Paul Norman qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Theoretical Physics in 1995 from the University of Exeter. He went on to study the MSc in Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors at the University of Birmingham (the course that he now runs) and graduated there in 1996. Following this, he stayed on at Birmingham to do a PhD in the nuclear/particle physics area – finishing his PhD in Particle Physics at the end of 1999.
Early in 2000, Paul began his first postdoctoral position with the Nuclear physics group at Birmingham, working on the STAR experiment at Brookhaven national lab in the USA. He was the first person to find the rare Xi and Omega particles at Brookhaven – the latter of which had in fact been thought impossible to find with the first year's experimental set-up. At the end of 2000 he took a 3 year postdoc with the Particle physics group at Birmingham, following up on work from his PhD – where his results had been central to the CERN announcement in February 2000 that the Quark Gluon-Plasma state of matter (sometimes called the “4th state of matter”) had been observed at CERN, in what was probably the biggest CERN announcement for ~20 years.
At the end of 2003, Dr Norman took a lectureship in the Nuclear physics group to run the MSc course in Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors. During this time, he has seen the biggest 5 years of student intake ever (in a course which has run for 55 years), and lectures on such topics as Reactor Physics, Reactor Kinetics, Reactor Systems, Neutron Transport, and Environmental Aspects of Nuclear Power.