Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart, Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Professor Bernard L Feringa have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on molecular machines.
Professer Sir Fraser Stoddart studied Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1964 and his PhD in 1966. He was also awarded a DSc degree by the University in 1980 for his research into stereochemistry beyond the molecule, was named Edinburgh's Alumnus of the Year in 2005 and knighted in 2006.
He was born and raised in Edinburgh and is now based at Northwestern University in Illinois.
The Nobel prize recognises his development of a rotaxane molecule, which he created in 1991. The molecule consists of an axle and a ring able to move along the length of the axle. Some of the applications of this type of molecular machine include a molecular lift and a molecule-based computer-chip.
On behalf of the School of Chemistry, I am delighted that the magnificent achievements of Sir Fraser have been recognised by the award of this ultimate accolade. There is a warm glow of pride throughout the whole School, made all the more special by the continuing strong links with Sir Fraser. He is a truly remarkable scientist who continues to play not only a huge role in developing the field of Chemistry, but also in inspiring and mentoring researchers at the start of their careers. We are very proud that he began his own career here in the Joseph Black Building.
The Stoddart Prize
The School of Chemistry maintains close links with Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart. The Fraser and Norma Stoddart Prize was established in 2013 and recognises postgraduate students who have made contributions not only to excellent research but also tot he life of students within the School and beyond.
The prize has been awarded four times. The first recipient, Dr Olof Johansson, is now a research fellow in the School of Chemistry.
I was awarded the first Fraser and Norma Stoddart PhD Prize in 2013. Sir Fraser personally presented the award to me and it was a great honour to have met him. During the ceremony he was very encouraging and inspired me to excel in my research career. The prize is awarded to students that, in addition to demonstrating superior research accomplishments, has contributed to the life of students within the School of Chemistry and beyond. Sir Fraser’s generous donation towards establishing the annual prize is a great contribution to the School of Chemistry. I will always remember the special day when he presented the award to me.