Manchester City Council

Freedom of the city to be awarded to graphene scientists

Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov will be awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City of Manchester for their groundbreaking work on the material graphene on Wednesday 9 October

The freedom of the city is the highest honour Manchester can bestow. The honour recognises the pioneering work undertaken by Sir Andre and Sir Kostya at The University of Manchester.

Along with their colleagues, Professor Geim and Professor Novoselov are widely recognised for isolating the material at The University of Manchester, placing the city at the forefront of the global graphene revolution. It was this work that led to each of them being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010.

Graphene, dubbed the ‘miracle material’, can be described as a single free-standing atomic layer of carbon, 200 times stronger than steel, thinner that a sheet of paper and more conductive than copper.

The material has a huge number of possible applications, including electronics, the application of medicines and creating strong light weight coatings for everything from wind turbines to food.

Building on the work of Professors Geim and Novoselov and their colleagues, a new graphene facility, the National Graphene Institute, is being created in the city and will establish Manchester as the world’s leading graphene research and technology hub.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Naeem ul Hassan said: "It is a privilege to be able to present the freedom of the city to Professor Geim and Professor Novoselov.

"The significance of their work on graphene is truly breath-taking and we are yet to truly grasp the magnitude of its real-life applications."

"Manchester is a city born of innovation so it is only right we recognise the achievements of Sir Andre and Sir Kostya - who have joined the pantheon of scientific giants connected to our forward-looking city."

The resolution to award the freedom of the city to Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov will go before a special meeting of Manchester City Council on Wednesday 9 October 2013.

Professor Geim and Professor Novoselov will be presented with the freedom of the city at a special event early next year.