July 25, 2022
We are very proud that the winner of the 2022 Harry Leck Memorial Medal is Dr Andrew Chew.
Each year the organising committee of Vacuum Symposium UK seeks nominations for the Harry Leck Memorial Medal.
The Medal is awarded for distinguished contributions to British scientific research and/or related scientific/technical communities, in the field of Vacuum Science and Technology. More information here.
Presentation of the medal was made on July 12th during the Vacuum Symposium UK held at the Daresbury laboratory.
From the day it opened in 1962, Daresbury Laboratory has pushed the boundaries of modern science. It is internationally recognised for world-leading scientific excellence in a diverse variety of fields, from nuclear physics to supercomputing, and its achievements, which consistently deliver impact on a human scale and have inspired scientists, adults and children alike.
Andrew’s first vacuum experiment was in 1989, as an investigation of a proposed dependence on mass of acceleration due to gravity.
It involved the measurement of the fall of spheres of different materials/mass but with the same diameter, in a 5m chamber under vacuum. This was the final year project of his BSc degree in Physics at the University of York, where he went on to complete a PhD (1993) in Vacuum Physics under the supervision of Austin Chambers. This work focused on vacuum metrology and the measurement of tangential momentum accommodation coefficients.
After a Post-doc position making in-vacuum identification of field asymmetries intrinsic to high temperature superconductor suspension systems, collaborating with the KFZ in Karlsruhe, he joined the Central Technical and Application Group at Edwards Vacuum in 1995 as a Technologist. His work there included the fundamental assessment and development of vacuum mechanisms and continued work on the gas-surface interface. In his earlier years at Edwards he had the privilege of working with some vacuum luminaries who were at the end of their careers, including Henry Wycliffe, whose development of the dry pump revolutionised the use of vacuum in the semiconductor and other process industries.
His work in Vacuum Engineering allowed him to gain registration as a Chartered Engineer.
At Edwards he had a range of other roles, including market development across the entire spectrum of vacuum applications: analytical instrumentation, medical, R&D, industrial, semiconductor and solar.
Focusing on identifying new trends and emerging technologies
Andrew is today Global Applications Manager, with a responsibility across all continents for developing vacuum application solutions, mentoring, and training colleagues and new product technology developments. He has a special focus on identifying vacuum industry trends and emerging technologies.
He has had over 40 publications, made more than 50 conference presentations, and produced 6 patents.
He has served as a British Vacuum councillor and is currently the Chair of the IOP Vacuum Group. He gained fellowship of the IOP in 2019 and is the founding editor of www.vacuumscienceworld.com portal of expertise.
He remains fascinated by vacuum science and the dynamism of the vacuum industry in all its forms.
Over the last 36 years I have had the privilege of meeting and working with past, present and future generations of vacuum practitioners on every continent on earth including those in academia, government institutions and a huge range of industries and commercial enterprises as well as in vacuum manufacturing. I maintain that these people pursued and pursue a scientific discipline with the largest dynamic range of 18 orders of magnitude and with a vast number of avenues of investigation. The applications of their work has and continues to have, major impacts and tangible benefits globally. Meeting this challenge they have proved to be the most collaborative, open-minded, unbiased, inquisitive, innovative, industrious, imaginative, resourceful, productive and creative physicists, scientists, technologists and engineers one could ever hope to meet and work with. This includes the past recipients of this medal and indeed Harry Leck himself. I am truly honoured to be on a list which includes them. Thank you very much for granting me this award.