Professor Julie Macpherson. Credit: University of Warwick.
Professor Julie Macpherson. Credit: University of Warwick.

Professor Julie Macpherson from the University of Warwick has been awarded one of the two Royal Society Innovation Award for work exploring boron doped diamond as a pH and chlorine sensor for water safety.

Two Royal Society Innovation Awards will be available each year of up to £250,000: one for research in the Physical sciences and one for research in the Biological sciences. This award is designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment. Prof Macpherson is one the Keynote speakers at the 2017 International Conference on Diamond and Carbon Materials.

The award for the Biological sciences was presented to Professor Chris Phillips, from Imperial College London for work on a non-intrusive, faster and more accurate way of detecting cancer.

Synthetically grown boron doped diamond (BDD) could be used as a pH and chlorine sensor for water quality control. Like diamond, BDD is non-corrosive and resistant to mechanical damage – but due to its conductive properties can also be used as an electrode.

Commenting on the award, Professor Macpherson said, “I am delighted to receive this award, it represents a tremendous opportunity to fully realize the commercial potential of the diamond based sensors that we are currently developing.”

Dr Hermann Hauser co-chair of the Royal Society’s Science, Industry and Translation Committee, shared his excitement of this new award, “We are delighted to announce the first winners of the Royal Society’s newly expanded Innovation and Translation Awards. These awards support some of the very best, innovative researchers in UK universities to increase their chances of entrepreneurial success. The process of translating research from academia into commercially viable products can be challenging and we are proud to help bridge the journey for nine researchers this year.”