Skip navigation to content

« Back to news items

Honour for Professor Kishan Dholakia

Friday 30 June 2017

Professor Kishan Dholakia of the University of St Andrews has been awarded the Institute of Physics (IOP) Thomas Young Medal and Prize for 2017 for his distinguished contributions to the field of optical micromanipulation using shaped light fields in liquid, air and vacuum.

Kishan-Leverhulme-mainbodyIn addition to his fundamental photonics studies, his work over the last two decades has also included using shaped light for biomedical imaging with particular emphasis on early detection of cancer, neuroscience and developmental biology.

The IOP awards recognise and reward excellence in people and teams who have made outstanding and exceptional contributions to the strength of physics.

This award was originally termed ‘The Thomas Young Oration’ of the Optical Society, instituted in 1907 and was to be ‘on an optical subject’. In 1932 the Optical Society was amalgamated with The Physical Society of London to become The Physical Society, the Council of the latter society appointing the orator. In 1961 the Council of the amalgamated Institute of Physics and The Physical Society changed the award to a medal and prize.

Thomas Young was a genuine polymath and physician. He developed the wave theory of light, characterised elasticity through the Young’s modulus and deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs using the Rosetta stone. He has been termed ‘The Last Man Who Knew Everything’.

Professor Dholakia said: “I am truly honoured and humbled to receive this highly prestigious award. It is a recognition of my whole group’s work in this exciting area of optical manipulation and beyond. They share this accolade with me.”


Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Steve Bargeton, on 01334 467310 / 01334 462530 / 07802 376 860 or steve.bargeton@st-andrews.ac.uk.