A COUNTY scientist has received a prestigious award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Leigh Canham, who has lived in Malvern for more than 30 years, has received the RSC’s Spiers Memorial Award for 2020.

The award celebrates the originality and impact of research carried out by scientists, and Professor Canham has been researching how silicon can be modified to have new and more useful properties.

He has been exploring how naturally occurring silicon in plants such as bamboo, sugarcane and rice can tackle global problems such as poor-quality drinking water and malaria.

He said: “I am very honoured to receive this award and privileged to be involved with an exciting multidisciplinary endeavour in nano-science and nanotechnology."

For winning the award, Professor Canham receives £2,000 and a medal, and will present the introductory lecture at a Faraday Discussion in York in February, entitled “Luminescent silicon nanostructures.”

READ MORE: Councillor hits out at 'parasites' responsible for fly-tipping

Professor Canham also said he was looking forward to speaking at his first Faraday Discussion - an international meeting focusing on rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry.

The event often features work which has not yet been published with contributors submitting a research paper in advance and presenting their work to the delegates, who question them about it.

Professor Canham works at the University of Birmingham and his award is one of more than 80 prizes awarded by the RSC each year.

Dr Jo Reynolds, director of science and communities from RSC, said: “The Spiers Memorial Award has a long and distinguished history, with the first prize lecture being delivered in November 1928.

“The list of previous winners includes those working at the cutting edge of physical chemistry – influential and inspirational scientists who are helping to advance science for the benefit of humanity.

“We are proud of the work of all our winners, who represent the best and brightest from our diverse global community, so I extend my sincere congratulations to Professor Canham.”

Nominations are still open for the majority of 2020 prizes and awards. Find out more and nominate at rsc.li/awards20

The full list of 2020 winners will be published in May 2020.