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Astronomical award

21 January 2011

Professor Matt GriffinProfessor Matt Griffin

Professor Matt Griffin, of the School of Physics and Astronomy, has been awarded one of the Royal Astronomical Society’s most prestigious awards in recognition of almost 30 year service dedicated to astronomical research.

The Society’s Jackson-Gwilt Medal is awarded for achievement in invention, improvement or developments in astronomical instrumentation or techniques.

Professor Griffin has been honoured for a career in submillimetre waveband and more significantly for his work on SPIRE – one of two cameras on the Hershel mission offering a unique insight into so far unseen parts of our universe.

For over a decade Professor Griffin has led and held together a diverse international team, incorporating 18 institutions spread across three continents. He was involved right from the initial instrument concept stage, and has seen it all the way through to the operation and verification of SPIRE.

Professor Roger Davies, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: "With these awards we recognise the extraordinary talents of research astronomers, space scientists and geophysicists worldwide. These men and women, young and old alike, join the ranks of distinguished scientists honoured by the Society for almost two centuries. I am delighted that the RAS has recognised their achievements of which they should be justifiably proud."

On accepting the award, Professor Griffin added "I'm delighted to receive this award, which I regard as a tribute to the success of Herschel and SPIRE, and to the collective achievements of a large team of very talented people. I'm privileged to have been able to work with them, and very happy to see the fantastic scientific results that Herschel is producing."

Matt Griffin joins an elite group of winners, including colleague Professor Peter Ade who won the award in 2009.

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