Prof. Stuart Parkin

Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle (Germany) since 04/2014
and IBM Almaden Research Center San Jose, California, USA   

Stuart Parkin was recently attracted to Germany as director at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics in Halle and as Humboldt Professor at the University of Halle. He is also still manager of the magnetoelectronics group at the IBM Research Center San Jose, California. Additionally, he is a consulting professor at the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford University and director of the IBM-Stanford Spintronic Science and Applications Center. Prof. Parkin was born in England and received his BA in 1977. Afterwards he became a research fellow at Trinity College in Cambridge (UK) and also earned his PhD in Cambridge in 1980. In 1982 he joined IBM as post-doctoral fellow, became permanent staff in 1983 and was appointed as IBM Fellow in 1999.

Parkin's exceptional contribution towards the understanding of the giant magnetoresistance (GMR), which Prof. Fert (Gutenberg Lecture Award 2006) and Prof. Grünberg discovered and for which they were awarded the Nobel prize in Physics in 2007,  was the discovery of the oscillating behaviour of the interface coupling which is dependent on the thickness of layers. Stuart Parkin conducted relevant work at IBM on GMR at room temperature which let to the development of read/write heads for hard disks based on GMR. Apart from his applied research at IBM and his exceptional basic research, he is also an enthusiastic speaker.

Prof. Parkin received the Gutenberg Research Award 2008 on November 25, 2008 at the University of Mainz for his scientific contribution that let to GMR-based read/write heads of computer hard disks. Prof. Felser, director of MAINZ, noted that Stuart Parkin is an outstanding and exceptional scientist who has already received numerous honours and awards. In conjunction with the award Parkin also worked together with the research group “New Materials with high spin polarisation” (DFG-Forschergruppe 559) in Mainz and Kaiserslautern.

Parkin is external member of MAINZ, has become a fellow of the Gutenberg Research College of JGU in 2011, received an honoray doctorate at the University of Kaiserslautern in 2013 and won the Millennium Prize in 2014.

C.Felser, S.PArkin, G.Krausch

left to right: C. Felser, S. Parkin, G. Krausch


Stuart Parkin, Gutenberg Research Award 2008 Lecture