A prestigious science award created in honour of a former Isle of Man resident has been awarded for the first time.

Dr John Dunworth CBE, who lived in Kirk Michael and Ramsey during his life, died at the age of 100 in 2017.

He was the director of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in south London from 1964 to 1976.

The laboratory, founded in 1900, is the UK’s national metrology institute and currently employs around 1,000 scientists and engineers.

A decision was made to create 10 new internal annual awards for its scientists in the early stages of their careers, which led to the Senior Physics Prize being named after Dr Dunworth.

His wife and daughter, who live in the Isle of Man, ‘gladly’ gave permission for his name and scientific legacy to be used in this way.

Patricia Dunworth, his wife, said: ‘He was passionate about promoting opportunities in physics and engineering for young people, and if he were here now, he would be so thrilled that these annual awards were being created to recognise their achievements.’

The first recipient of the new NPL ‘Dunworth Award for Physics’, Dr David Cant, was recognised for ‘the development, implementation, and dissemination of metrology for next-generation X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Techniques’.

He was one of 19 nominees for the prize and said that he was ‘extremely honoured to be the first recipient’.

Dr Dunworth was born in Manchester and spent his childhood in Buxton, before going on to Cambridge for his degree and PhD in the 1930s.

However, he retired to the Isle of Man with his family in 1976 after spending many childhood holidays here.

He always described the island as ‘a place he had loved and always wanted to come back to,’ his family explained.

Dr Dunworth continued his work as the president of the International Committee for Weights and Measures in France for another nine years.

He also served as a founding member of the Manx Telecommunications Commission 1975-1985, a role which he ‘thoroughly enjoyed’.