Leicester engineer gains national recognition

Posted by pt91 at May 25, 2011 10:16 AM |
Head of Department awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Physics
Leicester engineer gains national recognition

Professor John Fothergill, Head of the University of Leicester Department of Engineering.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 25 May 2011

Jpeg image of Professor John Fothergill available from pressoffice@le.ac.uk

A leading University of Leicester Professor and Head of Engineering has achieved the distinction of being awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Physics.

Professor John Fothergill, a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, was elected to Fellowship of the Institute of Physics in recognition of his personal contribution to the advancement of physics as a discipline and a profession.

The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics.

Professor Fothergill said: “I am very pleased to be awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Physics. For many years, I have worked in the area of “dielectrics”, which considers the interaction of electric fields with matter.  I’ve looked at stimulating muscles using electrical pulses and electrical signals emanating from muscles.

“I’ve invested  time trying to work out why polymeric insulation, such as that used in power cables, ages and eventually fails under high electric fields.  This is a multidisciplinary subject area involving a good understanding of t chemistry and physics but with applications in electrical engineering.

“The University of Leicester has always been a place where it’s easy to talk to people in other disciplines, and the new College structure certainly encourages this. Indeed much of my work has been with Professor Len Dissado (who started out as a theoretical chemist) and Prof Robert Hill (a physicist.)

“Since 1990, I’ve acted as treasurer, secretary and most recently chair of the Dielectrics Society, which was incorporated into the Institute of Physics in 2001 during which time I’ve organised over 10 major international meetings in Dielectrics.  So it’s great to be recognised by this fellowship for this “contribution to the advancement of physics as a discipline and profession.”

Professor Martin Barstow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, who is also a Fellow of the Institute, added: “I am very pleased that John has been made a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. It certainly recognizes the importance of his contributions in electrical physics and perhaps highlights the slight artificial barriers we erect between subject disciplines. Many problems in the modern world require an inter-disciplinary approach to solve them and John exemplifies this.”

Ends

NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, contact the Department of Engineering on 0116 252 2547

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