25 June 2020

Prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry award won by Sheffield professor

Professor Steve Armes has won the organisation's Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry award 

Steven Armes

Professor Steve Armes has been named winner of the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry’s Soft Matter and Biophysical Chemistry award for his pioneering contributions in developing biocompatible polymers.

Professor Armes is the University’s Professor of Polymer and Colloid Chemistry and his research focuses on various types of microscopic polymer particles and is currently supported by a four-year EPSRC Particle Technology Fellowship.

It has inspired the development of dirt-shedding house paint, anti-reflective coatings for more efficient solar cells, new lubricants for automotive engine oils, next-generation laser toners, more efficient inkjet ink formulations and novel synthetic mimics for understanding the behaviour of micro-meteorites.

Professor Armes, who moved to Sheffield in 2004 to become Professor of Polymer and Colloid Chemistry, was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 2014. He received a PhD from the University of Bristol in 1987 before working on a post doctoral Fellowship at the Las Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

On receiving the award, he said: “I was absolutely delighted to hear that the Royal Society of Chemistry had decided to honour me with its 2020 Soft Matter and Biophysical Award.

“This prize recognises the hard work of many excellent PhD students and postdoctoral scientists that I have had the pleasure of supervising over the past 16 years at the University of Sheffield.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

Dr Helen Pain, acting chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport and everything in between. In recognising the work of Professor Armes, we are also recognising the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day. 

“We live in an era of tremendous global challenges, with the need for science recognised now more so than ever – so it is important to recognise those behind the scenes who are making significant contributions towards improving the world we live in. It is our honour and privilege to do that with these awards, which recognise exceptional scientific achievement.” 

The University of Sheffield’s Department of Chemistry has a rich history of excellent research and inspirational teaching. Research spans photophysical and biophysical chemistry, polymers, nanomaterials, theory, organic chemistry and chemical biology. This provides the basis for a substantial and varied portfolio of research grants, collaborations with industry, and research institution partnerships.

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