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Fellows Directory

Martin Wood

Martin Wood

Sir Martin Wood OBE HonFREng FRS


Elected: 1987


Martin Wood was an inventor and engineer who as founder of Oxford Instruments has pioneered the design and manufacture of low-temperature equipment. His invention of high-power solenoids capable of generating stable magnetic fields allowed researchers in the physical as well as biological sciences to carry out fundamental research at extremely low temperatures.

Under Martin’s management, Oxford Instruments developed the world’s first superconducting magnet as well as the first fully functioning MRI for medical use. From microscopes to CT scans and helium refrigerators to spectroscopes, Martin’s scientific insight and business leadership have helped the company grow into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-technology tools and systems for research and industry.

As well as helping Oxford Instruments to win five Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, Martin himself received numerous honorary doctorates as well as an honorary fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 1986, Martin was awarded a knighthood for his services to science.

Sir Martin Wood OBE HonFREng FRS died on 23 November 2021


  • Clifford Paterson Medal and Lecture

    On 'Superconductivity: will the dream come true?'.

  • Royal Society Mullard Award

    In recognition of their development, manufacture and marketing of advanced superconducting magnet systems as a result of which they have established Oxford Instruments Ltd as the leading supplier of these systems throughout the world.

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