Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

Cardiff academics pick up prestigious physics awards

Tuesday 4th July 2017

Left: Wendy Sadler MBE and the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal.  Right: Dr Jane Greaves and the Fred Hoyle Medal (All Images Credit: IOP)

Left: Wendy Sadler MBE and the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal.
Right: Dr Jane Greaves and the Fred Hoyle Medal (All Images Credit: IOP)

Two staff members from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy have been awarded prestigious medals by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Dr Jane Greaves has been awarded the Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize for her “significant contribution to our understanding of planet formation and exoplanet habitability through her seminal imaging of debris discs around Sun-like stars and solar system bodies using far-infrared telescopes.”

Wendy Sadler MBE has been awarded the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize for “establishing science made simple” – a science outreach enterprise - “which has reached more than 750,000 people with live performances promoting the relevance of physical scinces to society and careers.”

The annual IOP awards recognise and reward excellence in people and teams who have made outstanding and exceptional contributions to the strength of physics.

The Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize is awarded to someone for their distinguished contributions to astrophysics, gravitational physics or cosmology. The medal is silver and is accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

The William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize is given in recognition of the importance of promoting public awareness of the place of physics in the world, of its contributions to the quality of life and its advancement of an understanding of the physical world and the place of humanity within it. The medal is gold and is accompanied by a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.

Wendy, who set up science made simple after graduating from the School of Physics and Astronomy, was also awarded an MBE in the 2017 Queen’s birthday honours for services to science, engineering communication and engagement.

On receiving the award, Wendy said: “It’s such an honour to receive this as a recognition from the physics community. It’s always been my mission to pass on my love of the subject to a wider audience.  It’s so fundamental to everything in our world, yet so many people still think it is something to be scared of. I hope I’ve played my part in trying to change that over the years so that more people can access the wonders of physics.”

Professor Matt Griffin, Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy said: "Everyone in the School is delighted to see our colleagues appreciated in this way for their superb achievements. It is particularly pleasing to see in these awards a combination of front-rank research and public engagement - two aspects of scientific life which the School always seeks to emphasise."

Commenting on the awards, IOP president Professor Roy Sambles said: “These awards are a celebration and a recognition of excellent physics, by physicists - by which our community honours those who produce the very best work.”

“It is brilliant to see the continued creativity and cutting edge endeavours across all areas of physics throughout the UK, Ireland and internationally. The quality of the work and those undertaking it indicates that we have a very bright future ahead of us. My warmest congratulations go out to all the winners.”