Churchill alumna Nicola Spaldin (U88) has been named the 2017 European Laureate in the 19th annual L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Award, which recognises women from different global regions who have made outstanding contributions to scientific progress.
Nicola is Professor of Materials Theory at ETH Zurich, and is known for her pioneering research on multiferroics (materials that exhibit ferromagnetism, ferroelectricity and ferroelasticity). She was awarded the 2017 award for her work on reinventing magnetic materials for next-generation electronic devices.
Spaldin studied geology and chemistry as part of a Natural Science degree at Churchill College. In 1996, she obtained her doctorate in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. She was then a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University in New Haven before moving back to California, where she was Assistant Professor (1997–2002) and Associate Professor (2002–2006) in the Materials Department at UC Santa Barbara. She was made a Full Professor in 2006, and moved to ETH Zurich in 2011.
She is only the sixth UK-born scientist to receive an award, and the third with Churchill connections, following our Master Dame Athene Donald (2009) and alumna and Honorary Fellow Dame Carol Robinson (2015).