Prestigious Medals for Pioneering Scientists and Researchers in Scotland

The RSE, Scotland’s National Academy, is pleased to announce that five eminent scientists and researchers from four Scottish universities have been awarded prestigious RSE medals in recognition of their contributions and achievements in their selected fields of study.

The RSE Lord Kelvin and Sir Walter Scot Medals are presented to exceptional individuals who have demonstrated lifelong dedication and have made outstanding contributions to their area of research, business or public service. The RSE Dr Patrick Neill medal and Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane Medals are for early career researchers and business leaders for their outstanding contribution to their field of research or business.

The recipients for 2019 are:

The RSE Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane Medal:

Dr Martin Lavery (University of Glasgow) for his outstanding contribution to photonics, working on a diverse range of ongoing experiments including free-space optical communications and underwater optical communications;

Dr Martin Lavery

The RSE Lord Kelvin Medal:

Professor David Manlove (University of Glasgow) for his outstanding contribution to computing science, whose pioneering work in matching algorithms and software has enabled a significant increase in living kidney transplants, thereby improving public health;

Professor David Manlove

The RSE Dr Patrick Neill Medal (joint recipients):

Dr Joe Marsh (University of Edinburgh) for his outstanding research in human genetics, which is key to the success of personalised and precision medicine; and Dr Ferry Melchels (Heriot-Watt University) for his outstanding contribution to the field of biomaterials and tissue engineering;

Dr Joseph MarshDr Ferry Melchels

The RSE Sir Walter Scott Medal:

Professor Kathryn Rudy (University of St Andrews) for her outstanding contribution to art history, where her capacity for lateral thinking has meant she has been able to examine a large corpus of manuscripts in ways unexplored by previous scholars.

Speaking of the honours, RSE President Professor Dame Anne Glover said:

“My congratulations to the medallists who are all uniquely pushing the boundaries of knowledge and expertise. This list confirms to me yet again what an academic powerhouse Scotland is and how proud we should be that such an impressive pool of talent chooses to base its research here”.

The medallists said:

“It was a fantastic surprise to receive this honour. The RSE Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane Medal is an incredibly prestigious award and I’m very grateful to the committee for their recognition of my work.” Dr Martin Lavery, University of Glasgow.

“Whilst being very honoured and proud to have been selected for this, to me, it is recognition not just of my work, but of all the people who have worked with me on algorithms for kidney exchange. This includes colleagues at the University of Glasgow who have worked with me since 2007, as well as the excellent team at NHS Blood and Transplant who are directly involved with the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme.” Professor David Manlove, Professor of Algorithms and Complexity, School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow

“It’s a great honour for me to receive the Patrick Neill medal – it’s a reflection of the fantastic research environment provided by the MRC Human Genetics Unit and the University of Edinburgh that has allowed me to do this research”. Dr Joe Marsh, University of Edinburgh

“I’m honoured to receive this prestigious medal. It not only celebrates my research career thus far, but also acknowledges the importance of the young field of biofabrication for the life sciences”. Dr. Ferry Melchels, Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University

“None of this work has taken place in a vacuum and I so grateful to everyone who has nurtured my work: funders, librarians, cataloguers, editors, publishers, the University of St Andrews for its generous leave enabling me to hike, think and write of course my friends, colleagues and students in Scotland and beyond”. Professor Kathryn Rudy, University of St Andrews

The recipients will be presented with their medals at a Presidential reception at the RSE in September 2020.