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The Nanoscience Centre

Cambridge University nanofabrication and characterisation facility

Studying at Cambridge

The Queen's Birthday Honours

last modified Jan 25, 2012 05:02 PM

The founder of the Nanoscience Centre at the University of Cambridge, Professor Mark Welland, has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours list announced today. Sir Mark (pictured) is currently on secondment to the Ministry of Defence as Chief Scientific Adviser, where he directs the science and technology programme, chairs the Investment Approvals Board that authorises all major capital procurement projects and acts as the Principal of the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement between the US and the UK on nuclear matters. During his secondment he remains Professor of Nanotechnology at the University. Sir Mark started his career in nanoscience and nanotechnology at IBM Research Laboratories, Yorktown Heights, USA, where he was part of the team that developed one of the first scanning tunnelling microscopes. Upon moving to Cambridge in 1985 he set up the first tunnelling microscopy group in the UK and in 1991 he began the nanoscience research group. He established a purpose-built facility at the University, the Nanoscience Centre, which undertakes a variety of nano-related research programmes of an interdisciplinary nature. This was the base for the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) in Nanotechnology of which Sir Mark was the Director and whose highly successful legacy has been far reaching. Sir Mark has made many contributions at an International level and leads the UK side of the World Premier International (WPI) Research Centre Initiative, a 200 million USD program sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. He is Co-Director of the Science and Technology Research Centre at the American University in Cairo, Egypt that he co-founded in 2003. In recognition of his work with India, Sir Mark was elected as a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences India in 2008. In 2010 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Denmark. In addition to his scientific work Sir Mark has been involved in a number of reports, national and international, dealing with the societal, ethical and environmental issues of nanotechnology and was a member of the Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering Nanotechnology Study Working Group that reported to the UK Government in July 2004. On learning of the award he said: "I feel deeply honoured. It has been a real privilege over the past 25 years to work with the exceptional students, researchers, staff and academics that make Cambridge so special. Over the past three years in Government I feel equally privileged to have worked with civilian and military colleagues to support UK Defence and Security."