Nobel Prize-winning scientist returns to Birmingham for lecture

Birmingham alumnus and Nobel Prize Laureate (2016), Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart.

University of Birmingham alumnus and 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart will deliver a special lecture at Birmingham on his ground-breaking work. 

Sir Fraser will deliver the Nobel Lecture “The Nature of the Mechanical Bond : From Molecules to Machines” at the University's Haworth Lecture Theatre at 18:30 on Tuesday 1 November 2016. A few places are still available for the lecture, which is free-of-charge.  If you are interested in attending, please register.  

One of three former Birmingham scientists represented in this year’s Nobel Laureate list, Sir Fraser received the award for work done in the 1990s, when he was Head of the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham. 

Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, says:  "I am delighted that Sir Fraser is returning to the University of Birmingham to deliver what promises to be a fascinating talk on his Nobel prize winning work,  including that done here in the 1990s. 

“Molecular machines and nanotechnology are areas of huge significance and I am immensely proud that the work which Sir Fraser started at Birmingham continues in both the Schools of Chemistry and Physics to this day. He has inspired countless young people, during his five-decade career to date, and I am sure all those who hear Sir Fraser deliver his lecture will be equally enthralled." 

The Nobel Prize was awarded jointly to Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart along with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Bernard L. Feringa, for their work into the design and synthesis of molecular machines. Their work has ‘miniaturised machines and taken chemistry to a new dimension,’ according to Nobel judges at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Sir Fraser’s contribution to the research involved the development of a mechanically-interlocked molecule called a ‘rotaxane’, achieved by threading a molecular ring on to a dumbbell-shaped molecular axle - demonstrating the ring was able to move along it. Among developments based on his work on rotaxanes are a molecular lift, a molecular muscle and a molecule-based computer chip. 

Sir Fraser, who received an honorary degree from the University of Birmingham in 2005, began his research at the University of Sheffield in the 1980s before joining the University of Birmingham from 1990 until 1997. The Nobel Prize references his work during that period. 

ENDS

Notes to Editors: 

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The award brings the total number of Nobel Prize winners from the University of Birmingham to eleven, and is the third received in the field of Chemistry.
  • The legacy of Professor Sir Fraser's chemistry at Birmingham still continues today through the Biomolecular, Supramolecular and Nanoscale Chemistry Research Unit, one of the four research units within the University’s School of Chemistry. 

For more information or interviews, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.