Phillips Award recipients

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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