Carbon award named after Norfolk man

A Norfolk man has had an international award named after him in honour of his work in the field of carbon technology.

A Norfolk man has had an international award named after him in honour of his work in the field of carbon technology.

Peter Thrower stumbled into a career in the area but has gone on to become editor in chief of the respected scientific journal Carbon and has just celebrated 25 years in charge.

In honour of his work, the American Carbon Society, the Asian Association of Carbon Groups and the European Carbon Association presented him with an award for Exceptional Contribution to the International Carbon Community which will now be known as the Peter A Thrower Award.

But it could have been a different story for Mr Thrower, 69, from Ludham, who said: “I got into it totally by accident. I went to work at the Atomic Energy Authority but when I got there they had given the job I applied for to someone else. They said I had to work in graphite which I didn't really want to do but I had a house and responsibilities so I went to work and got into it.

“I did some important research on carbon/graphite used in nuclear reactors.”

Carbon is the sixth most abundant element in the universe and used in many things such as mobile phone and lap top batteries.

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After nine years he left and went to Pennsylvania State University in the USA where he stayed for 29 years, only returning to the UK when he retired at the age of 60.

It was during his time in America that he was asked to take over as editor in chief of the journal, which now publishes 15 issues a year.

“The then editor was in his 80s and had done 20 years, I said there was no way I going to be there that long and now its 25 years later,” said Mr Thrower, who returned to Ludham where he grew up and where his father and brother ran the village story which is now in the hands of his nephew.

Mr Thrower, who attended City of Norwich School, oversees 10 editors who work worldwide - three from the USA, two each from China and Japan and one each from Korea, France and Spain.

Speaking of his award, which was presented at a conference in Seattle, USA, he said: “I am very proud to receive it and of the fact that the recognition is going to be perpetuated.”

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