Irish physicist Margaret Murnane has been awarded the Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence. Murnane, who is a professor at the University of Colorado in the US, won the award for her work on lasers and X-ray science.
The Boyle Medal, which is named after distinguished Irish chemist Robert Boyle, was first awarded to George Johnston Stoney in 1899 and recipients of the prize win €20,000. Professor Murnane is one of just two women to have won the accolade in its 112-year history.
She has developed sophisticated lasers which are capable of pulsing in a few trillionths of a second and her designs were used in a 2005 Nobel Prize-winning physics project.
Education a key factor
A native of Limerick, Murnane studied at University College Cork for a BSc and MSc in physics and says her education played a key role in enabling her to achieve her ambitions.
“I am certain that I would not be where I am today without the love for learning instilled through the strong education I received in Ireland through my primary, secondary and university years,” she says. “It is undoubtedly this foundation which has given me the confidence to go out and put my stamp on the world.”
Professor Murnane will give a free public lecture at the RDS Concert Hall at 7pm on 29 November 2011. For more information on the Boyle Medal visit the RDS website, or to find out more about the public lecture email science[at]rds[dot]ie