Today, Professor Nicholas Braithwaite, of The Open University (OU), received a national award from the Institute of Physics (IOP) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to practical science.
Professor Braithwaite was awarded the Lawrence Bragg medal and prize for developing the award-winning OpenSTEM Labs.
Spearheaded by Professor Braithwaite, the flagship online laboratory for teaching practical science and engineering builds on pioneering work by fellow physicists and educational innovators at The Open University.
Launched in 2015, the OpenSTEM Labs provides access to remote labs and observatories, connecting thousands of students each year to state-of-the-art instruments and equipment with the click of a button.
The service has opened the world of laboratory-based teaching to students via the internet so they can access the lab from anywhere, at any time.
Speaking of his award, Professor Braithwaite, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), said:
“I’ve had the support of a fabulous technical team and many academic colleagues who have shared the vision for the OpenSTEM Labs as a means of connecting students to real data through authentic interfaces.
“Last year, we delivered 150 different practical sessions across 40 different modules, covering physics and many other STEM subjects. It’s particularly fitting that one of our remote-access experiments replicates X-ray measurements of atomic structure for which Lawrence Bragg and his father received the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics.”
The Lawrence Bragg award, a gold medal and prize, is given to physicists with international reputations who have made consistent contributions to physics.
Professor Braithwaite is one of 29 physicists to receive a medal for their outstanding contribution to physics in academia, industry, education and outreach, as part of the 2020 Institute of Physics Awards.
Jonathan Flint, IOP President, said:
“Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s IOP Awards, which recognise and reward excellence in individuals and teams and their contribution to physics. We’re delighted to celebrate the winners’ extraordinary achievements.”
For more on the awards and winners visit www.iop.org/about/awards