Three new Nobel Laureates

A trio of new Nobel Prize winners have joined the list of eminent University academics and alumni named as Nobel Laureates.

Professor Sir J Fraser Stoddart was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work done in the 1990s, when he was Head of the School of Chemistry at Birmingham. The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Professor David Thouless and Professor Mike Kosterlitz for their work over more than four decades into the discoveries of the properties of matter. 

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘As a university we are recognised for our pioneering research and this week's announcement adds to our existing count of eight Nobel Prize winners among our alumni and staff - an achievement few other universities across the globe can match.’ 

Awarded to Professor Sir J Fraser Stoddart along with Jean-Pierre Sauvage, and Bernard L Feringa, the Chemistry prize recognises work on the design and synthesis of machines on a molecular scale. This work laid the foundations for the creation of machines much smaller than a human hair.

Molecular machines and nanotechnology are areas of huge significance, and the nanochemistry and supramolecular chemistry work that Professor Stoddart began when he worked here from 1990-1997 continues today in our Schools of Chemistry and Physics.

Professor David Thouless and Professor Mike Kosterlitz received the Physics prize for research which may pave the way for revolutionary technologies such as quantum computers. They were academic members in the University’s Department of Mathematical Physics, now the Theoretical Physics Group, in 1973 and will share the prize with Professor Duncan Haldane, now of Princeton University.

Their award highlights the global importance of Physics at Birmingham, where our academics have been at the forefront of discoveries including the development of radar and the microwave oven, as well as the Higgs Boson and Gravitational Waves. 

The announcement means there are now 11 Nobel Laureates in the University of Birmingham community.