Jacqui Cole receives Clifford Paterson medal
11 Nov 2022



After presenting her prize lecture at the Royal Society, Professor Jacqui Cole was officially awarded the Clifford Paterson Medal, for outstanding contributions in the field of engineering.

Jacqui Cole being presented her medal at the Royal Society


Professor Jacqui Cole holds a joint appointment between ISIS and the University of Cambridge. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Clifford Paterson Medal and Lecture by the Royal Society, “for the development of photo-crystallography and the discovery of novel high-performance nonlinear optical materials and light-harvesting dyes using molecular design rules".

The lectureship was originally endowed by The General Electric Company in memory of Clifford Paterson FRS, who founded the GEC Research Laboratories in 1919. Despite being awarded the medal in 2020, it wasn't until 1 November 2022 that Jacqui was able to present her lecture.

Jacqui's research aims to provide a data-driven approach to materials discovery. She applies the latest advances in Artificial Intelligence to systematically predict new chemical materials that are tailored to a given application. Lead candidates from these materials are then validated experimentally, combining multiple techniques. These experiments are carried out at national facilities including ISIS, the Central Laser Facility, Diamond Light Source and the Research Complex at Harwell.

The focus of her lecture was on her 'chemistry aware' text-mining software, ChemDataExtractor, and its applications in the energy sector. This highlighted her extensive work applying the software to materials used in solar cells, thermoelectric devices, magnetocalorics and batteries. Her passion for the subject was clear, as was her desire to use this to develop a circular economy that preserves the natural environment.

Jacqui stood at a lecturn in front of a crowd, with a slide behind her saying "data-driven materials discovery"Jacqui holding a lego model of a thermoelectric material

She finished her lecture by thanking her 'Cole-aborators', many of whom were watching the lecture in person or online. For more information on Jacqui, and her work, you can read our recent case study about Jacqui, written for International Women's Day, or our science highlights on using ChemDataExtractor to investigate semiconductors and optical materials, photovoltaic devices and stress-strain information

You can watch the lecture on the Royal Society's YouTube channel

Image credits: Tiffany Lin Photography​

Contact: de Laune, Rosie (STFC,RAL,ISIS)