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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


Dr Jacqueline Cole has been awarded the Clifford Paterson Medal by the Royal Society 'for the development of photo-crystallography and the discovery of novel high-performance nonlinear optical materials and light-harvesting dyes using molecular design rules.'

Dr Cole has two PhDs: one in physics from the University of Cambridge and one in chemistry from the University of Durham. She moved to Cambridge having been awarded a Junior Research Fellowship at St. Catharine's College. This enabled her to begin her developments in photo-crystallography, a new analytical technique that realises the 4-D photo-induced structures of optoelectronic materials.

Dr Cole currently leads the Molecular Engineering group at the Cavendish Laboratory, joint initiative between the Cavendish Laboratory and our department with the ISIS Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. She holds an 1851 Royal Commission of the Great Exhibition Design Fellowship with Argonne National Laboratory, USA. She previously held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship concurrently with a Vice-Chancellor's Research Chair at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

"This award celebrates the emerging field of molecular engineering, which synergises the latest advances in data science and computation with innovative developments in in situ materials characterisation," said Dr Cole. "This paradigm shift, in the way that we design new molecules, will accelerate the discovery of technologically important materials."

Her research is highly interdisciplinary and focused on the design and functionalisation of new materials for optoelectronic applications. A wide variety of experimental and computational methods are used to realise this goal.

The Clifford Paterson Medal is awarded biennially and the lecture is given to an outstanding researcher in the field of engineering. The lectureship was originally endowed by The General Electric Company in memory of Clifford Paterson FRS, who founded the GEC Research Laboratories in 1919. Originally the lectures were given on electrical science and technology, but this was later broadened to any aspect of engineering. The first lecture was given in 1975.

Dr Cole was previously awarded the first British Crystallographic Association Chemical Crystallography Prize (2000) for her research on optical materials; the 18th Franco-British Science prize (2006) for collaborative research and cooperation between France and Britain; the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award (2007) for innovation; and the Royal Society of Chemistry SAC Silver Medal (2009) for her contributions to the development of photo-crystallography and advanced methods in neutron diffraction.

Dr Cole will be awarded the Clifford Paterson bronze medal and a gift of £2,000, with the associated prize lecture to be given sometime in 2020.

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