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Fellows Directory

Stuart Parkin

Professor Stuart Parkin FRS


Elected: 2000


Stuart Parkin’s research interests include atomically engineered thin-film heterostructures, high-temperature superconductors, and spintronic materials and devices for advanced sensor, memory and logic applications. Stuart’s discoveries in magnetoresistive thin film structures enabled a thousandfold increase in the storage capacity of magnetic disk drives.

Most recently, Stuart’s research has focused on a novel storage class memory device, ‘racetrack memory’, and cognitive materials that could enable very low power computing technologies. He is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Engineering, the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and TWAS, (The World Academy of Sciences), and an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences.

Stuart has received numerous awards and honours, including, most recently, the 2012 Von Hippel Award from the Materials Research Society, the 2013 Swan Medal of the Institute of Physics, and the €1 million 2014 Millennium Technology Award from the Technology Academy Finland. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Professional positions

Director, Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics
IBM Fellow and Manager of the Magnetoelectronics Group, IBM Almaden Research Centre, IBM Corporation
Alexander von Humboldt Professor, Martin Luther Universität Halle Wittenberg

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Atomically Engineered Materials, Logic Devices, Magnetism, Memory Devices, Sensors, Spintronics, Superconductivity, Thin films, Topological Materials


  • Millennium Technology Prize

    In recognition of his discoveries, which have enabled a thousand-fold increase in the storage capacity of magnetic disk drives. Parkin’s innovations have led to a huge expansion of data acquisition and storage capacities, which in turn have underpinned the evolution of large data centres and cloud services, social networks, music and film distribution online.