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Hughes Medal

Solar panel that mimics photosynthesis for sustainable chemical synthesis powered by sunlight
Solar panel that mimics photosynthesis for sustainable chemical synthesis powered by sunlight (Credit: Dr Virgil Andre and University of Cambridge)

Hughes Medal 2023 Winner

Professor Erwin Reisner

The Hughes Medal 2023 is awarded to Professor Erwin Reisner for pioneering new concepts and solar technologies for the production of sustainable fuels and chemicals from carbon dioxide, biomass and plastic waste.

The award

The Hughes Medal is awarded for outstanding contributions in the field of energy. The award was named after the scientist David E Hughes FRS (PDF) and was first awarded in 1902. Hughes was a Welsh-American scientist and musician who invented the first working radio communication system and the first microphone. The medal is of silver gilt, is awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000.


The Hughes medal is open to UK/Commonwealth/Republic of Ireland citizens or those who have been residents for three or more years. There are no restrictions on career stage and nominations will remain valid and shall be considered by the award selection committee throughout three nomination cycles. Teams or groups may now be nominated for this award.


Nominations for this award will open in November 2023.

Past winners

Professor Saiful Islam was awarded the Hughes Medal 2022 for outstanding contributions to the deeper understanding of atomistic processes in new materials for use in energy applications, especially those related to lithium batteries and perovskite solar cells 

Professor John Irvine was awarded the Hughes Medal 2021 for the introduction of new concepts in Energy Materials science, including novel ionic conductors, electrodes for solid oxide fuel cells, alternative batteries and emergent nanomaterials. 

Professor Clare Grey FRS was awarded the Hughes Medal 2020 for her pioneering work on the development and application of new characterization methodology to develop fundamental insight into how batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells operate.

Professor Andrew Cooper FRS was awarded the Hughes Medal 2019 for the design and synthesis of new classes of organic materials with applications in energy storage, energy production and energy-efficient separations. 

See full list of all past winners of the Hughes Medal.

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