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Pioneering Southampton scientist awarded prestigious physics medal

Published: 2 July 2015

University of Southampton Professor Nikolay Zheludev has been awarded the Young Medal for 2015 by the Institute of Physics. The award recognises his global leadership and pioneering, seminal work in optical metamaterials and nanophotonics.

Originally established in 1907 and now made biennially, the Young Medal recognises distinguished research in optics and is named after British physicist and polymath Thomas Young who established the wave theory of light in the early 19th century. In the past, this medal has been awarded 27 times to distinguished scientists internationally, including Nobel Prize winners Charles Townes, Arthur Schawlow, Dennis Gabor and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji. Professor Zheludev, the first recipient of the Young Medal from the University of Southampton, will be formally honoured at a ceremony in November.

Professor Zheludev is Deputy Director of the University’s globally renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre and directs the Centre for Photonic Materials at Southampton. He is also Director of the Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Throughout a distinguished career, he has been at the forefront of fields that have revolutionised optics, driven by the desire to develop new applications of photonic technologies. His work impacts on the development of high-bandwidth, low-intensity optical switching, dispersion control, data processing and optical data storage devices, light harvesting, detectors, nanolasers and components operating across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.

Professor Nikolay Zheludev

“I see this medal as a clear recognition of the internationally leading position that the University of Southampton has in photonics, the enabling technology of the twenty-first century,” said Professor Zheludev.

Professor Sir David Payne, Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, said “This is a richly-deserved accolade for Nikolay whose ground-breaking work in nanophotonics has been widely recognised as in the forefront of this rapidly expanding field. His leading international stature will be further enhanced by the prestigious Young award.”

In their citation announcing the award, the Institute of Physics have highlighted Professor Zheludev’s pioneering work on metamaterials, artificial functional photonic materials with unique functionalities not available in nature and seminal work on developing new concepts for controlling light on the nanoscale.

A graduate from Moscow State University, Professor Zheludev joined the University of Southampton in 1991. He is a Fellow of the European Physical Society, the Institute of Physics and the Optical Society of America.

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