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Toshiba’s Dr Andrew Shields awarded Institute of Physics 2022 Katharine Burr Blodgett Medal and Prize

28th October 2022: Dr Andrew Shields of Toshiba has been awarded the 2022 Katharine Burr Blodgett Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics. The award recognises his pioneering research and development – spanning two decades – into quantum communication devices and systems, realising breakthroughs that allow it to be used in conventional networks. 

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics, and the leading body for practising physicists, in the UK and Ireland. Its annual awards reflect the wide variety of people, places, organisations and achievements that make physics such an exciting discipline. 

The IOP awards celebrate physicists at every stage of their career: from those just starting out through to physicists at the peak of their careers, and those with a distinguished career behind them. 

The Katharine Burr Blodgett Medal and Prize specifically recognises outstanding contributions to the application of physics in an industrial or commercial context.  

Dr Andrew Shields has been recognised for leading the quantum communications team which invented and realised practical devices that allow information-carrying single photons to be detected at gigahertz rates and with low noise. This, in turn, allowed his team to develop Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems with unprecedented continuous bit rates, sufficient to generate several thousand encryption keys per second. This enables the technology to be applied to large-scale networks which have many users, applications and which carry high data bandwidths. 

Andrew commented, “Just as digital electronics transformed societies and economies over the last century, a new wave of technologies exploiting the curious properties of quantum physics is poised to unleash new opportunities and global benefits. It is our hope that these new communications standards lay the groundwork for the next generation of quantum networks.” 

Congratulating this year’s Award winners, Institute of Physics President, Professor Sheila Rowan, said: 

“On behalf of the Institute of Physics, I warmly congratulate all of this year’s Award winners. Each and every one of them has made a significant and positive impact in their profession, whether as a researcher, teacher, industrialist, technician or apprentice.” 

“Recent events have underlined the absolute necessity to encourage and reward our scientists and those who teach and encourage future generations. We rely on their dedication and innovation to improve many aspects of the lives of individuals and of our wider society.” 


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For specific enquiries about Toshiba, please email 

For specific enquiries about the IOP/2022 IOP Awards, please contact 

About Toshiba 

Toshiba Corporation leads a global group of companies that combines knowledge and capabilities from over 145 years of experience in a wide range of businesses—from energy and social infrastructure to electronic devices—with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital and AI technologies. These distinctive strengths support Toshiba’s continued evolution toward becoming an Infrastructure Services Company that promotes data utilization and digitization, and one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-systems technology companies. Guided by the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba contributes to society’s positive development with services and solutions that lead to a better world. The Group and its 120,000 employees worldwide secured annual sales of 3.3 trillion yen (US$27.4 billion) in fiscal year 2021. 

Find out more about Toshiba at 

The Institute of Physics (IOP) 

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics in the UK and Ireland. It seeks to raise public awareness and understanding of physics, inspire people to develop their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of physics and support the development of a diverse and inclusive physics community. As a charity, it has a mission to ensure that physics delivers on its exceptional potential to benefit society. 

The Institute of Physics (IOP) Awards  

The IOP Awards proudly reflect the wide variety of people, places, organisations and achievements that make physics such an exciting discipline. They celebrate people at every stage of their career, from those just starting out through to those at their peak. They also recognise and celebrate companies which are successful in the application of physics and innovation, as well as employers that demonstrate their commitment and contribution to scientific and engineering apprenticeship schemes. 

More information about the IOP Awards can be found here 


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