Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff has tram named in his honour


December 17th, 2021

University of Nottingham professor and You Tube science hero, Sir Martyn Poliakoff, has had a Nottingham tram named in his honour which was unveiled on his birthday.

The Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff tram was unveiled today on his 74th birthday in a special ceremony at the Tramlink Wilkinson Street depot where Martyn, his wife and guests gathered to see the tram for the first time.

The naming is in recognition of Professor Poliakoff’s achievements in research and teaching at the University of Nottingham where he has spent the last 42 years, and for the global hit Periodic Table of Video’s series he presents, which demonstrates science in a fun and lively way!

Each one of Nottingham’s trams is named after a local hero past or present and Sir Martyn will be joining an illustrious list of names including: Vicky McClure, Torvill and Dean and DH Lawrence.

Sir Martyn commented: “I am hugely honoured to have a tram named after me and it’s very exciting to know my students could be travelling sustainably to University on the Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff tram! Even though my career and passion for communicating science has taken me all over the world, Nottingham will always be home so this honour is really very special.”

Tramlink CEO Tim Hesketh said: “Professor Poliakoff is not only a Nottingham icon but also a familiar face to millions worldwide through his work to make science fun and accessible to a global online audience. We are delighted to name a tram in the Professor’s honour and hope that the thousands of Nottingham students using the tram each day will see his name and be inspired by his ground-breaking achievements.”

Sir Martyn is known worldwide as the lead presenter and cult hero of the You Tube hit science series – Periodic Table of Videos which started 13 years ago when scientists in the University of Nottingham’s School of Chemistry started collaborating with the renowned filmmaker Brady Haran. Their mission was to document every single one of the 118 chemical elements in a fun, lively and often unconventional way – they achieved this but continue to make videos!

The videos have grown to attract an international audience with more than 1.5 million subscribers with their videos attracting a total of more than 264 million views.

Sir Martyn pioneered the use of supercritical fluids to replace traditional solvents in chemical processes, recognising decades ago, and ahead of many of his peers, that the world needs cleaner, less wasteful and more sustainable ways of manufacturing.

His work has been taken up by industry, notably in the construction of the world’s first multi-reaction supercritical fluid plant. He is a global leader in the field of green and sustainable chemistry and his work in engaging the public with chemistry has been widely recognised and in 2015 he was knighted in recognition of leadership in the field of green and sustainable chemistry.

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