Phillips Award recipients


Dimitra Darambara

Dr Dimitra Darambara

For her significant contributions to the IOP through a number of special interest groups and championing the medical physics discipline.

Dr Dimitra Darambara has been instrumental in the recognition of IOP as a force within physics as applied to medicine by raising the profile of medical physicists both internally and to the wider scientific community and society, and she has significantly impacted the activities of multiple groups within the IOP.

As former chair of the Medical Physics Group she recognised the need to build strong links between academia, the NHS and the healthcare industry. She has played a leading role in creating and coordinating a wide range of activities which truly reflect the modern and diverse make-up of the discipline. This has encouraged a greater commitment to delivering physics-based solutions to healthcare challenges and introducing them to the clinic, including initiating the translational science meetings as a popular annual fixture in the group calendar.

Darambara served as trustee on the Mayneord-Phillips Memorial Trust Board, acting as secretary and chair. She has been a member of the Policy Centre Healthcare & Biomedical Engineering Topic Group, RAE and represented medical physics and IOP on the Science Council’s ‘Science in Health’ Strategy Group. In 2018 she successfully proposed the creation of the IOP Peter Mansfield Medal and Prize to recognise distinguished contribution to medical physics. She remains a committed and active member of the group.

She is internationally recognised for her research, as reflected by her chairing the 2019 IEEE Medical Imaging Conference, the key international multidisciplinary medical imaging event of the year, further raising the profile of IOP in the field.

Darambara has passionately encouraged the participation, retention and recognition of the impact of women physicists. She held the chair of the Women in Physics Group (2000-2003) and represented IOP on the WISE National Coordinating Committee, as co-chair of the UK national delegation at the 1st IUPAP WIP conference (2002, Paris), and co-author of IUPAP/IOP Report ‘Women Physicists Speak’. Her work helped to consolidate the reputation of IOP internationally as a supporter of female physicists.

She is a founder member of the Higher Education Group and served as a committee member and newsletter editor. She represented the IOP at ESOF2014 and AAAS2017 – global events raising awareness of science in the general public – as an invited speaker. She is a member of the Science Policy Advisory Group and physics judge at the SET Educational Awards.

Darambara’s contribution to IOP is extensive and her leadership and innovation have made impactful contributions to IOP objectives.


Jamie Hobbs

Professor Jamie Hobbs

For his significant contributions to the IOP Biological Physics Group through building the community and inputting into policy.

Professor Jamie Hobbs chaired the IOP Biological Physics Group committee from 2014-2018, acted as secretary 2012-2014 and has been a member since 2008. His service as chair is especially valuable since he took over at short notice upon the sudden departure of Professor Paul O’Shea.

Hobbs has been responsible for innovations that have greatly enhanced the Biological Physics Group work. Perhaps most importantly, in 2014 he established the annual Tom Duke Memorial Lecture Series. This involves a series of UK lectures, specifically targeting physics departments without a strong biological physics presence. Recipients so far are Professor Martin Howard, Professor Andrew Turberfield and, for 2018, Dr Robert Endres. This both honours the outstanding contribution of Professor Duke, and promotes biological physics across the UK.

Hobbs also initiated the group newsletter, providing news of group events, opinions and discussion, and bringing together the UK’s biological physics community. He ran the newsletter for its first three years. He has also interacted extensively with the UK biological physics community to feedback information to IOP concerning issues such as the nurse review and the coverage of biological physics in the undergraduate physics curriculum.

Hobbs has been involved in organising two major IOP Physics Meets Biology conferences, and has acted as a point of contact for the group for the major UK Biophysics IUPAB/EBSA conference in 2017 (~2000 participants). He also co-organised an IOP workshop on ‘Quantitative approaches to Antimicrobial Resistance’ in 2017.

In addition to his work for the Biological Physics Group, Jamie increased the external influence of IOP by co-leading the EPSRC ‘Understanding the Physics of Life’ Network Plus (PoLNet) which ran from 2012 to 2016. This network organised numerous events for established and early career researchers (many co-sponsored by IOP), and its success is evidenced by the funding by EPSRC of a successor network, ‘PolNet2’, for which Hobbs is on the steering committee.

Hobbs’ work for the Biological Physics Group and PoLNet have played a major role in defining the identity of the growing biological physics community in the UK – applying physics to answer biological questions. Because it is new and interdisciplinary this community is especially in need of efficient networking, advocacy and leadership. Hobbs has been and continues to be outstanding in this role.


John Williams

Dr John Williams

For his significant contributions to the Yorkshire branch committee and 45 years’ service organising branch lectures in Sheffield and involvement in national education group activities. 

Dr John Williams joined the IOP Yorkshire branch committee 45 years ago in 1974. During that time Williams has served as honorary secretary and treasurer, vice-chair and chair and more recently as the Sheffield representative as well as representing IOP on the University of Sheffield Court.

Throughout these 45 years John has organised and hosted the Yorkshire branch lectures of IOP in Sheffield. These talks are open to both members of the University and the general public. They are typically attended by a wide spectrum ranging from members of other departments and other universities, members of local astronomical societies, local industrial scientists, school students and their teachers as well as members of the general public. The number of pupils who attend from local schools is always impressively large.

These lectures are designed to appeal to, and to be accessible to, people with a wide range of physics knowledge and cover topical and exciting subjects. Their success can be measured by the typical audience size which recently has averaged 100~150. At the lower size of ~100 it is likely that ~27,000 people have attended these lectures over the last 45 years. These lectures have consistently been the major physics IOP outreach activity in the South Yorkshire region.

Williams has also until recently organised the national annual schools physics lectures in Sheffield. These have been delivered by a series of acclaimed physics communicators on an annual basis throughout the UK. The lectures use demonstrations and interactivity to enthuse students and show how their classroom science relates to modern fields of physics. The free presentation takes the form of an illustrated lecture-demonstration that is designed to show school pupils contemporary developments in physics in an engaging and stimulating way.

These lectures regularly brought in 400 (the maximum allowed in the University's Firth Hall) school children and teachers from the areas around Sheffield. These lectures have been of an exceptional standard and attendees have appreciated the opportunity to visit a university and to be entertained by exciting physics.

Williams was also a member of the Institute's Education Group committee and a founder member of the Higher Education Group.



Stuart Palmer Phillips Award Winner 2018

Stuart Palmer

For leadership and influence at IOP – crucial to steering the Institute through a change of CEO, a major reorganisation of structures and finance and the critical decision to move from Portland Place to the new building in King’s Cross. For commitment and service to the Institute spanning three decades.

Stuart Palmer gave unstintingly of his time and indeed for a period during the change in CEO was in effect running the Institute as interim CEO – playing a pivotal role in the restructuring of IOP. He has given long service to the Institute in a number of roles, among others as a founding member of the Medical Physics Group, Committee Member on the Neutron Scattering Group, Chair of the Magnetism Group and Condensed Matter Division, Chair of the Standing Conference of Physics Professors, Chair of the Groups Committee, Secretary-General of IUPAP and Chair of the IOP Publishing Board.

Stuart deserves particular recognition by members for his recent service as Honorary Secretary. He used the initial period of this role to listen carefully to members’ needs and that input helped form the basis of the restructuring, which has been largely successful. In 2011, Stuart held things together during the interregnum until Paul Hardaker was appointed as CEO and he subsequently played an important role in the recruitment of senior staff.

During the latter part of Stuart’s period as Honorary Secretary he was central in the discussions that led to the decision to move from Portland Place to the new building in King’s Cross. Subsequently he led, and still does lead, the Steering Group for this major project. His support and steady leadership has been crucial in navigating the complexities of legal, planning and contractual issues, while also maintaining relations with the local council and our new neighbours.

Nicola Wilkin Phillips Award Winner 2018

Nicola Wilkin

For dedicated time and effort in championing the work of the IOP nationally and internationally – at events, workshops and conferences – and as an ambassador for equality throughout the physics community.

Nicola Wilkin’s contributions to the work of the Institute over many years are very substantial, her having previously served on the IOP Council (2009–13), been Honorary Secretary for the Women in Physics Group (2006-08), Honorary Secretary of the Higher Education Group (2015–17), Honorary Secretary of the Quantum Optics, Quantum Information and Quantum Control Group (2012–14), Vice Chair of the Mathematical Physics Group (2009–10) and Chair of the Superconductivity Group (2002–05). She has also been a Member of the Group Co-ordination Committee (2008–13) and IOP Education Committee (2015–16), and is currently a member of our Juno Assessment Panel (2016 to present).

Nicola is currently Director of Education for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and in this role is involved in the Teaching Excellence Framework subject pilot – to help inform student choice and recognise and reward excellent teaching. She was awarded the Teaching Academy Award for Teaching Innovation at the University of Birmingham in December 2015.

Nicola instigated the IOP’s Childcare Survey in 2010, which resulted in the establishment of our Carers’ Fund to support members with caring commitments to attend events and conferences. She co-chaired the School of Physics and Astronomy’s Equality Committee and stewarded the school to its successful equality awards – Juno Champion and then Athena SWAN Silver – awards that were very much a result of Nicola’s tenacity, drive and continual flow of creative ideas for supporting women in education. Nicola was also the academic mentor for the launch of the first oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in England.

Nicola played the leading role in delivering the highly successful International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP) at the University of Birmingham in July 2017, co-sponsored by IOP – a triennial event and the only conference that addresses the status of women in physics across the world, as a vehicle for change. Nicola chaired the Local Organising Committee and raised over £100k in sponsorship for the conference – including supporting the attendance of 49 women physicists from developing countries. Alongside the conference, she collaborated on an art installation celebrating women in physics, ‘Making Space’, and enabled international early-career researcher delegates from developing countries to spend a day ‘embedded in the lab’ with delegates spending time with gravitational waves, theoretical physics and the Quantum Technology Hub at Birmingham University, an innovative addition to the conference programme.



Dr Heather Williams
Central Manchester University Hospitals
For her significant contributions to the IOP through the Women in Physics Group

Heather Williams is chair of the IOP Women in Physics Group, a senior medical physicist for nuclear medicine for Manchester University Hospitals, consultant for the Ogden Trust and co-founder/director of ScienceGrrl.

Williams’s efforts to enhance the profile of the Women in Physics Group Prize contributed to it being renamed the Jocelyn Bell Burnell Medal and Prize, which was first presented under that new name at the annual IOP awards in 2016 by Dame Jocelyn herself.

She has assisted in establishing the annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP) in the UK, inspiring undergraduates to pursue physics as a professional career, and as chair of the Women in Physics Group supported the coordination of the IUPAP International Conference for Women in Physics. Her membership of the Women in Physics Group also spurred her to establish ScienceGrrl, a national network of more than 25,000 enthusiasts.

Williams spends her time outside the lab raising the profile of medical physics and the IOP, regularly giving interviews for print media as well as appearing on radio and speaking at science festivals and popular science conferences. She was named one of the UK's leading practising scientists by the Science Council in 2014 and received an Alumni Laureate from the University of Nottingham.

Williams has contributed significantly to the careers of many young women, building the networks and confidence of early career researchers across the country. As a committed member of the IOP she speaks regularly to schools and students across the country. 



Brian Fulton

Professor Brian Fulton

Professor Brian Fulton has made a substantial contribution to the work of the Institute of Physics and the UK nuclear physics community over many years. As well as serving on the IOP Council, Fulton played a leading role in the co-ordination of the UK nuclear physics community, serving on the Divisional Affairs Committee as chair of the Nuclear and Particle Physics Division and on the Nuclear Physics Group. He was instrumental in the UK Heads of (Nuclear) Groups forum, co-ordinating the activities of the leaders of the nuclear physics community, and frequently assumed a leading role in the community, which became crucial in the 1990s and early 2000s following the loss of the UK’s own nuclear physics facility. He was appointed to the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Particle Physics, Astronomy and Nuclear Physics committee in 2007. More recently, as head of department at the University of York, he has stewarded the department to Project Juno Champion status and subsequently chaired the Institute’s Juno Assessment Panel.


Mark Telling

Dr Mark Telling

Dr Mark Telling joined the IOP London and South East Branch committee as treasurer in 2009 before assuming the role of chair in 2012. During his tenure Telling has overseen a number of significant changes that have helped the branch to more accurately reflect the modern and diverse make-up of the region. He was the principal driving force behind the IOP’s national 3 Minute Wonder science communication competition, a platform that champions the work of early career researchers and allows IOP branches throughout the UK to collaborate. He has also contributed to the IOP’s career development strategy, championed the IOP for Africa initiative and served on the IOP Nominations Committee; in all instances going beyond the duties of branch chair to promote physics both internally and to the wider community.




James Hough

Professor James Hough OBE

Professor James Hough is an IOP fellow, chairs the IOP’s Scottish Education Committee and is a member of the IOP’s Education Committee for the UK, helping to steer science and education policy in Scotland, the UK and Europe. He has served on several committees in the UK and internationally. He is currently the emeritus holder of the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow and associate director of the university’s Institute of Gravitational Research. His numerous awards include the IOP’s Duddell Prize and he is a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.




Professor Julian Jones OBE

Professor Julian Jones, vice-principal of Heriot-Watt University, is honorary treasurer of the Institute. He is a member of Council and has previously chaired the IOP’s Optics and Photonics Division, the Optical Group, the Institute of Physics in Scotland and the IOP’s Scottish Education Committee. He has been a member of the Institute’s Education Board and its External Affairs Committee. He was also editor of the IOP’s Journal of Measurement Science and Technology from 1992 to 1999. Prof. Jones is a fellow of the IOP, of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Optical Society of America, and has served on numerous scientific committees. He is a director of OptoSci Ltd.



Bob Boutland

Bob Boutland was a founding member of the Physics Communicators Group in 2008, serving on the interim committee and then the full committee, editing the newsletter. He was then treasurer of the Physics Communicators Group from 2009 to 2012 and carried out all his duties with the greatest esteem.

Bob has been an active member of the London and South East Branch of the IOP for many years. He is currently treasurer and has previously acted as Educational Representative on the committee. Bob is also editor of the London and South East Branch newsletter and website, and is actively involved in organising their programme of events.

A retired physics school teacher, Bob still ensures that his teaching skills are put to good use taking Physics In Primary Schools (PIPS) presentations into primary schools ( and encouraging others to do the same. He is a regular judge of IOP physics prizes across the south east, such as the Big Bang Fair. He also organises regular events for schools exploring the physics of music with the Woofyt, a 1-octave wooden organ that pupils have to play together.

Bob typifies the contributions from IOP members that keep the activities of the Institute running, generously contributing hundreds of hours of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment over many years.



Ann Marks

Ann Marks MBE CPhys FInstP and Neil Marks CPhys FInstP (Joint Award)

Ann and Neil Marks (joint award) have made significant contributions to the IOP throughout their professional careers, with a particular emphasis on Merseyside, education and public engagement.

They have succeeded each other as chair of the Merseyside Branch and as the branches’ representative on Council. In their time leading Merseyside they initiated the branch  teachers’ visits to CERN and promoted other initiatives, including  the successful annual  Liverpool Teachers Conference and   partnerships  with other societies and institutes in the area.

Ann has also been a leading member of the Women in Physics Group since its inception, serving as chair and representing the IOP at the IUPAP Women in Physics Conferences. She established an annual IOP award for early career women physicists, with a commercially sponsored prize. She has served on Group Coordinating Committee, Diversity Committee and (still) Physics Communicators Group Committee.  In addition she chaired Nations and Regions Board and was a member of its Branches Review Working Party. She has played a major role in the Physics in Primary Schools (PIPS) project, which now has wide international  recognition.  


As Nations and Regions Board chair Neil successfully steered through the sometimes complex issues in connection with the roles for the newly created IOP Regional Representatives.   During his service on the Audit and Risk Committee Neil defined IOP procurement procedures. He was awarded the inaugural Particle Accelerators and Beams Group prize for outstanding professional contributions.


John Colligon

John Colligon CPhys FInstP

Prof. John Colligon was secretary of the Atomic Collisions in Solids Group and brought it into the IOP group structure during the early 1970s. It remains an active IOP group, now known as the Ion and Plasma Surface Interactions (IPSI) Group. For this founding role, and a term as chair, the IPSI Group made him an honorary life member.

He was a committee member, secretary and chair of the Vacuum Science Group and his links with the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications, during his time as recording secretary and secretary general, allowed him to create the European Vacuum Conference.

In 2003 he became chair of the IOP’s Surface Science and Technology Division, which had three groups. He obtained Council approval to change its name to the Applied Physics and Technology Division: this had 17 groups. A new conference was established, Novel Applications of Surfaces and Materials, which has run every two years or so.

He has served on Council, and on his branch committee, and given talks at events organised by the branch, including its teachers’ conference. He was chair of the IOP’s Audit and Risk Committee for three years.



Lisa Jardine-Wright

Lisa Jardine-Wright

Lisa Jardine-Wright has worked tirelessly and creatively to expand the reach and range of activities organised by the East Anglia Branch, most recently as the branch’s chair.

As part of her outreach activities at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, Jardine-Wright runs the annual “Physics at Work” week, attracting more than 2000 secondary students from across southern England. Although this has run for many years, she makes a huge commitment to ensuring, and expanding, its success each year.

She has also taken the branch’s annual physics event, historically held in Cambridge, to a local school in Ipswich, with further expansion to Norwich this year. The event attracts young children from age five and up with a range of activities, talks and demonstrations, with the most recent attracting approximately 400 people.

Jardine-Wright has pioneered the use of video conferencing tools to reach schools across the region and well beyond, and she instigated the “Three Minute Wonder” competition held in January.

Colin Latimer

Colin Latimer

Colin Latimer has made significant contributions to the Institute for nearly 40 years. He has been a committee member, secretary and chair of the Atomic and Molecular Interaction Group, the Institute of Physics in Ireland (1980–89) and the Division of Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics (DAMOPP) (1999–2005).

As chair of DAMOPP he played a pivotal role in the establishment of a new national conference following the International Review of Physics in 2005. He has served on Council as a division representative (2002–06), and as honorary treasurer
(2007–11), in which role he brought fresh thinking to IOP procedures, challenging accepted norms and encouraging officers and committee members to reconsider practices.

He is honorary treasurer of the European Physical Society and has been a member of IOP Publishing’s board and the management board of the New Journal of Physics, and honorary editor of Journal of Physics B.

Latimer has contributed not just a huge amount of time to the IOP, but also flexible thinking and a range of creative ideas that have improved the IOP’s activities and its role in the physics community.

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