A NOBEL prize winner has been commemorated with a posthumous award at his former university.

The late Professor Sir Harry Kroto won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996 for his discovery of a new form of carbon, Buckminsterfullerene.

It was nicknamed Buckyball due to its composition of pentagons and hexagons, which resembled the architecture of Buckminster Fuller, and was the first time pure carbon had been found as a molecule.

The former University of Sussex professor has now been commemorated with a chemical landmark blue plaque at the university’s Chichester Building to mark his astonishing achievement.

The Argus: Sir Harry's plaqueSir Harry's plaque

Professor David Maguire, vice chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: “Professor Sir Harry Kroto was an inspiration to many with his Nobel Prize-winning discovery, as well as his passion for teaching Chemistry, evidenced in the fact that many of our current researchers at Sussex were once students of his.

“We are proud that the Royal Society of Chemistry has awarded a chemical landmark blue plaque to Sir Harry.

“This provides the campus community with a way to commemorate both his scientific achievements and commitment to the power of education to bring about real and positive change in society.”

The Argus: Sir Harry KrotoSir Harry Kroto

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s plaques mark sites where people in the chemistry community have made significant contributions to “making the world a better place”.

They also celebrate the “diverse people who make up the chemistry community, as well as their work and impact”.

Sir Harry’s wife, Lady Kroto, and his son Stephen attended the unveiling ceremony on June 17. Sir Harry died in 2016.

The Argus: Lady Kroto with her son, StephenLady Kroto with her son, Stephen

Professor Hazel Cox, professor of Theoretical and Computational Quantum Chemistry at the university, said: "Harry was a thoughtful, creative, and invigorating colleague, and his enthusiasm for chemistry and public engagement was contagious and inspirational.

“We’re absolutely delighted that this plaque will be installed to recognise and commemorate his pioneering work and significant contribution to the chemical sciences."

The first chemical landmark blue plaque was awarded in 1980, and there are now nearly 70 plaques around the UK.