CLF Scientist and STFC Senior Fellow honoured by the Royal Academy of Engineering
22 Sep 2017
- Emily Cooke



We are delighted to announce that Pavel Matousek, Chief Scientific Officer of Cobalt Light Systems Ltd and STFC Senior Fellow, has been named as one of this year’s 50 people to receive a Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship




​The accolade is the latest in a series of awards that have been given to the well-deserved scientist.

"It is tremendous honour to be named a Fellow of this prestigious institution. It is also very humbling to browse through the names of existing Fellows", said Pavel. "This achievement is a clear reflection of the world leading research and innovation environment at STFC which I feel privileged to work in."

Through research and engineering innovations in advanced laser spectroscopy, Professor Pavel Matousek proposed and realised several ground-breaking concepts that significantly affected the landscape of several analytical areas. These advances enabled a new form of deep subsurface, non-invasive chemical analysis in turbid materials, SORS (Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy), that opened a host of applications across several disciplines and addressed major grand challenges.

Pavel, who has been working at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) for 26 years, first devised the concept for SORS while researching ultrafast Raman Spectroscopy at the Central Laser Facility (CLF) at RAL. In collaboration with his colleagues, he then went on to develop the concept and co-found a company, Cobalt Light Systems Ltd, which began operations in July 2008, starting as a spin-out from CLF, to manufacture a range of SORS products for commercial use.  Cobalt's instruments are able to accurately analyse materials hidden inside objects or through barriers such as skin, plastic and paper. Its unique non-invasive analysers are now deployed in security at over 75 airports worldwide and in 9 out of 10 of the largest pharmaceutical companies.

In 2014, Cobalt Light Systems was announced as the winner of the 2014 Royal Academy of Engineering's MacRobert Award for innovation in Engineering for the Insight100 bottle scanner.  In the following year, Cobalt was placed at the top of the SME Export Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain's private small and medium-sized enterprises with the fastest-growing international sales. In the same year, Cobalt went on to receive the 2015 Queen's Award for Enterprise – the UK's highest accolade for business success that is awarded for outstanding business achievement in the fields of International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. The judging panel recognised Cobalt's outstanding performance in international sales – with 17-fold overseas earnings growth over the previous three years – citing the establishment of a new Cobalt entity (Cobalt Light Systems, Inc.) in the USA and strategic partnerships with regional distributors as key factors in winning the award. In July 2017, Cobalt was acquired by Agilent Technologies for £40M. Following the acquisition, Cobalt will be moving from its previous base in Milton Park back to the Harwell Campus. This will become Agilent's global centre for Raman Spectroscopy. Quite the achievement!

Congratulations to Pavel and all the new Fellows (the full list is available on the RAEng's website). We look forward to hearing about future accomplishments by yourself and the company.

To read more news concerning the CLF, please visit CLF News

Contact: Cooke, Emily (STFC,RAL,ISIS)