Two gold medals with profile portraits on a red background

Two Worcester fellows honoured with Royal Society awards

6 September 2022

Congratulations to Professor Roger Heath-Brown FRS and Professor Iain McCulloch FRS who have been recognised by The Royal Society for their exceptional research achievements.

Roger Heath-Brown, an Emeritus Fellow at Worcester, receives the Sylvester Medal. This award, named after a 19th century Oxford mathematician, recognises outstanding work in the field of mathematics. "My research area involves a combination of ideas from geometry and number theory, and has seen tremendous growth over the past twenty years or more," says Roger. "As a result, we are seeing solutions to long-standing problems that would never have been possible before." Roger's successes include creating a now widely-used simple formula for handling sums involving prime numbers (known as ‘Heath-Brown’s Identity’) and helping develop the ‘Determinant Method’, which shows that equations cannot have too many whole-number solutions. Both of these ideas can be used to develop and safeguard modern crypto-systems.

Iain McCulloch, Fellow and Tutor in Chemistry, receives the Armourers & Brasiers’ Company Prize. Awarded biennially with the support of the livery company, the prize recognises Iain’s fundamental contributions in the application of materials chemistry. Iain's research focuses on creating new organic materials which have unique electrical and optical functionality. His applied focus is key in delivering impactful research which has commercial potential in applications ranging from solar cells and bioelectronic sensors to the generation of hydrogen fuel from water. "Our research in solar energy and solar fuels can help to move these technologies firmly into the mainstream," says Iain, "eliminating our dependency on fossil fuels – one of the biggest societal issues facing us right now."

We’re delighted to see two members of the college community celebrated by The Royal Society, a centre of research excellence and the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.