Bill David wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry award

Monday 11 May 2015

Bill David, winner of prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry award

Bill David, winner of prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry award
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Congratulations to Bill David, ISIS, who is the Royal Society of Chemistry John B Goodenough Award winner for 2015, recognising exceptional and sustained contributions to the area of materials chemistry.

Complementary to John Goodenough’s research on lithium batteries and electrochemical storage, the principal research focus of Bill and his team at STFC is chemical energy storage, mainly using ammonia and hydrogen. Both are potential sustainable energy vectors; hydrogen can be obtained by water-splitting while ammonia can made from water and air. But they also present challenges. Hydrogen is difficult to store except under high pressure or cryogenic temperatures while ammonia, in many ways a potential direct replacement for fossil fuels, requires careful reaction control to take full advantage of its stored energy.

The John B Goodenough Award is to recognise exceptional and sustained contributions to the area of materials chemistry. Bill receives £2,000, a medal and a certificate. Established in 2008 the John B Goodenough Award (previously the Materials Chemistry Forum Lifetime Award) recognises the work of John Bannister Goodenough who helped develop the first RAM (random-access memory) of the digital computer.

In the photo, Bill is pictured with the cardboard model that he made in 1981 of the atomic structure of the lithium spinel cathode while he was a postdoc in John Goodenough’s group in Oxford. It was this model that highlighted the lithium conduction pathways and helped explain reversible lithium insertion and extraction in the spinel structure.

“It is a particular delight and honour for me to be awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry John B Goodenough Award. I had the privilege of starting my research career as a PDRA in John's group in Oxford in the early 1980s,” said Professor David.

Dr Robert Parker, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “It is always a pleasure to recognise excellence in the chemical sciences and I am pleased to acknowledge the illustrious achievements of our prize and award winners this year.

“Whether they work in research, industry or academia, our winners are the very best in their fields, and they can be very proud to follow in the footsteps of some of the most influential and important scientists around the world. 

“In a complex and changing world, chemistry and the chemical sciences are vital in responding to some of humanity’s biggest challenges and our prize and award winners are at the forefront of meeting that challenge.”
Award winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

Rewarding Excellence and Gaining Recognition

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. We want to reward those undertaking excellent work in the chemical sciences from across the world.

There are over 60 Prizes and Awards available in the main portfolio, covering all areas of the chemical sciences.  So whether you work in research, business, industry or education, recognition is open to everyone.

An illustrious list of 47 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including Harry Kroto, Fred Sanger and Linus Pauling.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With over 53,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe, we are the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 170 years of history and an international vision of the future. We promote, support and celebrate chemistry. We work to shape the future of the chemical sciences – for the benefit of science and humanity.

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