About British Vacuum Council

The British Vacuum Council

The British Vacuum Council (BVC) is a national organisation that promotes excellence in vacuum science and connects UK vacuum science and related fields with the International Union for Vacuum Science, its Techniques and Application (IUVSTA).

The British Vacuum Council (BVC) aims to promote understanding and teaching of vacuum science, technology and its applications and increase the visibility and recognition of the field in the UK and internationally. The BVC pursues these goals by providing recognition for outstanding accomplishments in vacuum science in the UK via prestigious prizes, coordinates and promotes vacuum science related events and  provides a communication channel and information resource for engagement of UK scientists with IUVSTA.

About us

The British Vacuum Council is a registered charity which is charged with representing, at an international level, the professional interests of scientists and engineers in Great Britain who work in fields related to vacuum. It carries out this function by acting as an umbrella body for those professional and learned societies which have members working in such fields. These societies are then the institutional members of the Council. Currently, there are two institutional members: the Institute of Physicsand the UK Surface Analysis Forum, UKSAF.

The Members of Council are its Officers, elected at the Annual Meeting of the Councils, and two representatives nominated by each institutional member.

The British Vacuum Council is the representative of Great Britain on the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and its Applications (IUVSTA). As such, it nominates a Councillor and Alternate Councillor for periods of three years (also known as a ‘Triennium’). It also nominates representatives to each Divisional College of IUVSTA, again for periods of three years. The Councillor, Alternate and Divisional Representatives are co-opted automatically as non-voting members of Council (unless they are already full members).

The Council has no individual members or corporate members.

Charity Information

The British Vacuum Council is a registered charity, Charity Number 292999. The registry entry can be examined by following this link.

The full (voting) members of Council are regarded as the Trustees of the charity. An annual return is made to the The Charity Commissioner of England and Wales by the end of October each year. The income of the Charity is below the threshold at which it is obliged to submit financial accounts to the Commission.

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Contact us:

Contact us on email at bvc@british-vacuum-council.org.uk.

Follow us on Twitter @BVCouncil

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The Council has two prizes within its gift, which are normally awarded annually.

British Vacuum Council Senior Prize

John Yarwood Memorial Medal

Each year the Council seeks nominations for the British Vacuum Council Senior Prize, with which is associated the John Yarwood Memorial Medal. The prize is awarded for distinguished contributions to British scientific research in the fields of vacuum science, surface science, thin films or any related topic in which vacuum science and engineering play an important role.

The John Yarwood Memorial Medal, established to honour the memory of Professor John Yarwood (an international figure in the field of vacuum physics and a founder member of the British Vacuum Council).

The prizewinner may be invited to deliver the BVC Annual Address at a suitable conference or meeting.


British Vacuum Council Junior Prize

British Vacuum Council Junior Prize Medal

The Council seeks to encourage scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers who carry out outstanding work in the field of vacuum science, surface science, thin films, or any related topic in which vacuum science and engineering play in important role. Nominees should be within ten years of receiving their first degree at the end of the calendar year in which the nomination is made. Awards may be made to non graduates whom the prize committee considers to be at an equivalent stage of their career. Candidates should normally be resident in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland

Prizewinners are awarded the Junior Prize which comprises the C R Burch Prize and the BVC Medal.



The British Vacuum Council Senior Prize

The British Vacuum Council Senior Prize is awarded based on nominations submitted to the BVC. Nominations should be made on the Nomination_Form_BVC_Prize.

The British Vacuum Council Junior Prize

Entries for the Prize may be by nomination or by direct (self) application. Entries should be made on the Nomination_Form_BVC_Prize.

Nominations must be made by a member (any grade or class) of one of the constituent bodies of the British Vacuum Council; self-applicants must also be members of one of the bodies. All nominees must normally be resident in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland and must be within ten years of first graduation at the end of the year in which application/nomination is made. Non-graduates who are at an equivalent stage in their career may also be nominated.

The application form must be accompanied by by a short CV and a full list of publications. The citation on the form must indicate the extent to which the entrant has been responsible for the research for which the nomination is made, and the references listed on the form should be to that work.


To nominate someone for either award, please download and print the nomination form using the button above (PDF format), and send the completed form to the Secretariat (see Contacts tab above).

Note that nomination can be done at any time and nominations will be considered at the next meeting of the Prize Committee. Prize Committee meetings are scheduled in the February of the year of the award to ensure that awards can be made at conferences in the year of the award. The Prize Committee will be appointed by the BVC and the decision of the judges shall be final: no correspondence can be entered into regarding the decisions of the Committee.

Recipients of the BVC Senior Prize and John Yarwood Medal

2018 Dr William Allison
2017 Professor Morgan Alexander
2016 Professor Martin Castell
2015 Professor John Colligon
2014 Professor Geoffrey Thornton
2013 Professor Richard Palmer, University of Birmingham
2012 No prize awarded
2011 Professor Peter Weightman
2010 No prize awarded
2009 Professor John Watts
2008 Professor Chris McConville, University of Warwick

Recipients of the BVC Junior Prize and the BVC Medal and C R Burch Award

2014 No prize awarded
2013 Dr Philip King, St Andrews University, currently at Cornell University
2012 No prize awarded
2011 Dr Felicia Green, National Physical Laboratory, and Dr Peter Carrington, University of Lancaster
2010 No prize awarded
2009 Dr Timothy David Veal

The prizes were reconstituted in 2007.

Recipients of the BVC Medal and Prize

1999 M Wyn Roberts
1998 David Philip Woodruff
1997 John Henry Leck
1996 Neville Vincent Richardson
1995 Martin Pengton Seah
1994 John Brian Pendry
1993 Michael Hitchman
1992 John Pritchard
1991 David Anthony King
1990 Martin Prutton
1989 John Cecil Riviere
1988 Robin Hughes Williams

Previous winners of the John Yarwood Medal

2005 Professor Richard Lambert
2004 Professor Ian Boyd
2003 No prize awarded
2002 No prize awarded
2001 No prize awarded
2000 Professor Michael Bowker
1999 Professor M Wyn Roberts
1998 Professor D Philip Woodruff
1997 Dr Bo Persson
1996 Professor Alex Bradshaw
1995 Professor G Magaritondo
1994 Professor D Wayne Goodman
1993 Professor L Shohet and Dr D E Aspnes
1992 Dr John Haw
1991 Dr Bruce Kay and Dr F van der Veen
1990 Dr Joachim Roth
1989 Professor C T Campbell

Previous winners of the C R Burch Prize

Year Name Reason for winning
(where recorded)
2008 No prize awarded
2007 No prize awarded
2006 No prize awarded
2005 Dr Gavin Bell University of Warwick
2004 No prize awarded
2003 No prize awarded
2002 No prize awarded
2001 No prize awarded
2000 Dr Mike Lee University of Hull
1999 Dr Christopher Baddeley

Dr Philip Moriaty

Lecturer in Surface Science, School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews

School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham

1998 No prize awarded
1997 Dr Stephen Patrick Wilks Dept of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Wales, Swansea Outstanding work in field of semiconductor interfaces
1996 No prize awarded
1995 Dr Jas Pal Badyal Dept of Chemistry, University of Durham
1994 Dr Dermot Monaghan Dept of Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering, University of Salford Development of new types of coating, and work in the field of physical vapour deposition
1993 Dr Robert Short Dept of Engineering Materials, University of Sheffield Work on polymer surface analysis and surface molecular engineering
1992 No prize awarded
1991 No prize awarded
1990 Dr T S Jones Imperial College
1989 Dr Karen Reeson

Dr Alfred Cerezo

Dept of Electronic & Electrical Engineering at University of Surrey

Dept of Metallurgy & Science of Materials at University of Oxford

1988 Dr Elaine McCash Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
1987 No prize awarded
1986 No prize awarded
1985 No prize awarded
1984 No prize awarded
1983 Mr D C Peacock University of York Paper on ‘Instrumental effects in quantitative Auger electron spectroscopy’
1982 No prize awarded
1981 Mr David Kingham Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge

Annual Address speakers

Year Speaker Topic (where recorded)
2005 Professor Richard Lambert, UniversityofCambridge Application of Surface Science to Heterogeneous Catalysis
2004 Professor Ian Boyd, University College London
2003 No annual address given
2002 No annual address given
2001 No annual address given
2000 Professor Michael Bowker, University of Reading
1999 Professor M Wyn Roberts, Cardiff University
1998 Professor D Philip Woodruff, University of Warwick, UK
1997 Dr Bo Persson
1996 Professor Alex Bradshaw, Fritz-Haber-Institute,Berlin
Molecules on Metal Surfaces: Structure and Bonding
1995 Professor G Magaritondo, EPFL Lausanne Photoelectron Spectromicroscopy with Ultra-bright Synchrotron Radiation
1994 Professor D Wayne Goodman,TexasA&MUniversity
1993 Professor L Shohet, Madison-Wisconsin
Dr D E Aspnes, North Carolina State University
Recent Progress in Plasma-Aided Manufacturing
Real-time Optical Diagnostics for Epitaxial Growth
1992 Dr John Haw, Texas A&M University
1991 Dr Bruce Kay,Sandia Laboratories, New Mexico
Dr F van der Veen, Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven
1990 Dr Joachim Roth, Max-Planck Institt fr Plasmaphysik, Garching
1989 Professor C T Campbell, University of Indiana Studies of Catalytic Kinetics and Mechanisms Over Well-Defined Model Catalysts Based Upon Single Crystal Surfaces
1988 Professor T Madey, NBS Washington, DC Electron and Photon Stimulated Desorption of Ions From Surfaces: Benefits and Pitfalls
1987 Professor R J Madix, Stanford University Reaction Kinetics and Dynamics at Surfaces
1986 Dr H Biederman, Charles University, Prague Polymer Films Prepared by Plasma Polymerization and Their Potential Application
1985 Dr R Tait,SERC Daresbury Electrons, Photons and Ions at Daresbury
1984 Dr E Kay, IBM San Jose The Role of Ion Laser-Induced Processing in Contemporary Dry Processing Techniques
1983 Dr A Luntz, IBM San Jose Laser Probes of Molecular-Surface Dynamics
1982 Sir Alec Merrison,Vice-Chancellor, University of Bristol Science and Technology: Is There a Difference?
1981 Dr J T Yates,NBS Washington, DC Structural Factors in Chemisorption and Heterogeneous Catalysis
1980 R N Jackson, Philips Research Laboratories, Redhill Television: the Widening Horizon
1979 Sir Arthur Vick, Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University of Belfast Physics in Education
1978 Dr D Eckhardt, Culham Laboratory The Vacuum System of the Proposed JET Experiment
1977 Professor G Carter, University of Salford The Interaction Between Atomic Collisions in Solids and Vacuum
1976 Professor Boyd Studies in Nature’s Most Abundant Vacuum
1975 Dr E Jones, CERN, Geneva The Design and Production of UHV Chambers, with particular reference to the CERN ISR
1974 No annual address given
1973 Professor Tedford, University of Strathclyde Vacuum Insulation in the Service of Industry
1972 No annual address given
1971 Mr K C Barraclough, Firth Brown Ltd Vacuum Technology in Steel Making
1970 Dr L Holland, Edwards High Vacuum A Review of Some Recent Vacuum Studies

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BVC-sponsored events

The BVC sponsors relevant national and international meetings in its fields of interest. For details of sponsorship contact the secretariat (see “Contact us” tab above).

New upcoming meetings

Past events

Other events

Vacuum Expo

Vacuum Expo

Showcasing the very latest vacuum and related technologies and innovations for applications in science and industry, Vacuum Expo will provide an unparalleled networking environment for the effective and meaningful transfer of information and knowledge within the field of vacuum and associated technologies.
More info

Vacuum Symposium UK

Vacuum Symposium

The Vacuum Symposium UK series of meetings grew out of a ‘call’ from the UK vacuum community for an annual national meeting incorporating both technical and commercial elements. The remit is to put on interesting and wide-ranging programmes that reach out to the diverse spectrum of vacuum users.
More info

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BVC Officers
Chair Professor Martin McCoustra
Vice Chair Professor Timo Gans
Past Chair Dr Alex Shard
Treasurer Dr Ron J Reid
Secretary Professor Arutiun Ehiasarian
Councillor Professor Timo Gans
Alternate Councillor Dr David Sykes
Co-opted Dr Alan Webb
Full Members of Council 1st Representative 2nd Representative
Representing IOP Andrew Chew Neil Curson
Representing UKSAF Dr David Scurr David Morgan
Co-opted Members of Council (non-voting), as IUVSTA Divisional Representatives for Great Britain
Applied Surface Science Dr David Scurr
Electronic Materials and Processing TBC
Nanometer Structure Dr Steven Schofield
Plasma Science and Technique Dr Deborah O’Connell
Biointerfaces Dr Mischa Zeizer
Surface Engineering Professor Arutiun Ehiasarian
Surface Science Dr Ziyou Li
Thin Film Professor Papken Hovsepian
Vacuum Science and Technology Mr Joe Herbert

Constituent Bodies


The Institute of Physics


UKSAF (UK Surface Analysis Forum)

Associate Members

Vacuum Symposium

Vacuum Symposium

RGA Users Group

RGA User’s Group

Other links

International Union for Vacuum Science

IUVSTA (International Union for Vacuum Science)

AVS Science and Technology Society

AVS Science and Technology Society

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