IOP names six new honorary fellows
10 November 2016
Former IOP president Dr Frances Saunders is one of six new honorary fellows named by the Institute today – the others are Dr Fabiola Gianotti, Professor James Hough, Professor Sir John Pendry, Professor Wilson Sibbett and Professor Neil Turok.
Honorary fellowship is the highest honour that the Institute can bestow and it will be conferred on the six at the IOP’s annual Awards Dinner on 29 November. They join 54 other honorary fellows on a list that includes Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Peter Higgs and Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.
Saunders (pictured above) was president of the IOP from 2013 to 2015 and was chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) from 2007 to 2012. She is made an honorary fellow for “the development of a roadmap for large facilities, and for her achievements as chief executive of DSTL”.
Gianotti has been a research scientist at CERN since 1994 and in January 2016 she became its first female director-general. She is made an honorary fellow for “her leadership in research in fundamental physics at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, through her roles as spokesperson for the ATLAS Collaboration during the period of discovery of the Higgs boson and more recently as CERN director-general”.
Hough is associate director of the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow and he is made an honorary fellow for “his contributions to research on gravitational waves”. His career has combined academic research and teaching with helping to steer science and education policy as a member of several advisory boards and committees, as well as the IOP’s Council.
Pendry is a professor of theoretical solid state physics at Imperial College London and he is made an honorary fellow for “his major contribution to physics through seminal research in surface science, photonics and metamaterials and through service to the Institute”. As well as exploring the potential for invisibility cloaks and the perfect lens, he has served on numerous bodies including the IOP’s Council and the council of the Royal Society, and was knighted for services to science in 2004.
Sibbett is an emeritus professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews. He is made an honorary fellow for “his pioneering research in optics and outstanding contributions to the physics community”. He has conducted significant research on ultrashort pulse laser science and technology and was director of the Ultrafast Photonics Collaboration. As chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee he was Scotland’s first chief scientific adviser.
Turok is director of the Perimeter Institute in Canada and his research focuses on mathematical and early-universe physics. He founded the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in South Africa, which is to be extended to 15 centres. He is made an honorary fellow for “his important scientific contributions and for the impact his humanistic vision and innovative actions as a scientist are having on international physics and on the African continent”.
Commenting on the new honorary fellows, the IOP’s president, Professor Roy Sambles, said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to our new honorary fellows.
“These six distinguished physicists have, in their different ways, made outstanding contributions to research, academia and our global physics community as a whole, and it is a privilege to be able to celebrate their successes and to welcome them as honorary fellows of the IOP.
“Such exemplary individuals hopefully inspire others to strive for equivalent excellence in their own endeavours, demonstrating the positive impact physicists and physics may have on the world.”
Full citations for all six can be accessed from the list of honorary fellows.