SGT - Alastair Pilkington Award

The SGT - Alastair Pilkington Award

is awarded in memory of arguably the most significant glass technologists of the twentieth century. Although Sir Alastair had the same surname, he was not in fact related to the family which had owned the famous glassmaking company for a century and a half. He came into glassmaking almost by accident, but within a scant few years had established such a reputation for ability and diligence that he had been entrusted with a major development project.

So it was very early in his glassmaking career that he invented the Float Process for making near-perfect flat glass. That invention transformed the world in which we live - our architecture is dominated by float glass, perfect windows are taken for granted, and the windows in all kinds of tranportation were revolutionised.

This award, given in his memory, is to recognise other scientists, engineers, technologists, artists or historians who have made signal innovative contributions to any field of glass studies, and have done so early in their glass careers.

Awarded in partnership with the Mushroom Trust, a charitable fund administered by Sir Alastair's family, this prestigeous award is made every two years to the best candidate among a field of researchers or practitioners who, like the great man, have made a significant and innovative contribution within a few years of entering the glass field.

The Award Winner 2016
5 Aug 2016

The winner of the SGT - Alastair Pilkington Award in 2016 is:

Dr Anita Zeidler
University of Bath

where she is the Royal Society - EPSRC Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow.

The Award was made in recognition of seminal contributions to the development of (i) in situ high-pressure neutron diffraction to investigate the mechanisms of density-driven network collapse in glassy and liquid materials, and (ii) neutron diffraction with isotope substitution to investigate the structure of glasses and high-temperature glass-forming oxide liquids, along with the structural differences that are associated with quantum effects in water.

The Award will be presented by Mrs Rosalind Christian, daughter of Sir Alastair Pilkington, at the Opening Ceremony of the Centenary Conference on Monday 5th September 2016. As well as being an invited speaker at the conference, Dr Zeidler will make a presentation of the specific research which led to this award being made.

Anita Zeidler Citation

There was a group of very strong candidates applying for the 2016 SGT - Alistair Pilkington Award and The Board of Fellows had a very difficult job in deciding who should receive this year's Award. After much careful discussion it was decided that the award should go Anita Zeidler.

The three papers she presented in the application concerned research on the structure of glass-forming materials at high pressures and/or high temperatures.

It could be seen that the work described in her three papers is impressive and while her papers were multi-authored, which is always the case with work performed at central facilities, she has clearly made the major contribution.

Anita also has an impressive CV. Since gaining a PhD she has published over 25 peer reviewed papers and gained a number of prizes and awards.