Heriot-Watt University: Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer receives prestigious ACES-Margarita Salas Award

Mercedes Maroto-Valer, a world leading expert in energy systems and decarbonisation, has been awarded the ACES-Margarita Salas Awards in its first edition, in the category of Physics, Mathematics and Engineering.

During the State visit to Sweden, The King and Queen of Spain presented the 1st ACES-Margarita Salas award in a private ceremony at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, during a meeting held with the Association of Spanish Scientists in Sweden (ACES).

The ACES-Margarita Salas Award recognizes the scientific work carried out by researchers of Spanish nationality with significant international impact.

The Award has the support of the Embassy of Spain in Sweden, and the Ramón Areces Foundation, as well as the patronage of Lucía Viñuela Salas, daughter of world-renowned Spanish scientist Margarita Salas.

Receiving the award, Prof Maroto-Valer said: “This is such a humbling honour because Margarita Salas is a world reference whom I deeply admire as one of our greatest innovators and also for her work on progressing the role of women in science. The award recognizes scientific impact and in these challenging times, the role of innovation is critically needed to prosper, while preventing the worst effects of climate change. The setting of this celebration is unparalleled and I want to thank Their Majesties and all the authorities for their support to science and innovation”.

Prof Maroto-Valer also acknowledged ACES and Ramón Areces Foundation, as well as the patronage of Lucía Viñuela Salas for establishing this outstanding initiative.

The Ramón Areces Foundation, on behalf of its director Raimundo Pérez-Hernández “recognizes the work of Spanish scientists in a country as scientifically advanced as Sweden and supports relevant initiatives such as the ACES-Margarita Salas Award to promote the value of science”.

The award, instituted in 2021, is promoted by the Association of Spanish Scientists in Sweden (ACES), with the aim of recognizing the scientific work carried out by researchers of Spanish nationality with recognized international impact, contributing to progress and social well-being in an extraordinary and exemplary way. The award counts with the support of the Spanish Embassy in Sweden, and the Ramón Areces Foundation, as well as the patronage of Lucía Viñuela Salas, daughter of renown Spanish scientist Margarita Salas.

Prof Maroto-Valer congratulated the role of Associations of Spanish researchers, including RAICEX, ACES and CERU for facilitating collaborations and promoting the work and impact of Spanish researchers. Prof Maroto-Valer dedicated the Award to her family, friends and her team and collaborators for their support and inspiration that has made this recognition possible. She said: “this Award represents an honour and also an incentive for us to continue pursuing the impact of innovation on stopping climate change and ensuring inclusive economic growth”.

The ACES-Margarita Salas Awards takes as a reference the figure of Margarita Salas, an extraordinary researcher and innovator at the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center (Madrid) and who is considered one of the most relevant Spanish scientists of our times. The uniqueness of these awards lies in the fact that they are organized by Spanish researchers abroad, in order to recognize the universality and excellence of Spanish scientists and to serve as a tool for disseminating their contribution to society. The awards will rotate annually between the categories of “Physics, Mathematics and Engineering”, “Biomedical Sciences” and “Chemical and Environmental Sciences”.

Lucía Viñuela, patroness of the award stated that: “it is a source of pride that this is an international award launched from the association of Spanish scientists in Sweden, and also for thinking of the figure of Margarita Salas for the award.”

Francisco Vilaplana, president of ACES said: “the impact that the award is having in this first edition is unimaginable, especially with the presence of Their Majesties in the ceremony, to whom we thank for their promotion of science on this State Visit to Sweden. We are very excited that these awards will be consolidated in future editions with the support of the Ramón Areces Foundation and the Margarita Salas Foundation”.

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