Congratulations to Prof Sir Roy Sambles, who has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to scientific research and outreach.
Roy has worked in the University’s Department of Physics since 1972, becoming a senior lecturer there in 1985, a reader in 1988 and was made Professor of Experimental Physics in 1991. He led the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Metamaterials from its inception in 2014 to 2017 and now sits on the CDT Management Board.
He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society and has published over 520 scientific papers.
Roy has made significant contributions to our understanding of the melting process, spin waves in metals, resistivity of thin metal films, molecular rectification, liquid crystal optics, plasmonics and microwave and acoustic metamaterials. His early work concerned unravelling, using electron microscopy, the fundamentals of melting and evaporation of metal particles. He then went on to explore Conduction Electron Spin Resonance and provided definitive studies at low temperatures of spin waves in alkali metals. Later in his career, he also opened up research into natural photonics where his pioneering studies of the photonic structures in butterfly wings paved the way for new research in this area.
He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2002 and received the IOP’s Thomas Young Medal in 2003 and its Faraday Medal in 2012. He also received the George Gray Medal of the British Liquid Crystal Society in 1998.
He was a Council member of the EPSRC from 2008 to 2014 and he served on the Defence Science Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2011, sitting on the Board of the Counter-terrorism centre from 2006 to 2013. In 2018 he was made an honorary fellow of the Institute of Physics, having been its president from 2013-2017. He is currently chair of the Royal Society Research Grants Board.