Professor Robin Williams CBE honoured as Fellow

14 July 2015

Professor Robin Williams CBE, Fellow of Aberystwyth University
Professor Robin Williams CBE, Fellow of Aberystwyth University

Renowned researcher in semiconductor physics and nanotechnology, Professor Robin Williams CBE, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.


A former Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Williams is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was awarded a CBE in 2004 for his outstanding contribution to research in higher education.

Professor Williams is a Council member for both the Science Advisory Council for Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and is a member of the advisory board for the Centre for Advanced Functional Materials and Devices at Aberystwyth University.

Professor Robin Williams CBE was presented as Fellow on Tuesday 14 July by Professor Andrew Evans, Head of the Department of Physics.

Presentation of Professor Robin Williams

“Canghellor, Is-Ganghellor, darpar raddedigion, gyfeillion.  Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno’r Athro Robin Williams yn gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, prospective graduates and supporters.  It is an honour and a privilege to present Professor Robin Williams as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Ym mhentref Llanuwchllyn ar lannau llyn Tegid y ganed yr Athro Robin Williams, CBE, FRS neu Robin Rhydsarn fel yr adnabwyd ef yn yr ardal honno.

Aeth i’r ysgol yn y Bala ac yna i’r Brifysgol ym Mangor lle graddiodd mewn Peirianneg gyda gradd dosbarth cyntaf.  It was at university that Robin’s passion for science and engineering led to his lifelong interest in semiconductors, those ubiquitous materials that are neither metals nor insulators but whose conduction of electricity and emission of light can be engineered to make integrated circuits, mobile phones and lasers.

With a PhD to add to his degree he travelled the world and excelled at the best laboratories, including the Max Planck Intstitute in Stuttgart and the XEROX laboratories in the United States. He returned to these islands as a lecturer to Coleraine in Northern Ireland, and from this base, he pioneered the use of synchrotron radiation to study new materials on the road to nano-science and nano-technology.

Ar ol degawd ar yr Ynys Werdd, dychwelodd i Gymru, i arwain yr Adran Ffiseg a Seryddiaeth yng Nghaerdydd.  Yno cefais y fraint o fod yn un o’i fyfyrwyr ymchwil cyntaf. Roedd ei frwdfrydedd, ei egni a’i wybodaeth eang yn ysbrydoliaeth i ni gyd; It is perhaps testament to his ability and personality that those of us who have studied and worked with him still enjoy his company and respect his words.

Having firmly established Cardiff as a major global centre for semiconductor research, he moved to Swansea to become Vice-Chancellor, overseeing a period of change and growth that saw many more students from Wales and beyond studying at our Universities.

His reputation as a scientist has led to many international awards and prizes, but this fellowship also recognises his considerable contribution to science and education in his native Wales.

Mae Cymru yn parhau yn bwysig iddo; mae wedi cyfrannu’n gyson at yr Eisteddfod, ef cadeiriodd y bwrdd arweinodd at sefydlu’r Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol ac hefyd Bwrdd Cyflenwi Sêr Cymru. Our country continues to benefit from his expertise and wisdom through his active roles in the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Welsh Government’s Science Advisory Committee and the Learned Society for Wales. As an advocate of the importance of collaboration and co-operation in Wales, this fellowship completes the set.

Canghellor, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno ‘r Athro Robin Williams i chi yn Gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Chancellor, it is my absolute pleasure to present Professor Robin Williams to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.”

Aberystwyth University Honours 2015

Twelve individuals are being honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2015 graduation ceremonies, which take place at the University’s Arts Centre from Tuesday 14 July until Friday 17 July.

Eight Honorary Fellowships will be presented to individuals who have, or have had a connection with Aberystwyth or Wales, and who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field.

Two Honorary Doctorate degrees will be presented to individuals who have been outstandingly successful in their field, or who have a long record of renowned research and publication.

Two Honorary Bachelor degrees will be presented to individuals who are members of Aberystwyth University staff without an entry-level degree in recognition of long-service, contribution and dedication to the Institution; and members of the local community who have made a significant contribution to Aberystwyth and the area.

Also being honoured are:

Honorary Fellowships:

•        Eurwen Richards, former President of the Society of Dairy Technology and first female Cheese Master in the UK.

•        Professor Miguel Alario-Franco, researcher in solid state chemistry and former President of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain.

•        Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the Wales Office and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

•        Debbie Moon, BAFTA award-winning creator and writer of the television series WolfBlood, contributor to the Hinterland television series and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

•        Dr Francesca Rhydderch, Award-winning novelist, former editor of New Welsh Review and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Swansea University.

•        Dr Lyn Evans, researcher in high energy physics and leader of the team that designed, built and commissioned the Large Hadron Collider.

•        Iolo Williams, wildlife television presenter of more than 20 series for the BBC and S4C including Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, and former RSPB Species Officer for Wales.

Honorary Doctorate Degrees:

•        Dylan Iorwerth, award-winning poet and author, radio and television presenter, founder and Directing Editor of Golwg Cyf and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

•        Professor Huw Cathan Davies OBE, Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former National Academy of Science Researcher at NASA Institute in Virginia and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

Honorary Bachelor Degrees:

•        Bryn Jones, co-ordinator of the Penparcau Community forum and founding member of local arts and healthcare group ‘HAUL’.

•        Rhian Phillips, former Head teacher of Plascrug Primary School and International Schools Learning ambassador for Wales.

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Arthur Dafis
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Aberystwyth University
01970 621763 / 07841979452 / aid@aber.ac.uk