15 March 2017

Nobel Prize winner Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart returns to Sheffield's chemistry department

Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, who was a lecturer at the University of Sheffield, returned to campus to give a lecture and meet our students.

Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart with students in the Department of Chemistry.

Students in the Department of Chemistry had a unique opportunity to meet a Nobel Prize-winning scientist when Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart returned to the University of Sheffield.

Sir Fraser was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016, alongside Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Bernard L Feringa, for their work on the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

He is currently Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, but earlier in his career Sir Fraser spent 20 years as a researcher at the University of Sheffield.

This week, final year undergraduate and postgraduate chemistry students at the University of Sheffield presented posters about their research to Sir Fraser.


It was an amazing experience to be able to discuss my research with a Nobel Prize winner and I will never forget it. Sir Fraser seemed genuinely interested in the work I was presenting on nitrogen-rich compounds, and he was very friendly and down-to-earth.

Zoe Smallwood

PhD student


"Meeting Professor Stoddart has made me appreciate the impact I can make through my research, perhaps not as an individual, but certainly as part of the Sheffield family, and indeed as part of the wider scientific community."

The Nobel Prize winner was back on campus to give the Krebs Lecture, which the University hosts each year during British Science Week and the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering.

After the poster session, Sir Fraser answered questions about his field of research, his experiences as an academic and his memories of Sheffield.

Sir Fraser came to the University of Sheffield in 1970 as an ICI research fellow. He became a Lecturer in Chemistry, then Reader, before leaving the University in 1990 to take up a position at the University of Birmingham.

A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.