Professor O'Hare works to find the very best ways to produce plastic materials more efficiently and to make them more environmentally friendly. He also makes new additives to give plastics additional properties and improve their performance, for example making them flame proof, improving their mechanical strength and toughness, and giving them antibacterial properties.
He said: “I am very honoured to have been selected to receive the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Tilden Prize. I feel this award now only acknowledges my efforts but the dedication and commitment of my brilliant research team over the past years. I look forward to sharing some highlights from my group’s research during the lecture tour.”
The Tilden Prize, founded in 1939, commemorates Sir William Augustus Tilden, British chemist and pioneer in the teaching of science.
An illustrious list of 47 previous winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including Harry Kroto, Fred Sanger and Linus Pauling.
Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “It is an honour to recognise the illustrious achievements of our prize and award winners in our 175th anniversary year.
“We were founded in 1841 by a group of academics, industrialists and doctors who understood the power of the chemical sciences to change our world for the better. Our winners share that vision and are advancing excellence in their fields, whether through innovative research or inspirational teaching and outreach.
“We are proud to celebrate and support the work of inspiring and influential individuals, whose work has the potential to improve so many lives.”
Prize winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results which can be shown in publications, patents, or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.