Professor Martyn Poliakoff has won this year’s Universitas 21 (U21) Award for Internationalisation, which recognises individual efforts to further internationalisation and build relations between U21’s leading global network of research-intensive universities.
The University of Nottingham’s Research Professor of Chemistry was honoured alongside Professor James Murdoch, Professor of Public Law at the University of Glasgow.
Professor Poliakoff has played a key role in the introduction of the academic discipline of ‘green chemistry’, which focuses on more sustainable ways of creating chemicals to sub-Saharan Africa. His extensive work to develop links between Nottingham and universities in Ethiopia has brought him honorary membership of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia.
The award is in recognition of his long and distinguished career in academe, but most notably for finding innovative ways to popularise science around the world with ‘The Periodic Table of Videos’, an award-winning series of short films. They have received more than 22 million views on YouTube, and in 2011 earned him the Royal Society of Chemistry’s prestigious Nyholm Prize for Education. That year, Professor Poliakoff was appointed Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society — an illustration of the esteem in which he is held by his fellow academics.
On being notified of the award, Professor Poliakoff said: “I am delighted to receive this award, which recognises the importance of ongoing global education. Networks such as Universitas 21 are vital for the promotion of shared knowledge and I feel privileged to be recognised by them for my contribution to the internationalisation of chemistry.”
Jane Usherwood, U21’s Secretary General, commented “This is the third year that we have sought to recognise the contribution played by individual staff in internationalising higher education and once again we are fortunate in being able to celebrate the hard work and commitment of colleagues over many years. Both Professor Poliakoff and Professor Murdoch are role models for how opportunities can be developed for students around the world through collaboration and innovation, opportunities which reach out from the campus to the world in which we live, and we are delighted to be able to acknowledge their contributions through these U21 Awards.”
The awards will be presented at a special ceremony in May 2014 as part of U21’s Annual Presidential Meeting, being held at the University of Glasgow.
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