Image of Professor Jeremy Baumberg

Prestigious prize for Fellow

A pioneering approach to science conducted on a scale a hundred times smaller than a human hair has seen a Jesus College academic awarded a prestigious physics prize.

Professor Jeremy Baumberg, a Fellow of the College, Professor of Nanophotonics and Director of the University of Cambridge Nanophotonics Centre, is the winner of the 2017 Institute of Physics’ Michael Faraday Medal and Prize.

The prize is awarded annually for outstanding and sustained contributions to experimental physics, to a physicist of international reputation.

Professor Baumberg has been honoured for “his investigations of many ingenious nanostructures”. His work supports novel and practical applications in the real world including an ‘intelligent toilet’ which tracks neurotransmitters in urine over extended periods to monitor depression and related diseases, developed with Professor Oren Scherman, also a Fellow of the College.

Alongside colleagues at the Universities of Cambridge and Bath, Professor Baumberg has also helped to create the world’s tiniest engine – just a few billionths of a metre in size – which researchers hope can create machines that swim, have pumps that take on fluid to sense the environment and are small enough to move around the bloodstream.

The award citation praises Professor Baumberg’s: “significant intuitions, often clarifying previous longstanding confusions, at the confluence of physics, chemistry, materials, biosciences, and engineering. He shows an exemplary capability across interdisciplinary domains, illuminating the essential physics driving it all.”

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Baumberg said: “It’s a nano-step on the way to truly constructing at such tiny scales, but is a pleasing recognition of all my myriad collaborations over the last few years.”

Professor Ian White, Master of Jesus College, said: “I am delighted to see Jeremy’s pioneering approach being recognised. This is a richly deserved award given his innovative thinking and research, which will no doubt continue to make a significant impact.”

Professor Baumberg will collect his award – comprising a medal, certificate and £1,000 prize – at an award ceremony in November.