Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals recognise and celebrate researchers in Ireland making an international impact and shaping their field. The medals aim to identify and recognise inspirational figures in order to celebrate the achievements of higher education in Ireland and to inspire future generations.

Since 2005, a total of 32 Gold Medals have been awarded; notable recipients have included Immunologist, Professor Luke O’Neill, European Central Bank Chief Economist, Professor Philip Lane and Cognitive Scientist, Professor Ruth Byrne. The 2023 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are sponsored by the AIB.

Hosted by the President of the Royal Irish Academy, Dr Mary Canning, the ceremony took place before an invited audience of members of the Irish higher education system, funding agencies, colleagues, friends and family members of the medallists.

Senator Malcolm Byrne said: ‘In a rapidly changing world, it is vital that universities and higher education institutions promote academic excellence but they also have a responsibility to ensure the value of evidence based debate is recognised in the development of public policy.’

President of the Royal Irish Academy, Dr Mary Canning said: “The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals recognise world leaders in their research fields in Higher Education Institutes on this island. We need trailblazers in research to explore, to challenge and to explain – these gold medal winners are proven experts in achieving these aims.”

Professor Jonathan Coleman took the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of his students and colleagues to his work saying: “I am absolutely delighted to receive the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences. It’s always nice to have your work recognised and this is recognition for the hard work put in my many research students and postdocs over the last fifteen years. Without them, it would be impossible to do research at all.”


Professor Jonathan N. Coleman, 2023 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medallist in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Jonathan Coleman is the Erasmus Smith's Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy (1724) in the School of Physics and a Principal Investigator in the CRANN and AMBER research centres at Trinity College Dublin. Professor Coleman’s area of interest is in solution processing of nano- materials, predominately carbon nanotubes, nanowires and 2D nanosheets such as graphene. He is most well-known for developing Liquid Phase Exfoliation, a versatile and widely used method for preparing 2D materials. These solution processing methods allow the formation of dispersions, suspensions and solutions of nanostructures and facilitate the production of coatings, thin films and composites. Coleman works on applying these materials and methods in a number of areas including electro-mechanical sensors, printed electronics and energy storage materials. In the latter area, he has particular interest in new electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries, battery electrode architectures and the factors limiting rate performance in batteries. Professor Coleman has been involved in a number of industry-academic collaborative projects with companies including Hewlett- Packard, Intel, SAB Miller, Nokia-Bell Labs and Thomas Swan.