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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Head and shoulders image of Daan Frenkel

Emeritus Professor Daan Frenkel has been awarded the 2022 Institute of Physics Sam Edwards Medal and Prize.

The award cites Frenkel’s seminal contributions to the understanding of the kinetics, self-assembly and phase behaviour of soft matter systems, and for developing highly innovative and influential simulation methods.

Throughout a long and distinguished career, Frenkel has pushed the boundaries of what is possible with computer simulations of soft matter, always with a focus on uncovering new and interesting physics. He is arguably the most creative and diverse simulator of soft matter of his generation, who has developed many influential simulation techniques that have been widely adopted across many disciplines.

Frenkel has also been enormously influential as an education, and his textbook Understanding Molecular Simulation: From Algorithms to Applications, written with Berend Smit, remains the definitive text in the field.

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics and the leading body for practising physicists in the UK and Ireland. The prize is named after Sir Samuel Frederick Edwards, who was the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1984 to 1995, and died in 2015.

“As someone who has had the privilege to know Sir Sam personally, this award is of special significance to me,” said Frenkel.

IOP President, Professor Sheila Rowan said: “On behalf of the Institute of Physics, I warmly congratulate all of this year’s award winners. Recent events have underlined the absolute necessity to encourage and reward our scientists and those who teach and encourage future generations. We rely on their dedication and innovation to improve many aspects of the lives of individuals and of our wider society."