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Scientist awarded Royal Medal

A physicist at the University of St Andrews has been awarded a prestigious medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Wilson Sibbett, a leading laser scientist, was awarded the medal by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony in Edinburgh yesterday (Tuesday 11 August 2009).

The Royal Medal is awarded annually to individuals who have achieved distinction and are of international repute. Professor Sibbett, Wardlaw Professor of Natural Philosophy at St Andrews, is being honoured for his ‘outstanding specialist research contributions to laser physics and for his leadership in science’.

He said, “it is a particular honour for me to receive this Royal Medal because it recognises the importance of bridging between specialist research, such as my own in lasers, and science policy and strategies that are much more interdisciplinary and broadly based.”

In their citation, the Royal Society said, “Professor Sibbett has played a leading role in bringing Scottish research in optoelectronics and photonics into the world-leading position that it has attained today.

“In his role as Chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee (SSAC), he extended his leadership role more comprehensively across all aspects of science in Scotland, and it is unanimously recognised that he carried out these wider responsibilities in an exemplary manner.”

“He is awarded a Royal Medal for his outstanding specialist research contributions to laser physics and more generally to national and international science and technology through his many research interactions and collaborations.”

Through his chairmanship of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee (2002-2006), Professor Sibbett succeeded in helping raise the profile of science in Scotland.  An active researcher and teacher since the mid-seventies, Professor Sibbett’s work in ultrafast optical science has encompassed the design, development and application of a wide variety of novel and deployable lasers. His research in this area has successfully led to a wide range of scientific and technological applications in satellite navigation, eye surgery and the internet.

Professor Sibbett is currently engaged in an EU-funded multinational project (ARAKNES) bringing optics and robotics together for non-invasive methodologies in clinical medicine.

ENDS

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Press Officer on 01334 467227/462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk
Ref: Royal Medal 120909

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