London, UK | 24 June 2020

Professor Daryl Williams wins Prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Award


Professor Daryl Williams has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year.

Based at Imperial College London and Surface Measurement Systems Limited, Professor Williams won the award for the pioneering invention of the Dynamic Vapour Sorption (DVS) instrument, which has transformed research laboratory practice worldwide.

After receiving the award, Professor Williams said: “It is an honour that the RSC should acknowledge the commercial success achieved by me and by the staff at Surface Measurement Systems over the past 20 years. I am especially thankful that the quiet achievement of the chemists, scientists, engineers and other professionals at Surface Measurement Systems who have provided world leading innovation and science is being celebrated by the RSC, whilst at the same time shining a light on the importance of entrepreneurial efforts of chemists and engineers which make our world a better place.”

Professor Williams, who is from Melbourne, Australia, is founder and Managing Director of Surface Measurement Systems, and a Professor of Particle Science at Imperial College. In recognition of his achievements, he also receives a trophy. His work focuses on the negative impact of humidity on materials, which becomes much more serious in the case of tablets and pills, affecting shelf life and performance. To combat this, Professor Williams invented an instrument to test moisture sensitivity of drug powders, tablets and pills – the DVS. The instrument is now used by every pharmaceutical company in the world, and is an important tool accelerating the development of new medicines.

Dr Helen Pain, acting chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “We live in an era of tremendous global challenges, with the need for science recognised now more so than ever – so it is important to recognise those behind the scenes who are making significant contributions towards improving the world we live in. It is our honour and privilege to do that with these awards, which recognise exceptional scientific achievement.


“The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport, and everything in between. In recognising the work of Professor Williams, we are also recognising the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

Of those to have won a Royal Society of Chemistry Award, an illustrious list of 50 have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for their pioneering work, including 2016 Nobel laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Ben Feringa. Last year, the Royal Society of Chemistry announced it is reviewing its recognition mechanisms. Details of how the awards structure will be changed – to ensure that the way excellence is recognised is fit for today’s needs – will be announced later this year.

Learn more about DVS


About Royal Society of Chemistry Award

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards recognise achievements by individuals, teams and organisations in advancing the chemical sciences. We want to reward those undertaking excellent work in the chemical sciences from across the world.

There are over 80 Prizes and Awards in our main portfolio, all of which aim to accurately reflect the broad scope of achievement in our community. So whether you work in research, business, industry or education, recognition is open to everyone.

More information is available at:

Royal Society of Chemistry

We are an international organisation connecting chemical scientists with each other, with other scientists, and with society as a whole. Founded in 1841 and based in London, UK, we have an international membership of over 50,000. We use the surplus from our global publishing and knowledge business to give thousands of chemical scientists the support and resources required to make vital advances in chemical knowledge. We develop, recognise and celebrate professional capabilities, and we bring people together to spark new ideas and new partnerships. We support teachers to inspire future generations of scientists, and we speak up to influence the people making decisions that affect us all. We are a catalyst for the chemistry that enriches our world.