Nottingham Scientist Bags Royal Society Chemistry Prize

Professor Liam Ball has been named winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Hickinbottom Prize in recognition of brilliance in research and innovation.

Professor Ball is from the University of Nottingham's School of Chemistry and won the prize for the development and mechanistic study of new organic synthesis methods based on pnictogen elements. He will receive £3000 and a medal.

Professor Ball's group invents new reactions and strategies that scientists in industry and academia can use to make the small organic molecules that will underpin our future quality of life. A key aspect of the group's approach is to use a detailed understanding of how reactions actually take place to then design processes that are more sustainable and less costly than existing methods or that give access to molecules that cannot currently be prepared.

It's an incredible honour to have been awarded the Hickinbottom Prize, and I think it really reflects the huge amount of effort, enthusiasm and innovation that my co-workers bring to the lab every day.
Liam is a super colleague and I am absolutely delighted that his work, and that of his research group, has been recognised with such a high profile award.

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: "The chemical sciences cover a rich and diverse collection of disciplines, from fundamental understanding of materials and the living world to applications in medicine, sustainability, technology and more. By working together across borders and disciplines, chemists are finding solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.

"Our prize winners come from a vast array of backgrounds, all contributing in different ways to our knowledge-base and bringing fresh ideas and innovations. We recognise chemical scientists from every career stage and every role type, including those who contribute to the RSC's work as volunteers. We celebrate winners from both industry and academia, as well as individuals, teams, and the science itself.

"Their passion, dedication and brilliance are an inspiration. I extend my warmest congratulations to them all."

The Royal Society of Chemistry's prizes have recognised excellence in the chemical sciences for more than 150 years. This year's winners join a prestigious list of past winners in the RSC's prize portfolio, 60 of whom have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their work, including 2022 Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi and 2019 Nobel laureate John B Goodenough.

The Research and Innovation Prizes celebrate brilliant individuals across industry and academia. They include prizes for those at different career stages in general chemistry and for those working in specific fields, as well as interdisciplinary prizes and prizes for those in specific roles. Other prize categories include those for Volunteers, those for Education (announced in November), the Inclusion & Diversity Prize, and the Horizon Prizes – which celebrate discoveries and innovations that push the boundaries of science.

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