Prof Athene Donald presents the 2014 Rideal Award Lecture

8 Jan 2014

The Rideal Award recognises and honours an individual who has made a sustained and distinguished contribution to colloid and interface science in the UK. The award is given annually by the RSC/SCI Joint Colloids Group.

This year's awardee is Prof Dame Athene Donald FRS, from the University of Cambridge, for her outstanding work on synthetic and biological polymeric systems. The award will be presented at the end of a one-day symposium entitled 'Controlling Structure'. This symposium, with a range of world expert speakers, will highlight some of the latest research on experimental investigations into soft matter polymeric systems.

A key advance in the soft matter field has been the development of experimental systems to image colloidal particles and polymers within materials. Once the arrangement of constituent materials is understood, the complex relation between structure and macroscopic properties of the material can be elucidated. Prof Donald's group has developed a number of experimental techniques and in particular recently focused on environmental SEM (scanning electron microscope) and microrheology. Her research has probed a range of complex materials including protein interactions inside cells and cellular adhesion. Recent work has explored protein aggregation with numerous medical applications.

In addition to her research Prof Donald is the University of Cambridge's Gender Equality champion, chair of the Royal Society's Education Committee and from October 2014 she will become master of Churchill College, Cambridge.

The symposium will also see presentations on recent advances in the experimental investigation of soft matter systems. Six distinguished speakers spanning physics to chemistry to materials - Richard Jones (Sheffield University), Joe Keddie (University of Surrey), Ruth Cameron (University of Cambridge), Eric van der Linden (Wageningen University), Aline Miller (Manchester University) and Paddy Royall (Bristol University) - will present their latest work, before Prof Donald presents the award lecture.

The Rideal symposium will be held on Thursday 27 March 2014 at the RSC headquarters, Burlington House, in Piccadilly, London.

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