Sir David Payne Student Scholar Award winner announced

The Sir David Payne Student Scholar Award has been won by first year PhD student Alex Jantzen at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), home to the Future Photonics Hub.

The new annual award recognises outstanding achievement by students in the first year of their PhD at the ORC. Student supervisors nominate candidates for consideration before shortlisted applicants attend an interview panel.

Dr Chris Holmes, who nominated Alex Jantzen, explained, “Alex has comprehensive abilities, representing a balance between technical accomplishment and ambassadorial qualities. He achieves highly in both his academic and outreach endeavours.”

Alex joined the PhD course with an outstanding record of achievement, graduating top of his year in Physics. He continued to demonstrate technical strength through his first-year marks and has appeared on several publications, as a first author on one and co-author on two others. He has invested significantly in initiatives to bring scientific research to a wider audience, winning ‘Best Communicator’ award at the 2016 Science and Engineering Festival. His self-motivation and communication skills have also enabled him to initiate research collaborations and contribute innovation solutions in the lab.

ORC Director, Professor Sir David Payne, announcing the award said, “Alex’s ability and attitude is reflected in the breadth of his achievements and he provides an excellent example to others of what constitutes the ‘best performing’ PhD student.”

Alex said, “It is a huge honour to be the first winner of this prize and, given the incredible capabilities of my peers, I was surprised and ecstatic when I received the news. I believe that this prize is just as much a testimony to my supervisor, Chris Holmes, as it is to my abilities. Without the support of Chris, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have done.”

The Sir David Payne Student Scholar Award was established following a generous donation by Dr KV Reddy and Mrs. Sara Reddy (PriTel Ltd), a great friend of the ORC, on the occasion of Prof Sir David’s 70th birthday and celebrating over 50 years at the University. KV said, “Sir David began his pioneering career in photonics studying for a PhD at Southampton and the fund creates a legacy that will award excellence among ORC students for many years to come.”

The cash award for the 2015-2016 prize is £3000.

Learn more about the Sir David Payne Student Scholar Award.


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