Trinity Nanoscientist Awarded Science Foundation Ireland Researcher of the Year Award

Posted on: 15 November 2011

Professor Jonathan Coleman, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)-funded researcher from Trinity College Dublin’s nanoscience institute, CRANN and Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics, who has achieved international success in the area of nanostructures, was announced as the ‘Science Foundation Ireland Researcher of the Year’ for 2011.

The announcement was made by Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, at the recent SFI Science Summit in Athlone, attended by 300 researchers.

In presenting Professor Coleman with his award, Minister Sherlock said: “It is an extraordinary feat to be responsible for the development of the toughest materials known to man, but this is a feat that Jonathan has achieved.  His work has been published in prestigious international journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Nanotechnology, and Advanced Materials, as well as featuring in New Scientist, the New York Times and on CNN.  Within the last year, Jonathan has been recognised as one of the top 100 material scientists of the last decade – the only Irish representative and one of the youngest on the list.”

Professor Jonathan Coleman.

The SFI Researcher of the Year Award, selected by an independent panel, celebrates the accomplishments of an SFI-funded researcher who is deemed to have made the most impact in the past year.  Over the last year, Professor Coleman’s research has been acknowledged at the highest levels internationally. He was identified as a Rising Star in materials science by and was awarded a prestigious European Research Council grant in late 2010.  In 2011 he was promoted to a Chair within Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Coleman is currently researching how to produce “nanosheets”, flat sheets of materials that are just one atom thick, or about one hundred-thousandth the width of a human hair. These materials have potential in the development of thermoelectric devices and next-generation batteries.

Receiving his Award, Professor Coleman said: “I would like to pay tribute to my team of postgraduate students and postdocs who have worked hard with me to achieve this world-class research and the environment in CRANN with its advanced infrastructure which has enabled these breakthroughs.”

Professor John Boland, Director of CRANN said: “I am delighted to congratulate Professor Coleman on his Researcher of the Year Award. His work has been recognised by industry and academia alike as being some of the most disruptive to date, particularly his exfoliation research, which has the potential to transform the way we think about energy and materials science.”

About Professor Jonathan Coleman
Professor Jonathan Coleman received his PhD from Trinity College Dublin Ireland in 1999. After his PhD he was awarded a Higher Education Authority Research Fellowship to continue his research into polymer-nanotube composites. In 2001 he became a contract lecturer in the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin. He was a visiting scientist at the Nanotech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas in 2002. He is now a Professor in the School of Physics and has been elected to fellowship of the College. In 2010, Prof. Coleman was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starter Grant. The prestigious ERC Starting Grants identify and support top scientists in Europe so that they will have the funding and encouragement to develop cutting-edge technology.  Professor Coleman’s grant of €1.5m will support his research group for the next five years.