CLF Director, Professor John Collier, awarded prestigious medal
29 Oct 2020



The long-standing Director of the Central Laser Facility (CLF), Professor John Collier, has today been awarded the Richard Glazebrook Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics (IOP).


​​​​Professor John Collier with the Award.​


Professor Collier received the honour for the sustained leadership and strategic development of the CLF and his pioneering developments in high peak power and high energy, high average power lasers.

The Richard Glazebrook Medal and Prize is awarded annually to recognise leadership in the field of physics. Professor Collier has led the CLF for over a decade, building the CLF into one of the world's leading research centres using lasers, and establishing the CLF at the heart of major international programmes.

Professor John Collier said about the award:

“I'm very honoured to have been awarded the Richard Glazebrook medal for 2020 by the Institute of Physics. I feel it represents the work of many people, not just myself, that have helped develop the UK's Central Laser Facility into what it is today, and I accept it as much on their behalf as I do on mine."

Research at CLF is helping to inspire solutions to everyday problems; from developing future energy sources and security technologies, to finding new ways to diagnose cancer and bone disease.

Professor Collier's latest initiative, the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) is a new £82million national facility bringing together multiple partners in academia and industry to apply novel laser technology originally developed by Professor Collier to focus on laser-based accelerators and particle sources, stimulating new solutions in multi-modal, dynamic and highly penetrating imaging, sensing and novel radiobiology.

Under Professor Collier's leadership, CLF has seen its five open access user facilities more than double its annual user numbers, now collectively servicing around 500 external users every year. Facilities for bioscience and life sciences  have doubled in size and the diverse portfolio has stimulated a range of  academic and industry collaborations.

Throughout his career, first at CERN and then at RAL, Professor Collier has made major contributions to developments in high power lasers. This includes the Vulcan Petawatt (PW) Facility, the Gemini Facility, Optical Parametric Chirped-Pulse Amplification (OPCPA) and 'DiPOLE' - scalable diode pumped, cryogenic laser technology capable of generating kJ pulse energies at multi-Hz repetition rate. The latter is world-leading technology which forms the basis of the new EPAC and is the heart of the new high energy density beamline on the European XFEL.

Additionally, Professor Collier was one of the original developers of the world's first international laser research infrastructure, the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), continuing to chair its general assembly to his day. He was also a founding member of the pan Europe Laserlab-Europe network, now in its 5th EC funded incarnation, and continues to sit on the management board as deputy chair.

Dr Alan Partridge, National Labs Executive Director and Head of RAL, said about the award:

“I am delighted that John has been recognised for his outstanding contribution in the field of Laser Physics. The award is a tribute to the work undertaken by John and his team at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, and the impact this work has had across a range of disciplines."

IOP President, Jonathan Flint said:

“Congratulations to all the winners of this year's IOP Awards, which recognise and reward excellence in individuals and teams and their contribution to physics. We're delighted to celebrate the winners' extraordinary achievements."


Contact: Towrie, Helen (STFC,RAL,CLF)