UofG scientist wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Prize

Published: 12 June 2024

Professor Ross Forgan has been named winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Peter Day Prize in recognition of brilliance in research and innovation.

Professor Ross Forgan of the School of Chemistry has been named winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Peter Day Prize in recognition of brilliance in research and innovation.

Professor Forgan is from Linlithgow and won the prize for contributions to the development and application of metal-organic frameworks as functional energy materials.

Professor Forgan also receives £3000 and a medal.

A portrait of Professor Ross Forgan of the School of Chemistry

Professor Forgan’s team researches metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), solid materials with holes so small they can only be measured in nanometres. They can be thought of as 'nanosponges', capable of soaking up significant quantities of molecules such as gases (to capture carbon dioxide, for example) and drug molecules. His team examines their fundamental physical properties in the hope that they can be applied in green energy applications. They are also developing and studying tiny MOFs to establish how they interact with living things (like human cells), potentially making the treatment of cancer more effective.

After receiving the prize, Professor Forgan said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award, and really I am doing so on behalf of all the researchers who have worked with me, all the people who have collaborated with me, and all those who have supported and mentored me over my academic career. This is recognition of their collective efforts.”

Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “The chemical sciences cover a rich and diverse collection of disciplines, from fundamental understanding of materials and the living world to applications in medicine, sustainability, technology and more. By working together across borders and disciplines, chemists are finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

“Our prize winners come from a vast array of backgrounds, all contributing in different ways to our knowledge-base and bringing fresh ideas and innovations. We recognise chemical scientists from every career stage and every role type, including those who contribute to the RSC’s work as volunteers. We celebrate winners from both industry and academia, as well as individuals, teams, and the science itself.

“Their passion, dedication and brilliance are an inspiration. I extend my warmest congratulations to them all.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s prizes have recognised excellence in the chemical sciences for more than 150 years. This year’s winners join a prestigious list of past winners in the RSC’s prize portfolio, 60 of whom have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their work, including 2022 Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi and 2019 Nobel laureate John B Goodenough.

The Research and Innovation Prizes celebrate brilliant individuals across industry and academia. They include prizes for those at different career stages in general chemistry and for those working in specific fields, as well as interdisciplinary prizes and prizes for those in specific roles. Other prize categories include those for Volunteers, those for Education (announced in November), the Inclusion & Diversity Prize, and the Horizon Prizes – which celebrate discoveries and innovations that push the boundaries of science.

First published: 12 June 2024