During his five-year tenure at CERN, Llewellyn Smith has overseen an increase in funds for the Large Hadron Collider by persuading countries outside CERN, particularly the US, to become involved in the project.

A theoretical physicist by training, Llewellyn Smith replaced Carlo Rubbia as director general of CERN in 1994. Prior to that, he streamlined Oxford university's physics departments when he became chairman of physics in 1987.

"UCL has an outstanding reputation, a vibrant atmosphere, and a great liberal and innovative tradition, " said Llewellyn Smith on his appointment to the UCL position. "It will be an exciting challenge to help further the college's standing as a world leading centre for teaching, scholarship and research across science and the arts."