Professor who wins one of highest industry accolades remembers his South Lakeland teachers

The Westmorland Gazette: Professor Tim Leighton Professor Tim Leighton

A SCIENTIST who has won one of the highest accolades in the industry puts the award down to his education in South Lakeland.

Professor Tim Leighton, a former pupil of Milnthorpe Primary School and what was formerly Heversham Grammar School, has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society.

Founded in 1660, it is dedicated to the promotion of excellence in science and to supporting scientific endeavour.

Each year the Society awards a maximum of 44 fellowships to the best scientists in any and all branches of science in recognition of their achievements.

Professor Leighton has invented devices now used in hospitals for kidney therapy, osteoporosis and a range of other conditions.

He has worked with the Institute of Cancer Research on tumour treatments; developed a needle-free injector used in more than a million migraine treatments; invented devices for detecting roadside bombs and created sensors to locate buried catastrophe victims in avalanches and collapsed buildings.

After Heversham Grammar School he studied Natural Sciences and later Physics at Magdalene College, Cambridge.

But during the 1970s the professor spent much of his time exploring the Lake District and reserved high praise for teachers at both of his schools.

“My teachers at both Milnthorpe and Heversham were all passionate about their subjects but also more widely interested in the world, for example taking us fell walking,” he said.

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“This set me up not only for the multi-disciplinary nature of the degree but also for my research career where I have really enjoyed starting with maths and physics and then seeing how I can take those ideas into areas that are traditionally the realm of other disciplines.”

The professor, who attended Heversham – now The Dallam School – between 1975 and 1982, was also commissioned by a billion-dollar nuclear facility in the USA, provided key measurements for the prediction of climate change and more than two billion children have benefited from the guidelines for foetal ultrasonic scanning that he co-authored.

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