Former Norfolk schoolboy awarded medal by Royal Society

Professor Andy Cooper. Picture: University of Liverpool

Professor Andy Cooper. Picture: University of Liverpool - Credit: Archant

A former Norfolk schoolboy has been awarded the prestigious Hughes Medal by the Royal Society, one of the world's most prestigious science institutions.

Professor Andy Cooper, 48, one-time student at Sheringham High School and North Walsham's Paston Sixth Form College, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2015.

Now part of Liverpool University's Department of Chemistry, he was awarded the Hughes Medal "for the design and synthesis of new classes of organic materials with applications in energy storage, energy production and energy-efficient separations".

The Hughes Medal is awarded by the Royal Society to an outstanding researcher in the field of energy.

Named after the scientist David E Hughes, it was first awarded in 1902 and previous recipients include Alexander Graham Bell and Nobel Laureates such as Enrico Fermi and Stephen Hawking.

Mr Cooper, a father-of-two, said: "It is a terrific honour to receive this prize.

"It reflects the work of a team of exceptionally talented researchers, both in my group in Liverpool and in the groups that we collaborate with elsewhere."

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Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said: "This year, it is again a pleasure to see these awards bestowed on scientists who have made such distinguished and far-reaching contributions in their fields."

Prof Cooper is the Academic Director of the Materials Innovation Factory, an £81m facility at the forefront of advanced materials research, design and development.

His parents, Graham and Margaret, live in High Kelling, near Holt, and his father said: "We're very proud of him. He has won a whole series of awards, going back to his early university days."

Prof Cooper has previously praised the late Rev Canon Roger MacPhee, who had been his A-level chemistry teacher at Paston College.

"He influenced me to go to university which wasn't an obvious course of action at the time," said Prof Cooper, who studied at universities in Nottingham, North Carolina, and Cambridge.