Ex-Sheringham High and Paston College student Professor Andrew Cooper elected Fellow of the Royal Society
- Credit: Archant
A former Norfolk schoolboy has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, one of the world's most prestigious science institutions.
Leading chemist Professor Andrew Cooper joins an elite of only 8,000 fellows since the society was founded in 1660.
Prof Cooper, 44, one-time student at Sheringham High School and North Walsham's Paston Sixth Form College was elected for his contribution to material science.
He now numbers among a list of past and present fellows which includes Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Alexander Fleming, Tim Berners-Lee, and Stephen Hawking.
Prof Cooper's team at the University of Liverpool recently reported on a polymer which produces hydrogen from water under sunlight.
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'In principle, if we can make them work more efficiently, we can make clean energy.
'There is a chance this could happen in my lifetime - we aren't the only group working on this,' said Prof Cooper, whose parents, Graham and Margaret, live in High Kelling, near Holt.
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He praised the late Rev Canon Roger MacPhee, who had been his A-level chemistry teacher at Paston College.
'He influenced me to go to university which wasn't an obvious course of action at the time,' said Prof Cooper who went on to study at universities in Nottingham, North Carolina, and Cambridge.
His love of science dates back to boyhood. 'Dad had a shed and a workshop and I used to mess around with tools - I loved building things, and now I'm building molecules, said Prof Cooper, who has a wife, Julie, and two sons, aged 11 and nine.
He is currently head of Liverpool University's Materials Innovation Factory.