Former Sheffield university lecturer wins Nobel Prize

Sir Fraser Stoddart.

Sir Fraser Stoddart.

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A world renowned scientist who spent part of his career working as a university lecturer in Sheffield has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Scots-born Sir Fraser Stoddart, who works in the USA, pioneered the development of molecular machines - but spent a chunk of the 1970s lecturing in Sheffield.

Sir Fraser, 74, was named joint winner of the prestigious award in recognition of his work on tiny motors too small to see with the naked eye.

The other two laureates announced at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm were Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage, from the University of Strasbourg, France, and Professor Bernard Feringa, from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Each scientist will receive an equal share of the eight million kronor (£733,000) prize money.

Sir Fraser, who was born in Edinburgh and obtained his PhD from the city's university and who now works at the Northwestern University in Illinois said he was "overawed and in a state of shock" at winning the Nobel Prize.

Sir Fraser worked in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Birmingham before moving to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997.

He arrived in South Yorkshire in 1970 as an Imperial Chemical Industries Research Fellow, before joining the academic staff at the University of Sheffield as a lecturer in Chemistry.

He worked in Los Angeles and Runcorn before returning to Sheffield where he was promoted to a Readership in 1982.

He was included in the Queen's New Year's honours list in 2006 and made a knight bachelor.