Press Release

Professor Kai Bongs from the University of Birmingham awarded this year’s Institute of Physics Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize of the IoP

3rd July 2019
Press Release

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the UK and Ireland’s professional body for practicing physicists, and has a rich history of supporting and nurturing talent, providing learning resources to schools, colleges and higher education institutions (HEIs), and of advising science and education policy makers.

Its awards recognise, celebrate and reflect the impact and applications of physics in everyday life, the breadth of the discipline in academia, industry and medicine, and its impact in extraordinary human achievements.

They include awards for technicians, school teachers, researchers at all career stages and levels of academic achievement, and from across the HEI spectrum.

The Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize is awarded for Professor Kai Bongs’ contribution to the development of quantum sensors and the translation to industrial applications and the development of the UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology.

Led by the University of Birmingham, the Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology brings together experts in physics and engineering from the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex, and has partnered with a broad spectrum of industry companies and organisations, such as BAE Systems Teledyne e2v and Network Rail.

The Hub’s teams are working to transform laboratory-based research into technology. They are developing smaller, cheaper, more accurate and energy efficient components and systems to develop and sustain a supply chain, which will have a transformative impact across business and society as a whole.

Institute of Physics President, Professor Dame Julia Higgins said:

“Every year I am reminded of the rich pool of exceptional talent we have in the UK and Ireland. On behalf of the Institute of Physics, I warmly congratulate all this year’s winners.

 “As we move rapidly into an ever more technological era, it is so important to encourage, foster and support today’s and tomorrow’s scientists, science teachers and technicians.

They enable us to live the comfortable, healthy, well-connected lives we have become accustomed to, and they explore new boundaries to enrich our knowledge of the world we inhabit.

“As well as rewarding personal achievement, our awards also celebrate the diversity of our physics community. We are proud that our professional community is comprised of so many sections of society. We will continue to encourage everyone to explore science and will strive to remove the barriers to learning that some encounter, so that everyone who wants to, can learn and enjoy science for as long as they wish.”

In response to being awarded the prize, Professor Bongs said: “I am delighted to accept the Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics. The translation of quantum knowledge into real-world industry applications is an incredibly important endeavour if we want to ensure a safer and more secure long-term future for all. I am proud to be leading the development of quantum sensors at the University of Birmingham, alongside world-leading physicists and engineers.”

All award winners will be celebrated at the Institute’s annual Awards Dinner, to be held this year on 19 November at the Royal Lancaster London Hotel, where they will be presented by the President with their medal, a prize of £1,000 and a certificate.


Notes to Editors

About the Institute of Physics

The IOP is the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland. We inspire people to develop their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of physics. We work with a range of partners to support and develop the teaching of physics in schools; we encourage innovation, growth and productivity in business including addressing significant skills shortages and we provide evidence-based advice and support to governments across the UK and in Ireland.

Our members come from across the physics community whether in industry, academia, the classroom, technician roles or in training programmes as an apprentice or a student. However, our reach goes well beyond our membership to all who have an interest in physics and the contribution it makes to our culture, our society and the economy.

We are a world-leading science publisher and are proud to be a trusted and valued voice for the physics community. You can help us transform the future of our discipline. Invest in physics today.

The IOP Awards

The Institute of Physics awards aim to build and reinforce a sense of community by recognising and rewarding excellence in individuals and teams who have made a contribution to physics in the UK and Ireland.

Nominations open every year in the Autumn and close in the Winter. The selection is made by IOP members who sit on the Awards Committee, appointed and chaired by the President who will report the committees’ decision to Council.

More detail can be found at: