Swansea Professors elected Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales

Four Swansea University academics have been elected Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales (LSW).

‌‌The Learned Society of Wales announced the results of its 2016 Election of new Fellows today (20 April), four of which are from Swansea University:

  • Professor Daniel Williams Professor of English, Director of the Richard Burton Centre
  • Professor Faron Moller, Professor of Computer Science
  • Professor James Durrant, Sêr Cymru Solar Professor
  • Professor Mark Ian Rees, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience

Election to Fellowship is a public recognition of academic excellence, and LSW Fellowship is keenly competed. Fellows are elected following a rigorous examination of their achievements in their relevant fields.  Fellows assist the Society in its work by serving on its various committees and working groups and by representing us nationally and internationally.

‌Sir Emyr Jones Parry, the Society’s President, said: “I am delighted to welcome such a wide range of outstanding individuals to the Fellowship this year. Each new Fellow is elected on the distinguished merit of their work. These new Fellows will help strengthen our capacity to support excellence across all areas of academic and public life, both in Wales and abroad.

"It is also encouraging that the proportion of female Fellows elected (26%) represents the Society’s continuing efforts to improve the representation of women amongst the Fellowship. More women are reaching the highest levels of their discipline, and this is rightly being reflected in their election to the Fellowship of the Society.”

Election to Fellowship of the Learned Society of Wales is through a rigorous five-stage election process. Fellowship is open to men and women of all ages and from all ethnic groups who have a demonstrable record of excellence and achievement in any of the academic disciplines or who, being members of the professions, the arts, industry, commerce or public service, have made a distinguished contribution to the world of learning; and who are resident in Wales, or who are persons of Welsh birth but are resident elsewhere, or who otherwise demonstrate a particular connection with Wales.

Learned Society Fellows‌Professor Daniel Williams is a leading critic in the field of Welsh writing in English with an international reputation in the fields of ethnic and transatlantic studies. His monograph Ethnicity and Cultural Authority: from Matthew Arnold to W. E. B. Du Bois was named a ‘book of the year’ in the Times Literary Supplement, and Longlisted for Wales Book of the Year. His edited collection of Raymond Williams’s writings Who Speaks for Wales? Nation, Culture, Identity has had a significant impact on the growing worldwide critical reassessment of Williams’s work and awareness of his Welsh identity. This publication established Swansea University as a key centre for Raymond Williams studies, a profile enhanced by its acquisition of the Williams archive in 2006. He is Director of the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales (as of 2010) and has formerly been director of the Centre for Research into the Literature and Language of Wales (2007-10). 

Professor Faron Moller is an international figure in theoretical computer science, who has made fundamental contributions to the theory of processes, including the unique decomposition of processes and non-finite axiomatizability in process algebra. His more recent work contributes to system modelling and verification, specifically railway signalling interlocking, line capacity and associated problems related to the safe and efficient operation of our railways. He is President of the British Colloquium for Theoretical Computer Science (BCTCS) and Director of Technocamps, a leading pan-Wales schools outreach programme (founded in 2003 at Swansea University) that engages thousands of primary and secondary school with Workshops and competitions, as well as providing Technocamps CPD training for teachers.

Professor James Durrant is one of the UK’s leading exponents of Solar Energy research. He is Director of Plastic Electronics at Imperial College, the UK’s largest programme devoted to plastic solar cells and holds the Sêr Cymru Solar Chair at Swansea University. His research focuses on chemical approached to solar energy conversion and used his fundamental research for the practical development of solar energy technologies. He is a strong advocate for the development of new materials and devices for solar energy conversion.


Professor Mark Ian Rees is a world-leading researcher into the molecular pathologies of neurological disorders such as epilepsy, discovering four hyperekplexia (startle disorder) disease genes. His work on the role of genetic mutations on understanding the origin of seizure and startle disorders has been internationally recognised. He is Founder and Director of the Wales Epilepsy Research Network (WERN) and Deputy Director of the Cardiovascular Research Group Cymru.