E. (2009) An evaluation of the reactivity of synthetic and natural apatites in the presence of aqueous metals Science of the Total Environment, 407 (8): 2953-2965

15.    Glab J, Wess T (2008) Changes in the Molecular Packing of Fibrillin Microfibrils During Extension Indicate Intrafibrillar and Interfibrillar Reorganization in Elastic Response. Journal of Molecular Biology, 383: 1171-1180.

16.    Gonzalez, L; Wess, T.  (2008) Use of Attenuated Total Reflection-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy to Measure Collagen Degradation in Historical Parchments. Applied Spectroscopy, 62 (10): 1108-1114.

17.    Wess TJ (2008) Collagen fibrillar structure and hierarchies. Collagen: Structure and Mechanics, 49-80.

18.    Conners R , Hill DJ, Borodina E, Agnew C, Daniell SJ, Burton NM, Sessions RB, Clarke AR, Catto LE, Lammie D, Wess T, Brady RL, Virji M. (2008) The Moraxella adhesin UspA1 binds to its human CEACAM1 receptor by a deformable trimeric coiled-coil. EMBO Journal, 27: 1779-1789

19.    Goh KL, Holmes DF, Lu HY, Richardson S, Kadler KE, Purslow PP, Wess TJ. (2008) Ageing changes in the tensile properties of tendons: Influence of collagen fibril volume fraction. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 130: 021011-8.

20.    von Lerber K, Strlic M, Kolar J, Kruger J, Pentzien S, Kennedy C, Wess T, Sokhan M, Kautek W. (2007) Laser cleaning of undyed silk: Indications of chemical change Springer Proceedings in Physics, 116: 313-320.

21.    Etok SE, Valsami-Jones E, Wess TJ, Hiller JC, Maxwell CA, Rogers KD, Manning DAC, White ML, Lopez-Capel E, Collins MJ, Buckley M, Penkman KEH, Woodgate SL (2007) Structural and chemical changes of thermally treated bone apatite. Journal of Materials Science, 42: 9807-9816.

22.    Mankelow TJ, Burton N, Stefansdottir FO, Spring FA, Parsons SF, Pedersen JS, Oliveira CL, Lammie D, Wess T, Mohandas N, Chasis JA, Brady RL, Anstee DJ (2007) The Laminin 511/521-binding site on the Lutheran blood group glycoprotein is located at the flexible junction of Ig domains 2 and 3. Blood, 110:3398-406.

23.    Kennedy CJ, Sturcova A, Jarvis MC, Wess TJ (2007) Hydration effects on spacing of primary-wall cellulose microfibrils: a small angle X-ray scattering study. Cellulose, 14: 401-408.

24.    Lammie D, Osborne J, Aeschlimann D, Wess TJ (2007) Rapid shape determination of tissue transglutaminase using high-throughput computing. Acta crystallographica section D-biological crystallography, 63: 1022-1024.

25.    Cameron, GJ; Cairns, DE; Wess, TJ (2007) The variability in type I collagen helical pitch is reflected in the D periodic fibrillar structure. Journal of Molecular Biology, 372: 1097-1107.

26.    Kennedy CJ, Cameron GJ, Sturcova A, Apperley DC, Altaner C, Wess TJ, Jarvis MC (2007) Microfibril diameter in celery collenchyma cellulose: X-ray scattering and NMR evidence.  Cellulose, 14: 235-246.

27.    Gourrier A, Wagermaier W, Burghammer M, Lammie D, Gupta HS, Fratzl P, Riekel C, Wess TJ, Paris O (2007) Scanning X-ray imaging with small-angle scattering contrast. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 40: S78-S82

28.    Dyksterhuis LB, Baldock C, Lammie D, Wess TJ, Weiss AS (2007) Domains 17-27 of tropoelastin contain key regions of contact for coacervation and contain an unusual tum-containing crosslinking domain. Matrix Biology, 26: 125-135.

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