2011 Business and Innovation Medal of the Institute of Physics

Dr Graham John Batey

Oxford Instruments NanoScience

For sustained outstanding contribution to the application of low temperature physics in an industrial high technology environment.

Dr Graham Batey has worked at the forefront of Oxford Instruments market leading low temperature product engineering for a combined 17 years from 1985 to the present day leading numerous innovations in low temperature applications. 

For more than a century low temperature research has depended on the use of expensive cryogenic liquids. The typical equipment employed can be large in size and cumbersome to use with limited appeal to users in new and emerging applications. Recent innovations in cryogen free technology have allowed pulse tube refrigerators to be used to replace conventional liquid cryogens. This technological advance alongside advances in Quantum Information Processing research has created a resurgence of interest in low temperature research. 

It is in this resurgent area that Dr Batey has played a pivotal role turning applied physics concepts into practical engineering solutions. He has led a team of engineers to develop and enhance Oxford Instruments cryogen free dilution refrigerator products. Following on from initial development and prototyping a comprehensive program of work was followed to make this novel technology development a commercial success. As a result, cryofree dilution refrigerator sales have grown tenfold over a 3 year period.

The vast majority of systems built are for export and many of these systems go to prestigious sites outside the UK such as IBM, Harvard and Yale.