North East Physicists recognized in National Awards

21 October 2014

The cheers from the North East Branch table on Wednesday night could be heard from across London, as two Professors from Durham University received prestigious awards from the IOP.

NE Branch awards dinner

The ceremony was held at 8 Northumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square, London. Here were assembled physicists from across the UK and some from around the world. Women and men. Young and old. From A-level students to Emeritus Professors.

However, the IOP President (Frances Saunders) was keen to stress that physics was not just about the men and women assembled in that room at that time: it is more important than ever to reach out to the 64 million other adults and children in the UK each year. In this aim the North East has been leading the way - our Institute of Physics branch has run more outreach events per member than any of the other IOP branches.

The room thundered in cheering and applause as not one, but two academics from Durham University took to the stage to receive gold medals for their work in physics research.

You can read a largely jargon-free description of the prizes here (Prof Charles Adams) and here (Prof Brian Tanner).

Each began their careers researching what were at the time considered esoteric branches of physics, but now have widespread applications thanks largely to their work. It is this that earned them their prizes and makes them an inspiration to young researchers in the North East.

Teachers, companies, innovators, and university researchers also received prizes.

All in all, the ceremony was a triumph for North East England, and a fitting celebration of the past, present, and future of physics.

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