News archive 2001
Double success for young King's chemist23 Apr 2001, PR 08/01
Dr Helen Fielding, 33, Reader in Physical Chemistry, has won the prestigious Marlow Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry and has been awarded an Advanced Fellowship from the EPSRC, as an 'outstanding young researcher'.
Helen Fielding works in the area of chemical physics. Her research involves using state-of-the-art ultrafast laser techniques to observe and control electronic and molecular processes in small molecules. She is only person in UK working in this area. To date she has already attracted over £1 million into King's.
She won the Marlow Medal for her 'distinguished experiments and theoretical studies of molecular Rydberg dynamics'. Previous winners of the Medal include Nobel Prize winners John A Pople and John C Polanyi.
In 1997 she won the country's most prestigious prize for young physical and theoretical chemists, the Harrison Memorial Prize, awarded annually by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This was the first and only time a woman has won this prize.
She has also been awarded an EPSRC Advanced Fellowship to begin in October this year. These Fellowships are designed to support outstanding young researchers under the age of 35 for up to five years. Applications are accepted from all over the world and over 180 were received and 40 successful awards made, only seven of whom were chemists. Winning a Fellowship means that Helen will receive five years' funding and be able to devote herself to full-time research, free from normal academic duties.
She is the first person in the King's Department of Chemistry to have received such a Fellowship, and within King's there are currently four EPSRC Advanced Fellowships.
On learning that she had won the EPSRC Advanced Fellowship, Dr Fielding said, 'I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to concentrate on my research for the next five years.'
Notes to editors
The Marlow Medal was first awarded in 1957 and is awarded by the Faraday Division Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The award is made on the basis of publications published in the JCS Faraday Transactions or Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCP). Although the papers need not have been published they must have a date of receipt not later than their 32nd birthday.
Past winners have included two Nobel prize winners and six Fellows of the Royal Society: John A Pople, who won the Marlow Medal in 1958, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1998 for his development of computational methods in quantum chemistry. John C Polanyi (Marlow Medal 1962) was a joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1986 for his contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.
The Harrison Memorial Prize is awarded annually by the Royal Society of Chemistry to the British chemist who 'has conducted the most meritorious and promising original investigations in chemistry and published the results of those investigations.'
Dr Helen Fielding was awarded her first degree, BA Natural Sciences (1st class) from Cambridge in 1989. She then moved to Oxford where she took her D Phil, The Stark effect in Rydberg states of atoms and molecules (1992). Her post doctoral work was as Research Fellow of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. She worked at the University of Amsterdam and the Institute for Fundamental Research on Matter from January 1993 until June 1994. She was appointed as a Lecturer at King's in 1994, was awarded the Harrison Memorial Prize in 1997 and promoted to Reader in Physical Chemistry in 1997.
King's College London
King's College London is one of the two oldest and largest colleges of the University of London with some 12,200 undergraduate students and over 4,100 postgraduates in ten schools of study. The College is among the country's top four higher education institutions for the number of highest-rated subject-areas for research quality. It is in the top group of five universities for research earnings and has an annual turnover of £285 million and research income from grants and contracts in excess of £80 million (1999-2000).
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the largest of the seven UK Research Councils. It funds research and postgraduate training in universities and other organisations throughout the UK.
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