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MOD Chief Scientific Adviser receives prestigious US awards

Professor Sir Mark Welland, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence and Head of the Department's Nanoscience Centre, has been given two prestigious awards by the United States Department of Defence and the US Department of Energy.

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Sir Mark was awarded the ‘Office of the Secretary of Defence Medal for Exceptional Public Service’ by the US Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta. This was given for his work with regards to national security, particularly in the field of anti-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The citation was based on Sir Mark’s significant contribution to both the United States and the United Kingdom’s national security. His work aligning the programme of the atomic weapons cooperation between the two countries impacted several international engagement programs, such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-Russia Council, and the entire field of bilateral work to counter weapons of mass destruction; to the significant benefit of relations between our countries.

Sir Mark’s work also led to the increased mutual participation of scientists and engineers in directed stockpile work; fostered bilateral cooperation in nuclear, chemical, and biological threat reduction; led new efforts in the area of treaty monitoring and verification; and advocated for the expanded trilateral threat reduction cooperation with France.

Sir Mark was also awarded the ‘NNSA Gold Medal’ for his ‘outstanding leadership and wise counsel as Chief Scientific Advisor to the United Kingdom’ by the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), part of the US Department of Energy. This medal, rarely awarded to non-US nationals, was bestowed for the Professor’s contributions to national security, explaining ‘our countries are stronger and safer for your service.’

Commenting on the awards, Sir Mark said:

It is a great honour to be given two such prestigious awards. These highlight the impressive progress that has been made by the mutual cooperation of the United States and the United Kingdom in the field of defence and security. I am very grateful that the UK’s contribution has been recognised in this way.

Published 21 December 2011