One of the featured technologies in my DATE report was spintronics. This week the Technology Academy Finland, backed by the Finnish State awarded the 2014 Millennium technology prize of 1 million Euros about US$1.4 million to Prof. Stuart Parkin. No, I didn’t know the name either, but as the film on the TAF web site explains, http://taf.fi/en/millennium-technology-prize/ he is the man who made it possible to exploit spintronics commercially. Parkin is British and when working as an IBM Fellow at the Almaden Research Centre he realised that sputtering could be used to create the three layer sandwich on which spintronics depends.
I should have known the name as he is an IBM Fellow, consulting professor at Stanford University, visiting professor at four other universities, Director of the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics and Alexander von Humboldt Professor at Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg. And he has received the 2008 IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for his work on MRAM, the 2008 IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Award, the 2009 IUPAP Magnetism Prize and Neel Medal for outstanding contributions to the science of magnetism, the 2008 Guttenberg Research Award, the 2009 Dresden Barkhausen Award and the 2012 David Adler Lectureship Award from the APS.
The Press release quotes him as saying, “I am extremely happy and excited to have won the Millennium Technology Prize because of course it’s one of the most important prizes in the scientific community. It has been awarded to some really great scientists over the past decade. The previous winners have proven to be fantastic scientists whose research has had tremendous impact. I am very humbled and proud to have been awarded the prize…”
Previous winners are
2004, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.
2006, Professor Shuji Nakamura, inventor of revolutionary new light sources – bright blue, green and white LEDs and a blue laser.
2008, Professor Robert Langer for innovative work in controlled drug release and for developing innovative biomaterials for use in tissue regeneration.
2010, Professor Michael Grätzel for innovative developments in dye-sensitised solar cells.
2012, Linus Torvalds creator of the Linux kernel and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka for a new method to produce induced pluripotent stem cells from ordinary cell tissue.