Following undergraduate and postgraduate study in theoretical physics at the University of Edinburgh, Professor David Wallace CBE, FRS, FREng continued research at Princeton University as a Harkness Fellow. In 1972 he was appointed lecturer in the Physics Department at the University of Southampton. In 1979 he returned to the University of Edinburgh as Tait Professor of Mathematical Physics. He was also Director of Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre. He was Vice-Chancellor at Loughborough University for 12 years, from 1994. He moved to Cambridge in 2006, as NM Rothschild & Sons Professor of Mathematical Sciences & Director of the Isaac Newton Institute to 2011, and as Master of Churchill College to 2014. He is currently Vice-President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and President of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research.
He is a former President of the Institute of Physics and Treasurer and Vice-President of the Royal Society, and has served as a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, and as an Expert to the European Commission in a number of areas. More recently he has served as Chair of the Council for the Mathematical Sciences in the UK, and as a member of the management board of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. He is a Governor of Harrow School. His non-executive directorships have included the Scottish Life Assurance Company, Taylor & Francis Group plc and UK e-Universities Worldwide Ltd. He has received honorary doctorates from Heriot Watt, Edinburgh, Leicester, Loughborough, Southampton and East Anglia Universities. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire from 2001 to 2006. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. He was awarded a CBE for services to parallel computing in 1996, and knighted in 2004 for services to UK science, technology and engineering.