British-American physicist, Stuart Parkin has been awarded with the 1 million-euro (USD 1.3 million) Millennium Technology Prize in recognition for his work on increasing the digital data storage on magnetic disk to a thousand-fold.
The Watford born physicist, a consulting professor at Stanford University, was selected as the winner for his “pioneering contribution to the science and application of spintronic materials, his work leading to a prodigious growth in the capacity to store digital information,” the Finnish prize foundation cited.
“Mr. Parkin’s innovations may pave the way to a totally new era in computing with dramatically increased capacity and reduced power consumption,” said Juha Yla—Jaaski, president of Technology Academy Finland.
“I’m very happy, very honoured and very grateful to the Technology Academy for awarding me this prize. The president of the academy called me while I was at a meeting in Washington, so it was a very nice surprise,” said Prof Parkin.
The Millennium Technology Prize, introduced in 2004, is awarded every two years by the Finland Technology Academy, an independent foundation, for “technological innovations that significantly improve the quality of people’s lives.”
Previous winners include Britain’s Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the World Wide Web, Japanese Shuji Nakamura for inventions in laser technology and LED lighting and Shinya Yamanaka, ethical stem cell pioneer also from Japan.
Parkin, recently appointed director of the experimental department of Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, emerged as the winner among the 45 nominations made for the 2014 award. He will be receiving the award on May 7 at a ceremony in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.