Physics honour for retired professor



IOP - Alan Miller
Professor Emeritus Alan Miller.

A former Deputy Principal of Heriot-Watt University has received one of the highest honours in UK physics. 

Professor Emeritus of physics, Alan Miller, has been named an Honorary Fellow by the Institute of Physics (IOP), joining an array of internationally respected scientists that includes the late Professor Stephen Hawking. 

Professor Miller was selected for the award in recognition of his outstanding research and support for early career researchers. 

Professor Miller, who retired from the University at the end of 2014, said: “It is a special honour to receive this esteemed award from the Institute of Physics and to join a list of such highly respected physicists.  My joy has been, across my career, to make many friendships with truly outstanding colleagues across the world and have the chance to help progress the careers of high potential early career researchers.” 

Professor Miller has developed a stellar career in academia. He held a Research Council Research Fellowship at Heriot-Watt between 1974 and 1979 and was later appointed Deputy Principal for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University between 2009 and 2014. His research areas have included quantum semiconductors, nonlinear optics, ultrafast phenomena and photonic devices.  He recently stepped down as CEO of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA).  

Among those to congratulate Professor Miller is Professor Patrik Öhberg, a long-term friend and colleague from the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. 

He said: “Many congratulations to Professor Emeritus Miller on being awarded this prestigious Fellowship. His dedication and contribution to advancing physics have truly earned him this well-deserved honour.” 

Professor Miller joins the University’s Professor Julian Jones who was named an Honorary Fellow in 2020 for his outstanding contributions to research in optical fibre sensors, optical instrumentation and laser-material interactions, and for his service to the IOP. 

The IOP is the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland. It works with a range of partners to support and develop the teaching of physics in schools as well as encourage innovation, growth, and productivity in business. 


Craig Philip

Job title
Communications officer