Following closely on the footsteps of the 2018 award, the BTM Willis Prize 2019 has been awarded to Dr Lucy Clark from the University of Liverpool, for her outstanding contributions to materials discovery and her application of neutron scattering and muon spectroscopy as a critical part of her research.
The BTM Willis prize is awarded to an individual in recognition of a single outstanding piece of work, or a longer term coherent body of work, in the application of neutron scattering to a significant problem in physics, chemistry, materials science, earth science, the life sciences, or engineering.
Dr Clark's research addresses some of the key challenges in future information technology, in understanding the chemical and physical properties of materials for applications in quantum computing and cryptography. Professor Matthew Rosseinsky nominated Dr Clark for this award. He says, “Much of Lucy's work to date has applied advanced neutron scattering methods to aid the discovery of new quantum materials. In doing so, Lucy has produced several unique realisations of low-spin, frustrated magnetic materials alongside an impressive collection of scientific outputs in internationally leading chemistry and physics journals that have undoubtedly raised the profile of UK neutron scattering and materials science."
Professor Bruce D Gaulin, Director of the Brockhouse Institute for Materials research, also supported Dr Clark's nomination. He says, “I see Dr Lucy Clark as an excellent young scientist near the beginning of her career, with both real accomplishment and great promise for future accomplishment in the science of new materials. She has employed a wide variety of neutron scattering techniques in the UK, Europe, and North America to address her interests, and these have spanned the range from sophisticated neutron diffraction to forefront muon spectroscopy. I feel she is likely to become a leader in materials science, both in the UK and internationally as her career evolves. I feel strongly that she is an excellent candidate for the 2019 BTM Willis Prize, and recommend her for this distinction without reservation."
In addition to her extensive scientific pedigree Dr Clark has made a substantial contribution to the wider scientific community, for introducing neutron scattering to undergraduate students, mentoring and inspiring the next generation of neutron scatterers, serving on review panels for three neutron facilities and developing outreach activities on magnetic materials.
Russell Ewings, the Excitations and Polarised Neutrons Group Leader at ISIS, says, “What set Lucy's work apart right from the start, and gave rise to her international renown, was the multi-method approach that she employed, with neutrons and muons playing a central role. Using the right tools for the job is a key skill for an experimental scientist, and this typically only comes (if at all) with many years of experience. It is very rare to see such a deep appreciation of the power of different neutron and muon based techniques in someone at such an early stage of their career, but Lucy has shown this appreciation from pretty much the outset. I am delighted that she has been recognised for her extraordinary endeavours."