Knighthood for Nottingham chemistry professor

30 Dec 2014 23:36:46.163


Professor Martyn Poliakoff, a renowned professor at The University of Nottingham, has been knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2015.

Professor Poliakoff received the honour for services to Chemical Sciences in recognition of his contribution as a global leader in green and sustainable chemistry. The honour is also in recognition for him acting as an ambassador for UK Science in his role as Vice-President and Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, which is an illustration of the esteem in which he is held by his fellow academics.

Professor Poliakoff is already a familiar face to millions of YouTube followers around the world, after he was featured in a series of videos dedicated to each and every one of the 118 chemical elements, which became an overnight sensation.

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The Periodic Table of Videos

The Periodic Table of Videos, which have brought chemistry to a whole new audience, were launched in 2008 and have now been viewed by more than 80million people. In 2011 the videos earned him the Royal Society of Chemistry’s prestigious Nyholm Prize for Education.

As well as inspiring would-be scientists and chemistry enthusiasts through a range of exciting experiments showing the properties of all the chemical elements, Professor Poliakoff has picked up his own band of faithful followers who has been charmed by his eccentric hairstyle and outlandish chemistry-themed ties.

You can see a film about Professor Poliakoff's award on the Periodic Table of Videos website.

Deserved recognition

Professor Poliakoff said: “I feel both honoured and somewhat overwhelmed.

"I see the award very much as recognition of all the work being done in green and sustainable chemistry in the School of Chemistry by my colleagues, by my research team and by our technical staff whose efforts underpin so much of our research.”

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “What a richly deserved accolade. Sir Martyn contributes so much as a research leader, educator and communicator of science to the wider public.

"He will receive this honour with his customary modesty, but will be surprised at how widely applauded it is. We are very proud to have him as a colleague.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Tim Utton, Deputy Director of Communications on 0115 846 8092, 07825 753953,; or Charlotte Anscombe, Media Relations and Campaign Manager in the  Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 748 4417,


Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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