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2023 IOP Award winners

Introducing the winners of the 2023 Institute of Physics Awards.

Isaac Newton Medal and Prize

The Isaac Newton Medal and Prize is for world-leading contributions to physics by an individual of any nationality.

2023 Isaac Newton Medal and Prize winner

Professor James Binney receives the medal and prize for advancing the science of stellar dynamics and using strong physical intuition to widen and deepen our understanding of how galaxies are structured and formed.

Gold Medals

Our Gold Medals recognise outstanding and sustained contributions by physicists of international renown to a wide range of physics.

2023 Gold Medal winners

  • Professor Gavin P Salam receives the Paul Dirac Medal and Prize for profound, wide-ranging and impactful contributions to particle physics, especially those concerning the identification and structure of hadronic jets.
  • Room Temperature MASER Team receives the Michael Faraday Medal and Prize for their discovery of the world's first room-temperature solid-state organic maser and subsequent discovery of room-temperature continuous wave masing in diamond. 
  • Professor Belinda Wilkes receives the Richard Glazebrook Medal and Prize for outstanding leadership as Director of the Chandra X-ray Center, supporting the operation, exploitation and public relations of NASA's premier X-ray observatory, and significant contributions to our understanding of quasars.
  • Professor Kenneth TV Grattan and Professor Tong Sun receive the Katharine Burr Blodgett Medal and Prize for developing unique, patented, field-evaluated and now implemented photonics-based solutions for real-time monitoring of, for example, the pantograph-overhead line interface in electrified trains.
  • Professor Sally Jordan receives the Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize for work in advancing pedagogy, understanding demographic differences in attainment and in developing tools to allow computer assessment of free-text answers, which are in use across the world.
  • The Schools' Observatory receives the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize for an outstanding contribution to inspiring young people and teachers to succeed in their STEM journey, making the universe accessible to everyone, empowering people to know more and do more.

Silver Subject Medals

Our Silver Subject Medals are awarded annually to recognise and reward distinguished contributions to physics.

2023 Silver Subject Medal winners

  • Professor David Andrews and Professor Ventsislav Valev receive the Thomas Young Medal and Prize for the discovery of chirality-sensitive optical harmonic scattering, first predicted theoretically in 1979 and demonstrated experimentally 40 years later.
  • Professor David Jenkins receives the Ernest Rutherford Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to experimental nuclear physics and commitment to widening participation.
  • Professor Lev Kantorovich receives the David Tabor Medal and Prize for new theories of molecular diffusion and kinetics of two-dimensional assembly of molecules on surfaces, and origins of atomistic resolution in atomic force microscopy imaging, energy dissipation and molecular manipulation.
  • Professor Carole Mundell receives the Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize for the groundbreaking discovery of the critical role of magnetic fields in black-hole driven explosions and for pioneering novel astrophysical polarimetry of gamma ray bursts to probe the dynamic universe.
  • Professor Ulrich Schneider receives the Joseph Thomson Medal and Prize for groundbreaking experiments on the collective dynamics of quantum gases in optical lattices, including fundamental studies of localization effects in both disordered and quasicrystalline systems.
  • Professor Nikolas Mavromatos receives the John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh Medal and Prize for fundamental contributions to theoretical physics, especially the suggestion of quantum gravity-induced modifications of the vacuum optical properties, a proposition that led to a new arena of theoretical and experimental investigation.
  • Professor Emeritus Borivoj Vojnovic receives the Peter Mansfield Medal and Prize for pioneering and sustained contributions to the field of cancer research, through development of novel sensing, imaging and ionizing radiation technologies applied to basic translational and medical research.
  • Professor Themis Bowcock receives the James Chadwick Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to the design, construction and operation of major detector and computing systems that have underpinned quark and lepton-flavour measurements worldwide.
  • Professor Louise Harra receives the Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Medal and Prize for pioneering contributions to the development of extreme ultraviolet imaging and spectroscopy instrumentation for solar space missions and its application to further our understanding of dynamic activity on the Sun.
  • Dr Harry Cliff receives the Lise Meitner Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to the public understanding of physics, through exhibitions, festivals, talks, magazine articles and a popular science book, which together have reached millions of people.
  • Dr Ramsey Faragher receives the Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize for for numerous innovations in signal processing and sensor fusion, including the invention and commercialisation of the Supercorrelation™ technique that greatly increases the accuracy, sensitivity and security of global navigation satellite system receivers.
  • Professor Clemens Kaminski receives the Rosalind Franklin Medal and Prize for the development of optical methods to interrogate molecular mechanisms in biological systems.
  • Professor Ji-Seon Kim receives the Nevill Mott Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to the materials physics of molecular semiconductor devices, including the pioneering integration of spectroscopy and simulation to elucidate the key processes determining device performance.
  • Professor Ulrich Keyser receives the Sam Edwards Medal and Prize for pioneering the study of transport of structured nucleic-acid molecules through nanopores and the quantification of out-of-equilibrium polymer dynamics at the single-molecule level.
  • Professor Jan-Theodoor Janssen receives the James Joule Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to fundamental and practical quantum electrical metrology.

Bronze Early Career Medals

Our Bronze Early Career medals are for exceptional physicists in the early stages of their careers.

2023 Bronze Early Career Medal winners

  • Dr Hannah Stern receives the Henry Moseley Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to the understanding of electronic processes in molecular semiconductors and two-dimensional materials, including identification of a spin qubit in a two-dimensional material.
  • Dr Alasdair Price and Dr Euan Allen receive the Clifford Paterson Medal and Prize for developing and commercialising a world-leading integrated photonics platform for optical coherence tomography, and designing a personal eye scanner around it to prevent sight loss from age-related macular degeneration.
  • Dr Nicole Yunger Halpern receives the Mary Somerville Medal and Prize for vivifying Victorian physics in the public imagination by casting (quantum) thermodynamics as steampunk in writing and art, breaking barriers between disciplines.
  • Dr Nikolas Breuckmann receives the James Clerk Maxwell Medal and Prize for outstanding contributions to the quantum error correction field, particularly work on proving the no low-energy trivial state conjecture, a famous open problem in quantum information theory.
  • Raquel López-Ríos de Castro receives the Jocelyn Bell Burnell Medal and Prize for exceptional contributions to improving the inclusivity and diversity within postgraduate research programmes in the UK while developing multidisciplinary techniques for the design of next-generation anti-cancer therapeutics.

Phillips Award

The Phillips Award rewards innovative ideas or activities that have made major contributions to the IOP's objectives, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2023 Phillips Award winners

  • Dr Hugh Deighton receives the Phillips Award for taking a leading role in initiating, developing and chairing the Institute of Physics Retired Members’ Network, which aims to help members remain active in the physics community in their retirement, and for important contributions to several Special Interest Groups as well as the London and South East Branch.
  • Dr Francesca M Doddato receives the Phillips Award for outstanding contributions and service to promoting equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility within the Institute of Physics and creation of the I&D Advocates Initiative.
  • Dr June McCombie receives the Phillips Award for pioneering and sustained contributions to diversity and inclusion within the physics and broader STEM community.

Teachers of Physics Award

The Teachers of Physics awards celebrate the success of secondary school physics teachers who have raised the profile of physics and science in schools.

2023 Teachers of Physics Award winners

  • Dr Panos Athanasopoulos wins for teaching excellence and an inclusive approach, outstanding support of colleagues, work with trainee teachers and contributions to the broader community at conferences and in online forums.
  • Jed Marshall wins for outstanding creativity and innovation in the classroom, extraordinary range of staff development locally and nationally, and work with pupils at an international level.
  • Khushali Mills wins for highly enthusiastic and skilled teaching raising the profile of physics in the school, committed and thorough development of colleagues, and outstanding work with pupils through extracurricular activities.
  • Amelia Ross wins for providing passion and enthusiasm for the subject, teaching excellence, inclusive teaching and outstanding leadership of professional development within and school and local area.
  • Christopher Rossi wins for exceptional knowledge and classroom practice, development of pupils, and support of colleagues, trainee teachers, technicians and staff in the local community of schools and nationally through examination work.
  • Tom Squires wins for inspirational and inclusive teaching and outstanding work with underrepresented groups, support for colleagues, and development of numerous links across the educational community.
  • Wayne Tabernor wins for supportive and inclusive teaching, work with underrepresented groups, curriculum development, and outstanding work with the wider educational community.

Honorary Fellows

Our Honorary Fellowships acknowledge physicists who have contributed to physics generally or to the work of the IOP.

2023 Honorary Fellows

In 2023, Honorary Fellowships have been conferred upon:

  • Professor Emeritus Alan Miller for outstanding research and support for early career researchers through his leadership of successful new initiatives.
  • Professor Carole G Mundell for outstanding contributions to astrophysics research and strategic science policy, and taking a leading role in championing diversity and women in STEM.
  • Dr Mark Richards for inspiring contributions, advocacy and commitment to increasing equity in physics, including the development of the UK’s first network of Black physicists: the Blackett Lab Family.
  • Professor Ian Shipsey for leadership in experimental particle physics, particularly the elucidation of the flavour problem and the development of novel instrumentation in many areas of physics, leading the physics community in new scientific directions.
  • Professor Sir Tejinder Singh Virdee for outstanding achievements in particle physics, particularly as a founder of the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, and his support for physics in Africa.

Technician Awards

The Technician Awards recognise and celebrate the skills and experience of technicians and their contribution to physics.

2023 Technician Award winners

  • Dr Jason Anderson for outstanding contributions to modernising taught laboratories in line with contemporary research practices, and enabling delivery of remote and hybrid practical sessions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Razika Berboucha for connecting students with real-world science and immersing them in the art of being true scientists.
  • Dr Steve Collins and Richard J Webb for their outstanding technical expertise and support to students and staff as part of the undergraduate physics laboratory at the University of Sheffield. 
  • William Luckhurst for outstanding technical support and leadership in the development of research infrastructure in King's College London, enabling generations of researchers to reach their potential across a range of disciplines.
  • Andrés Tretiakov for a passion and commitment to science education that has inspired young people, teachers and parents through school, outreach programmes, science festivals and social media. 

Apprentice and Apprenticeship Employer Awards

The Apprentice and Apprenticeship Employer Awards celebrate the contributions that apprentices make to physics, and recognise employers that demonstrate their commitment and contribution to scientific and engineering apprenticeship schemes. 

2023 Apprentice Award

Saskia Burke for continued excellence in metrology: from underpinning radiopharmaceutical delivery, to winning funding to run her own research into the half-life of silicon-32 by mass spectrometry, improving climate change modelling. 

2023 Apprenticeship Employer Award

British Airways for creating a market-leading aeronautical engineering apprenticeship, building a lasting talent pipeline of future aircraft engineers and providing the student community with skills for life.

Business Awards

The IOP Business Awards recognise the vital role physics and physicists play in our economy, creating jobs and growth by powering innovation to meet the challenges facing us today, ranging from climate change to better healthcare and food production.

2023 Business Innovation Award winners

  • Coherent Scotland receives a Business Innovation Award for the development of a range of cost-effective, turnkey, ultrafast lasers for life sciences, nanomanufacture and inspection applications.
  • Focal Point Positioning receives a Business Innovation Award for pioneering and commercialising the methods and techniques needed to enable synthetic aperture processing on low-cost consumer devices such as smartphones and smartwatches.
  • Keit Industrial Analytics receives a Business Innovation Award for the development and application of a novel Fourier transform spectroscopy and its application in revolutionising the monitoring and control of production processes.

2023 Business Start-Up Award winners

  • Dyneval receives a Business Start-Up Award for developing an innovative analyser for precise measurement of semen quality pen-side to improve the efficiency of livestock production while reducing methane emissions.
  • Nebu~Flow receives a Business Start-Up Award for exceptional efforts in commercialisation of scientific research into a product, transforming respiratory drug delivery.
  • Occuity receives a Business Start-Up Award for the development of groundbreaking medical diagnostic instruments that enable fast, pain-free and non-contact screening and monitoring of ophthalmic and chronic diseases using the eye as a window to health.
  • Siloton receives a Business Start-Up Award for the development of a personal optical coherence tomography system, capable of reducing sight loss caused by age-related macular degeneration.
  • turboTEM receives a Business Start-Up Award for the development of a range of cost-effective modular and retrofittable upgrades to expand the performance, flexibility or usable service life of electron microscopes.

2023 Lee Lucas Award winner

  • ArtioSense receives the Lee Lucas Award for the development of novel, microfluidics-based force sensing technology as an intraoperative surgical aid to facilitate precision orthopaedic surgery.