Professor Neil Alford, Head of the Department of Materials and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London and the LCN, has been recognised with an MBE for his services to engineering.
Professor Alford and his colleagues recently solved a 50 year-old research puzzle of how produce and run a cost-effective MASER (Microwave Amplification Stimulated Emission of Radiation). Similar to a LASER but producing a concentrated beam of microwaves instead of light, the MASER could be used in medical scanning, explosives detection and radio astronomy.
His latest research is exploring the physical and mechanical properties of 'super material' graphene. Graphene is exceptionally thin and strong, and its ability to conduct heat and electricity mean it could one day replace silicon in microchips.