Leeds scientists win prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Prize

Professor Dwayne Heard is the Royal Society of Chemistry Environment Prize winner and Professor Fiona Meldrum is the Royal Chemistry Interdisciplinary Prize winner.

Professor Heard works to improve the accuracy of atmospheric models which guide legislative controls on emissions to combat global warming and deteriorating air quality.

He said: “I am very honoured to have been chosen to receive the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environment Prize. I hope that this award will acknowledge the importance of the application of fundamental techniques developed in the laboratory to the study of our atmosphere, and the interdisciplinary approach that is necessary to tackle difficult challenges associated with understanding our atmosphere. During the lecture tour I look forward to sharing my group’s research, which has taken us all over the world.”

The Environment Prize is awarded for outstanding contributions to the chemical sciences in the area of environment, sustainability and energy. Professor Heard receives £5000, a medal and a certificate.

Professor Meldrum’s research aims to develop new strategies for controlling crystallization, which has widespread everyday applications.

She explains, “Crystallisation is a process which touches every person, every day of their lives. From the formation of snowflakes or scale in a boiler, to common compounds such as table salt and pharmaceuticals, to biominerals including bones and teeth, to many advanced materials used in technologies such as batteries, the ability to control when, where and how crystals form is essential across science and technology.”

On receiving the prize, Fiona said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured by this award, which provides a testimony to all of the hard work carried out by my talented research group. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to highlight the fascinating topic of crystallisation – which is one that many of us take for granted.”

The Interdisciplinary Prize is awarded for work at the interface between chemistry and other disciplines. Professor Meldrum also receives £5000, a medal and a certificate.

The prize winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results, which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

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