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Professor Stanley Whittingham, who lived in Thurlby near Bourne and attended Stamford School, wins the 2019 Nobel Prize for chemistry

A former Thurlby resident who was one of the brains behind the lithium-ion battery has won a prestigious award.

Professor Stanley Whittingham, 77, who attended Stamford School, shared the 2019 Nobel prize for chemistry with two other scientists who were also developed the battery.

Whittingham, who has been a professor of Chemistry at Binghamton University in the USA since 1988, said: “Stamford was a great place for me.

Professor Stanley Whittingham
Professor Stanley Whittingham

“I went to Stamford School from 1951 to 1960 and took the maths, chemistry and physics track in high sixth form.

“Two teachers in particular influenced my career at Stamford - Major Lamb in chemistry, and Squibs Bowman in physics - they were really great and encouraging.

“We had a new science building then.

“I got accepted to New College Oxford, but at that time you needed to pass an exam in Latin, even for scientists.

“Headmaster Basil Deed worked with me very diligently.”

At Stamford School, Stanley won the mayor’s mathematics prize, was a prefect and member of Willoughby and Ancaster houses.

He took part in hockey, did cross country around Burghley Park and sailed on gravel pits.

Stanley was one of the chemists behind the development of the lithium-ion battery in the 1970s along with John Goodenough and Akira Yoshino, who he shared it with.

He added: “I am overcome with gratitude at receiving this award, and I honestly have so many people to thank I don’t know where to begin.

“The research I have been involved with for over 30 years has helped advance how we store and use energy at a foundational level, and it is my hope that this recognition will help to shine a much-needed light on the nation’s energy future.”

After graduating from Oxford in chemistry, he moved to Stanford University in California, where he carried out his work that led to the battery.

Stanley is married to Georgina, from Budapest and the couple have two children and four grandchildren.

Born in Nottingham, he moved around East Anglia with his family before settling in Thurlby.

His dad was a civil engineer and became the chief executive of A.Monk and Co who built the A1 around Stamford.

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