Majed Chergui wins RSC Liversidge Award

Majed Chergui (credit: M. Chergui/EPFL)

Majed Chergui (credit: M. Chergui/EPFL)

Professor Majed Chergui has been named winner of the prestigious Liversidge Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Chergui, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, has won the award for pioneering picosecond and femtosecond X-ray spectroscopy of molecular species in solutions.

Receiving the award, Professor Chergui said: “I am very honoured to receive the Royal Society of Chemistry Liversidge Award. This award acknowledges the insights delivered by ultrafast X-ray spectroscopic methods into the dynamics of chemical bonds in a large variety of systems: proteins, molecules and materials. This area of research, on which my group worked for the past 20 years, has reached a turning point with new instrumentation being developed world-wide, I look forward to sharing some highlights from my group’s research during the lecture tour.”

Professor Chergui lives in Lausanne, Switzerland. In winning the award, Professor Chergui also receives £2,000 and a medal.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “Over the years, our lives have been significantly improved by the chemical sciences, from medicines and food to the environment itself. We are proud of the contribution the chemical sciences make to our global community, which is why it is right for us to recognise important innovations and expertise such as these.

“Our Prizes and Awards recognise people from a range of different specialisms, backgrounds and locations. Every winner is an inspiration to the chemistry community and will play an incredibly important role in enriching people’s lives for generations to come.”

At the end of the 19th century, a falling cat was filmed landing on its paws for the first time, helping understand the motions cats make during the fall. Professor Chergui has worked on doing this with molecules which requires methods that can “see” atoms on the tiny time scales on which they move. Professor Chergui’s achievement has been to combine the high spatial resolution of x-rays, with the high temporal resolution needed to visualize movement of molecules, proteins and solids in “real-time”.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards and Prizes are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

Of those to have won a Royal Society of Chemistry Award, an illustrious list of 50 have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including 2016 Nobel laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa.

Rewarding Excellence and Gaining Recognition

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. We want to reward those undertaking excellent work in the chemical sciences from across the world.

There are over 80 Prizes and Awards in our main portfolio, all of which aim to accurately reflect the broad scope of achievement in our community. So whether you work in research, business, industry or education, recognition is open to everyone.

More information is available at:

Royal Society of Chemistry

We are an international organisation connecting chemical scientists with each other, with other scientists, and with society as a whole. Founded in 1841 and based in London, UK, we have an international membership of over 50,000. We use the surplus from our global publishing and knowledge business to give thousands of chemical scientists the support and resources required to make vital advances in chemical knowledge. We develop, recognise and celebrate professional capabilities, and we bring people together to spark new ideas and new partnerships. We support teachers to inspire future generations of scientists, and we speak up to influence the people making decisions that affect us all. We are a catalyst for the chemistry that enriches our world.