Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Rutherford Medal Winner Prof Phil Walker

The Institute of Physics have just announced that the 2019 winner of their Rutherford Medal is Prof Phil Walker.  

Phil is an emeritus professor here at the University of Surrey who straddles the experimental–theoretical divide and specialises in understanding metastable isomeric states in nuclei;  excited states that decay much more slowly that you'd expect for such an excitation.  The full citation is on the IoP's new story, as linked above. 

Phil has been a good friend and colleague to me during my time at Surrey.  It was thanks to him that I got my first post-doctoral position here, joining the reaction-theory dominated theoretical group, though my specialty is in nuclear structure.  We have since worked together on various project together over the years, writing 14 co-authored papers together, which for me is one short of my record of 15 (with one of my two PhD co-supervisors, Irena Stone).  I've always found his way of thinking very clear, grasping the context of a problem and the bigger picture.  Hopefully I can up this figure of 14 with him.

My opinion may be biased, but I think his prize is very well deserved, and overdue. Cheers, Phil!

I attach to this post a rather blurry photo of Phil that I happen to have in my collection, from a meeting in Krakow a few years ago.

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