The Royal Thai Embassy’s Office of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation has awarded Professor Noel Clark the 2023 Friend of Thai Science Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in STEM for the benefit of Thailand and humanity. Only two awards are made per year.
The award was presented to Professor Clark by Dr. Sethapan Krajangwongs, Minister-Counsellor from the Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C at a special ceremony earlier this week.
Two former graduate students, Dr. Nattaporn (A) Chattham and Dr. Apichart (Chart) Pattanaporkratana nominated Professor Clark for the award. Both are now physics professors at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand.
During their time in Clark’s research group studying liquid crystals, Dr. Chattham and Dr. Pattanaporkratana contributed to a research project called the Observation and Analysis of Smectic Islands in Space (OASIS). Supported by NASA, OASIS was the first study of smectic liquid crystal materials in microgravity when it flew on the International Space Station in 2015.
Professor Clark has continued to do research with Dr. Chattham and Dr. Pattanaporkratana in recent years, and he provides guidance for an extension project, “Thailand Liquid Crystals in Space.” The new project, which focuses on the transport of gases through liquid crystal membranes, is led by Dr. Chattham in collaboration with NASA and the International Space Station National Laboratory.
Upon receiving the award, Professor Clark said, “We have a long history together which has made this possible, and it has been such a pleasure to have A and Chart in the group.” He continued, “This award is an amazing development of the international collaboration that science brings about.”