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Bristol physicist lands prestigious award

Prof Jonathan Matthews

Press release issued: 18 October 2021

Associate Professor Jonathan Matthews has been awarded the 2021 Philip Leverhulme Prize for physics.

The awards, announced today, are for researchers whose work has had international impact and whose future research career is exceptionally promising.

Prof Matthews is Co-Director of the University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs and a member of Bristol Quantum Information Institute. His research includes seminal contributions to the field of integrated quantum photonics — these are optical microchips that generate and control quantum states of light for applications in technologies enabled and enhanced by quantum physics.

“I am delighted and honoured to be awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize. It recognises work I am extremely proud of and that I’ve been able to undertake thanks to my institution’s support, the UK and EU investments in quantum technologies and the hard work and brilliance of my team in QET Labs, past and present. Bristol has an exciting ecosystem around quantum information science and technology training, research and commercialisation. I am thrilled by what we can do next.”

The Leverhulme Trust has announced the winners of the 2021 Philip Leverhulme Prizes today. Chosen from over 400 nominations, the Trust offered five prizes in each of the following subject areas: Classics, Earth Sciences, Physics, Politics and International Relations, Psychology; Visual and Performing Arts.

Now in its twentieth year, this scheme commemorates the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip, Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of William Lever, the founder of the Leverhulme Trust. The prizes recognise and celebrate the achievement of exceptional researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future careers are exceptionally promising.

Anna Vignoles, Director of the Leverhulme Trust, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to award these prestigious prizes to such a stunningly talented group of academics. This round was more competitive than ever and the judges had an incredibly difficult task. This is evident from the achievements of the winners, who are working on a very diverse set of topics, from the physics of dark matter to climate science, from research into policing and inequality through to participatory art.”

Each prize is now worth £100,000 and thirty are awarded annually. They may be used for any purpose that advances the prize winner’s research. Detailed citations on each of the winners will be published in due course.


Further information

The Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QET Labs) was launched in 2015, with the mission to to take quantum science discoveries out of the lab and engineer them into technologies for the benefit of society.  This includes novel routes to quantum computing hardware, quantum communications, enhanced sensing & imaging and new platforms to investigate fundamental quantum physics. QET Labs brings together over £28 million worth of activity and comprises over 100 academics, staff and students in the Schools of Physics and Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Read more here


Bristol Quantum Information Institute

Quantum information and its translation into technologies is one of the most exciting research activities in science and technology today. Long at the forefront of the growing worldwide activity in this area, the Bristol Quantum Information Institute crystallises our research across the entire spectrum, from theory to technology. With our expert cross-disciplinary team, including founders of the field, we have expertise in all major areas of theoretical quantum information science and in experiment. We foster partnerships with the private sector and provide superb teaching and training for the future generation of quantum scientists and engineers and the prototypes of tomorrow. Read more here.  

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