A SCIENTIST from the region has been given an international accolade for his work, which has waterproofed millions of mobile phones and is helping to harvest clean drinking water.

Professor Jas Pal Badyal, part of Durham University’s chemistry department, is the first UK-born scientist to receive the Chemical Research Society of India’s (CRSI) International Medal.

The award recognises the work of his research group at Durham in developing waterproof nanocoatings, which has been used to protect more than three million pairs of footwear, 100 million smartphones, and more than 75 per cent of the world’s hearing aids.

He said: “I am extremely proud to receive this award and honoured that the work of my research group has been recognised.

“Our work to invent a range of novel surfaces has a number of technological and societal applications including fog harvesting for clean drinking water in developing countries, antibacterial surfaces, and liquid repellency for the water protection of smartphones.”