Peter Hawkes obtained his M.A. and Ph.D (and later, Sc.D.) from the university of Cambridge, where he subsequently held Fellowships of Peterhouse and of Churchill College. From 1959 - 1975, he worked in the electron microscope section of the Cavendish laboratory in Cambridge, after which he joined the CNRS Laboratory of Electron Optics in Toulouse, of which he was Director in 1987. He was Founder-President of the European Microscopy Society and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America. He is a member of the editorial boards of several microscopy journals.