Nuclear materials physicist receives honorary doctorate

Professor Robin Grimes is to be awarded an honorary doctorate due to his work in computer simulation techniques that enhance understanding of nuclear materials.

Aston University is set to award an honorary doctorate to Professor Grimes FRS FREng, for his contributions towards the understanding of nuclear materials and to scientific diplomacy.

Professor Grimes has a distinguished academic career notable for developing computer simulation techniques to predict structural and dynamic properties of ceramics and metals, in particular to the understanding of nuclear materials. He retains a leading role in the nuclear power academic community.

Nuclear materials
Professor Robin Grimes

Nuclear materials field

Professor Grimes has also championed the development of scientific diplomacy, placing science collaboration at the heart of key international relationships. He has maintained the role of Nuclear Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Defence and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Here, he established science diplomacy and developed diplomatic links with a number of countries, particularly with Argentina. He played a pivotal role in the UK response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster 2011, serving on the scientific advisory group for emergencies at that time, and subsequently during other nuclear emergencies.

Professor Grimes’ father, Dr Norman Grimes, was head of Aston University’s department of physics between 1984 and 1985, and Robin has previously lived in Kings Heath, Birmingham.

Honorary doctorate award

In 2013 Professor Grimes was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, in 2016 Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and in 2018 a Fellow of the Royal Society. In December 2021 he was knighted in the New Year Honours for services to UK resilience and international science relationships. Since 2002 he has been Professor of Materials Physics at Imperial College London.

Professor Stephen Garrett Executive Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Aston University, said: “I am delighted that Aston University will be bestowing this honour on Professor Grimes in recognition of both his contribution to materials physics and his work as a chief scientific adviser which has helped place science within international diplomacy.

“Professor Grimes has made major contributions to understanding material science and engineering. His work has generated exceptional insight into the properties of materials for energy applications, particularly for nuclear energy.”

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