Prestigious medal for UofG planetary scientist

Published: 29 November 2023

Dr Luke Daly of the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences has received a prestigious award from the Mineralogical Society.

Dr Luke Daly of the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences has received a prestigious award from the Mineralogical Society.

He has been announced as the 2024 recipient of the Society’s Max Hey Medal. Since 1993, the Medal has been presented to young researchers in recognition of excellent work in the fields of mineralogy, crystallography, petrology and geochemistry.

A portrait of Dr Luke Daly from the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

Dr Daly’s citation from the Mineralogical Society reads:

“Dr Luke Daly's track record reflects his vision, his highly collaborative ethos that spans disciplines (he has published with 454 different co-authors), and technical knowledge and skills including being at the forefront of applications of established and evolving technologies to mineralogy (Electron Backscatter Diffraction, Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction) and geochemistry (atom probe tomography).

“In addition, he has led in the detection, recovery, and analysis of meteorites. Fundamentally, Luke is using state of the art techniques to understand processes that are active at the nanoscale, have an impact on macroscale phenomena, and can result in planetary-scale effects.

“Luke's ability to communicate science extends beyond academic publications to the media and students where his infectious enthusiasm is so evident.”

Dr Daly’s work uses cutting-edge scanning and analysis techniques like atom probe tomography to unravel the ancient history sealed in geological samples of asteroids and meteorites. His work has helped provide new insights on the origins of the Earth’s water and the past habitability of Mars.

He is a member of the UK Fireball Alliance network, which uses a network of cameras around the country to watch the skies over Britain for signs of meteorites entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

He led the search party which recovered the largest intact chunk of the Winchombe meteorite, which fell to Earth in 2021 and was the first meteorite fall to be recovered on British soil in more than 30 years.

Dr Daly said: “I’m over the Moon to have been selected by the Mineralogical Society to receive the Max Hey Medal. It’s a real honour to have the work I’ve been doing with my colleagues around the world recognised by the international community, and I’m immensely grateful to have been nominated.”

First published: 29 November 2023