Frank Krauss


Office: OC201

Tel: x43751

Brief Curriculum Vitae

  • since 2019: Director of Institute for Data Science
  • since 2006: at IPPP Durham
  • 2003-2006: Junior Professor at TU Dresden
  • 2002-2003: Postdoc at CERN
  • 2000-2001: Postdoc at Cavendish Lab, Cambridge, UK
  • 1999-2000: Postdoc at Technion, Haifa, Israel
  • 1994-1998: PhD student at TU Dresden, supervised by Gerhard Soff
  • 1988-1994: Undergraduate studies at TH Darmstadt; diploma thesis supervised by Thomas Mannel and Thorsten Ohl



Journal Publications
Here’s my listing from Spires, the particle physics database of publications, and here’s the same from google scholar.
Together with John Campbell and Joey Huston I authored The Black Book of Quantum Chromodynamics, a primer on QCD in the LHC era.


Research Areas

Particle Phenomenology
My research area is the phenomenology of particle physics – this is the branch of theoretical physics that bridges the gap between theorists who construct more abstract models for the fundamental interaction of the constituents of the matter in the Universe at the smallest distances, and the experimenters that search for and measure phenomena, for example at the LHC at CERN. Phenomenologists use these models, new and old, to make predictions for observables in experiments or to calculate quantities that allow the experimenters to interpret their data as measurements of fundamental quantities.
Monte Carlo event generators
My role in this is the construction of a simulation tool that tries to describe the experimental reality in great detail. Tools such as the ones I work on are also called event generators, since they generate “events”, the plethora of particles that are produced when particles smash into each other at large energies. In these relatively violent collision the large energies of the incident beam particles are translated into showers of elementary particles which hit the detector at velocities very close to the speed of light. Event generators are the workhorses of particle physics, and are deployed for a wide range of purposes: Their output — the simulated events — is utilised to better understand detector responses to the interaction with incident particles, to help in the planning of analyses by providing an understanding of interesting signals and their backgrounds, to subtract backgrounds from signals, and to compare the most precise calculations directly with data. To fulfil these functions, they must contain all relevant physics, from the highest energies of the order of a few TeV down to the relatively low scales of MeV that characterise hadron physics. Traditional methods of evaluating quantum field theories, based upon the perturbative expansion in coupling constants, cannot fulfil this, due to two limitations: The sheer number of outgoing particles leads to a computational complexity we cannot conquer yet, and many of the produced particles are hadrons, bound states of the fundamental quarks and gluons, which form the hadrons in a phase transition that we cannot yet describe in a quantitative way. These two problems are addressed in event generators by decomposing the simulation into different phases, characterised by vastly different energy scales.

The event generator project I work on – now for more than 25 years – is called SHERPA.

We are a team of about 10 people or so from 5 countries on two continents, who work on the development, maintenance, deployment and validation of our tool.

To be more specific (and more for the specialists), here are my current research topics:

  • better description of perturbative QCD radiation through parton showers
  • the connection of the parton showers to the hard sub-process – by now this can be done at next-to leading order accuracy in Sherpa for practically arbitrary processes and at next-to-next-to leading order for two relatively simple ones
  • automatic calculation for multi-leg processes in – nearly arbitrary – models (matrix element generation and phase spacing)
  • the interface to non-perturbative QCD (fragmentation of the partons into colourless hadrons)
  • multiple interactions and the structure of hadrons
  • (new) physics at collider experiments

In addition, I collaborate with experimenters from the ATLAS collaboration on measurements of Double Parton Scattering – events where more than one pair of energetic quarks or gluons collides inside a single proton-proton scattering and gives rise to highly energetic particles.

Data Science
Currently I am the director of Durham’s Institute for Data Science. Before that I was one of two co-directors of the Durham Centre for Doctoral Training in Data-Intensive Science, held between our colleagues from Astronomy and the IPPP. We have a cohort of 15 students funded between STFC and Durham University who started in 2017, 7 students who started in October 2018, and 3 more students in 2020.

A foray into epidemiology
Driven by the recent and ongoing COVID-19 emergency I undertook a foray into the beautiful world of epidemiology. With a number of students and colleagues we wrote a simulation that describes the spread of an infectious disease through a virtual population. We build the latter based on the very granular census of the UK – specifically England and Wales – from 2011. Our code, called JUNE is freely available on github and has been published in Royal Society Open Science. It has also been adapted by three of the students, in collaboration with the UN and WHO, to the situation in refugee camps.

Past and current students
I enjoy the privilege of having worked or still working with a number of highly talented and motivated young scientists:

Name PhD Career Path Currently Publications
Edwin Herrera
Peter Meinzinger Spires
Joe Walker Durham, 2023 Data Scientist at Rosen UK Spires
Parisa Gregg Durham, 2022 Data Scientist at Jumping Rivers Spires
Alan Price Durham, 2020 Postdoc at U Siegen Postdoc at U Krakow Spires
Robin Linten Durham, 2018 Systems Engineer Optics Design and Simulation Spires
Davide Napoletano Durham, 2017 Postdoc at Paris Jussieu Assistant Professor at U Milan Spires
Silvan Kuttimalai Durham, 2016 Postdoc at SLAC, Stanford, USA Computational Physicist at UntetherAI Spires
Jennifer Thompson Durham, 2014 Postdocs at U Goettingen and U Heidelberg Data Scientist at Bosch Spires
Oliver Hall Durham, 2013 Safety Specialist at Radioactive Waste Management
Marek Schoenherr Dresden, 2012 Postdocs IPPP Durham, Zurich, and CERN Royal Society Fellow and Associate Professor at Durham Spires
Jennifer Archibald Durham, 2011 Associate at Carpmaels & Ransford LLP Spires
Frank Siegert Durham 2010 Postdoc at Freiburg Junior Research Group leader at TU Dresden, Germany Spires
Stefan Hoeche Durham, 2008 Postdocs at U Zurich, and SLAC (Stanford),
Staff Scientist at SLAC
Senior Staff Scientist at Fermilab Spires
Jan Winter Dresden, 2008 Postdocs at Fermilab, CERN, MPI Munich, U Michigan Clinical Assistant Professor at SUNY Buffalo Spires
Tanju Gleisberg Dresden, 2008 Postdoc at SLAC Director of ISEG Spires
Steffen Schumann Dresden 2007 Postdocs at U Edinburgh, U Heidelberg Professor at U Goettingen Spires
Andreas Schaelicke Dresden, 2005 Postdocs at DESY-Zeuthen, U Edinburgh Researcher at BESSY II Spires
Ralf Kuhn Dresden, 2002 Director at Alight Consulting Spires


Academic lectures on phenomenology at collider experiments, Monte Carlo event generators etc.:


Recent Talks

Particle Physics

I also gave a fun talk in the department on the status of particle physics (or, better, my perception of it)



University Teaching

Current lectures in Durham

Past lectures in Durham

Past lectures (in Dresden)


Other activities

Saturday Morning Science
In 2015 I introduced “Saturday Morning Physics”, a series of 6-8 lectures for the general public. In 2018, we promoted this to Saturday Morning Science, a series of 22 lectures that cover research interests from all departments in the faculty of Sciences.
Outreach lecture (last)