New Year Honours for members

2 January 2013

Among a range of very well-deserving members who have been recognised in the New Year’s List, Professor Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, has been made a Companion of Honour.

Professor Peter Higgs
Credit: Jesse Karjalainen

The Honour – restricted to a select group of 65 for achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry, or religion – is in recognition of Professor Higgs’ services to physics, including his prediction of the existence of the boson particle which now bears his name.

Two IOP fellows have been made Knights Bachelor - Professor Keith Burnett, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, and Professor David Payne, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.

Professor Burnett has been recognised for his services to science and higher education, and Professor Payne for his services to photonics research and its applications.

IOP fellow Dr Michael Weightman, Her Majesty’s Chief Nuclear Inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation, has been made a Commander of the Order of the Bath, for services to the improvement of nuclear safety.

Three members have been made CBEs - Professor Brian Cantor, Vice-Chancellor at the University of York, is made CBE in recognition of his services to higher education; IOP fellow Professor Joanna Haigh, Head of the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, is made CBE for her services to physics; and Professor Richard Jonathan Parker, Director of Research and Technology at Rolls-Royce Group, is made CBE for services to engineering.

A further four members have been made MBEs - Dr June McCombie, Senior Research Officer at the University of Nottingham, Professor Dawood Parker, Managing Director of Melys Diagnostics, Professor Sarah Thompson, Head of the Department of Physics at the University of York, and Alan Walker, an Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. 

Dr McCombie has been recognised for her services to science, Professor Parker for his services to science and international development, Professor Thompson for her services to higher education, and Mr Walker for his services to science engagement and science education in Scotland.

Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of the Institute of Physics, said, “I’m delighted to see so many physicists on this year’s list.  It is well-deserved recognition of the contribution physics and physicists make to our society.”

Among other UK physicists recognised in the honours list was Professor Richard Holdaway, Director of RAL Space at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, made CBE for services to Science and Technology.