William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824 – 1907) was a mathematical physicist and engineer. At the University of Glasgow he worked on the mathematical analysis of electricity and the formulation of the first and second Laws of Thermodynamics. He did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor, which propelled him into the public eye. He was knighted by Queen Victoria for his work on the transatlantic telegraph project. Lord Kelvin is widely known for realising that there was a lower limit to temperature, absolute zero; absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour. When he was honoured for his achievements in thermodynamics he adopted the title Baron Kelvin of Largs and is therefore often described as Lord Kelvin. He was the first UK scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords and, despite offers of elevated posts from several world renowned universities, Lord Kelvin refused to leave Glasgow, remaining Professor of Natural Philosophy for over 50 years.
Professor John Irvine FRSE, Professor of Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews, for his outstanding contribution to the field of energy materials research.
Professor Polly Arnold OBE, FRSE, The Crum Brown Chair, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, was awarded the RSE/Lord Kelvin Medal for her outstanding contribution to the field of synthetic chemistry through her world leading research on the lanthanide and actinide elements which has changed the way scientists think about these elements and particularly the behaviour of uranium’s oxide dication which is a major component of nuclear waste.
Professor Anthony Doyle FRSE, SUPA, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Glasgow, was awarded the RSE/Lord Kelvin Medal for his outstanding contribution to the field of experimental particle physics, through developing critical analysis methods, which has led to major developments that have made possible the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, and for his extensive public engagement activities.
Professor Jason Reese FREng, FRSE, FIMechE, FInstP, Regius Professor of Engineering and Deputy Head and Director of Research, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, was awarded the RSE/Lord Kelvin Medal for his outstanding contribution to the field of Engineering both within the UK and internationally and for his commitment to the public engagement of science.