Aerospace PhD student wins prize for quality of his electromagnetic research

Luca Bartolo small
18 Nov 2016 14:10:45.720

An aerospace PhD student from The University of Nottingham has won the Peter Kemmey Scholarship medal for the outstanding quality of his electromagnetic research.

Luca Bertola, 28, from Italy, was awarded the prize at the 18th Electromagnetic Launch Technology (EML) Symposium while attending the conference banquet at the end of October, held at Wuhan University, China. 

The Peter Kemmey Scholarship medal was established as a tribute to the memory of the late Dr Peter J. Kemmey whose pioneering ideas contributed to the broad  EML initiative that began in the late 1970s and went on to set up the EML Symposium.

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The award is bestowed on the student with the most significant research achievements of the conference and consists of a certificate, a prism with the winner’s name engraved on it and a $2,000 cheque. He was the only attendee at the conference to win this prestigious accolade.

“It was an honour to be awarded in front of such an incredible expert audience by one of the pioneer of the EML and Railgun technology, Professor Harry Fair. The award will serve to promote and underpin my expertise for a future career.”

As a Marie Curie Research Fellow, Luca has been studying at the Institute for Aerospace Technology at The University of Nottingham for three years.

He masters technologies for electromagnetic launch systems which range from conventional linear electrical machines for aerospace application to exotic superconducting technologies at prohibitive low temperatures allowed by the most recent breakthrough in cryogenic science.

He has applied his research skills to the design of an electromagnetic catapult for civil aircraft, a system capable of accelerating a mass as large as an aircraft A320-200 to the speed of 190 mph.  

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Luca Bertola, 
Marie Curie Research Fellow, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham on

Emma Lowry - Media Relations Manager

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

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