The ACES-Margarita Salas Prize awarded to Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer



Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, world-leading expert in sustainable energy systems and decarbonisation, has been recognised as the first winner of the ACES-Margarita Salas Award.

This award, instituted in 2021 by the Association of Spanish Scientists in Sweden (ACES), aims to recognise the scientific work carried out by researchers of Spanish nationality with renowned international impact, contributing to social progress in an exemplary and extraordinary way.

The awards have the support of the Embassy of Spain in Sweden and the Ramón Areces Foundation, as well as the patronage of Lucía Viñuela Salas, daughter of Margarita Salas.

Speaking of her achievement, Professor Maroto-Valer said: “I am very honoured to receive the ACES-Margarita Salas Prize Award, not only because of my admiration for Margarita Salas as one of the greatest Spanish scientists and innovators of all times, but also for all her work to promote women in science. I am delighted with this recognition of the impact of my research and innovation in climate action and I’d like to thank my team and all my collaborators for their support making this award possible.”

Professor Garry Pender, Deputy Principal for Research and Innovation said: “I am delighted for Mercedes on her amazing achievement of the first winner of the ACES-Margarita Salas Award.  Her hard work and dedication to her research makes her an inspiring role model for our future generation of scientists.”

Professor Maroto-Valer is a world leader in sustainable energy systems with more than 500 pioneering scientific contributions in the fields of solar fuels and carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies. The impact of her research, pioneering technological solutions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, is fundamental in the current urgency of climate action. The jury also highlighted the multidisciplinary approach adopted by Professor Maroto-Valer in her scientific leadership, connecting scientists and engineers, unifying research and innovation, and directly influencing the development of scientific, industrial and economic policies. Her scientific excellence, her public commitment, and her work as an inspiring role model for the next generation of researchers and engineers motivates the recognition of Prof. Maroto-Valer as the first winner of the ACES-Margarita Salas Prize in Physics, Mathematics and Engineering in 2021. This award follows other international recognitions, such as her recent appointment as Champion of Industrial Decarbonisation by the UK Research and Innovation Council (UKRI).

The Prize ACES – Margarita Salas honours Margarita Salas, researcher at the Molecular Biology Center Severo Ochoa (Madrid, Spain) and who is considered one of the most distinguished Spanish scientists.

The uniqueness of the ACES-Margarita Salas Prize lies in the fact that it is organized by Spanish researchers abroad, in order to recognise the universality and excellence of Spanish scientists and to serve as a tool for disseminating their contributions to society. The award will rotate annually between the categories of "Physics, Mathematics and Engineering", "Biomedical Sciences" and "Chemical and Environmental Sciences".

In this first edition, the international jury consisted of Dr. Rebeca González Suárez (researcher at the University of Uppsala and affiliated with CERN-European Council for Nuclear Research), Prof. Anders Johansen (professor of astronomy at the University of Lund and the University of Copenhagen, chairman of the astronomy committee of the Swedish Research Council) and Prof. Thore Husfeldt (professor of computational theory at the University of Lund and the University of Copenhagen, chairman of the committee for computer science of the Swedish Council research). The candidacy of Professor Maroto-Valer has been proposed by the Society of Spanish Scientists in the United Kingdom (CERU) and has prevailed over other different candidacies of an 'excellent level' presented from different parts of the globe by different associations of the Network of Associations of Spanish Scientists Abroad (RAICEX).

The ACES Awards ceremony - Margarita Salas will be held in Stockholm (Sweden) at the end of November.


Susan Kerr