New Years Honours for Peter Higgs and Alan Walker

Peter Higgs, who has been made a Companion Of Honour in recognition of his services to physics.

Two members of the School of Physics & Astronomy have been recognised in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List. Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, and Honorary Fellow Alan Walker both received honours for their outstanding work.

"My congratulations to Peter and Alan on receiving these great honours. I am delighted by this recognition of their commitment and exceptional contribution to the understanding of physics."
Arthur Trew
Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy

Scientific pioneer

Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, has been made a Companion Of Honour in recognition of his services to physics.

The recognition confers no title but is restricted to a select group of 65 for achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry, or religion.

While teaching at the University in the 1960s, Professor Higgs proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass, predicting the existence of a particle known as the Higgs boson. Last year scientists working with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN announced the discovery of a Higgs-like boson.

Bringing science to all

Alan Walker, honorary fellow in the School of Physics & Astronomy, has been awarded an MBE for services to science engagement and science education in Scotland.

Mr Walker officially retired in 2009 but has continued working in public engagement activities. His current project is PP4SS, Particle Physics for Scottish Schools, which takes an understanding of particle physics to the general public as well as schools.

He is part of the University’s Particle Physics Experiment group, which seeks an understanding of the fundamental particles of nature and the forces governing their behaviour. In recent years he has received or shared multiple awards for public outreach totalling in excess of £150,000.