Nicola A. Spaldin, Head of the Materials Theory Group at the ETH Zürich and AcademiaNet member since 2012, is awarded the highly-regarded prize at a ceremony in the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris. She is recognised for her outstanding scientific contributions in the area of material science.
Professor Spaldin’s research focuses on the development of novel compounds that combine different physical properties. One result of her work is the development of a new class of materials called “multiferroics”, which are simultaneously ferromagnetic and ferroelectric. These materials are exceedingly rare in nature, but Professor Spaldin’s team designs and produces them from scratch in her laboratory. This work may greatly advance information technology, as multiferroics could be used to generate smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient data-storage devices.
Since 1998, the L'Oréal Foundation and UNESCO together support excellent female researchers with the prestigious L'Oréal-UNESCO-Award For Women in Science. The prizes are worth 100 000 € and are awarded yearly. Each of the five recipients represents a top researcher in their respective geographical region. Candidates are nominated by their peers, and nominations are assessed by several scientific experts and - once shortlisted - by an international jury composed of 12 eminent scientists. This year’s awardees are joining 92 previous laureates, which include 2 Nobel Prize winners and a current head of state.