Published: 30 April 2019

PhD student wins Early Career Award for outstanding contribution to physics

Dr Robert Shearman, who recently completed his PhD at Surrey and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), has won the highly prestigious Institute of Physics Early Career Award for Nuclear Physics Research.

Dr Shearman’s research has involved collaborating with NPL – the UK’s National Measurement Institute – to develop the National Nuclear Array (NANA), which enables scientists to analyse nuclear fission fragments linked to nuclear fuel waste products, and to improve nuclear decay data of radioactive material used in medical applications.

Early Career Awards are given annually by the Institute of Physics to the UK’s most promising early-career researchers for their outstanding contributions in the field of nuclear physics.

Following his PhD, Dr Shearman is now working as a Higher Research Scientist in Nuclear Science at NPL.

Rob said ‘Receiving this award is a great honour, offering a great opportunity to present the work I have done at NPL and Surrey to a wide and distinguished audience. I am thankful to have been nominated. No work in any discipline is a one-human effort and this award shows that I have been very lucky to have worked in such hard-working and gifted groups at Surrey and NPL’.

Professor Paddy Regan, Surrey’s NPL Professor of Radionuclide Metrology and Rob’s PhD supervisor said: ‘This award represents a real honour and recognition for Rob’s work, The University of Surrey Nuclear Physics Group, NPL Nuclear Metrology Group and NPL Post Graduate Institute can all be justifiably very proud of this significant achievement. It is a shining example of world-leading research in contemporary nuclear physics which straddles between the pure and applied sciences’.

Dr Daniel Doherty, Lecturer in Nuclear Physics at Surrey and a former recipient of this award, nominated Dr Shearman; he commented: ‘I am delighted for Dr Shearman and this award is very much deserved. Rob is clearly one of the strongest and most versatile young scientists working in the field at present and he has made significant contributions in a number of related fields. Rob’s award also demonstrates the excellent work being thanks to the Surrey-NPL partnership.’

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