Born on December 9, 1955 in Watford, England. Studied Physics at the University of Cambridge (BA 1977, MA and Ph.D. 1980). Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge (1979). Royal Society European Exchange Fellow, Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Université Paris-Sud (1980-1981). IBM World Trade Fellow, IBM San Jose Research Laboratory (1982). Since 1982 Research Staff Member, IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California and IBM Fellow (since 1999). Parkin was appointed Alexander von Humboldt Professor at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics in April 2014.
Parkin was awarded several guest professorships: Distinguished Visiting Professor, National University of Singapore (2007); Visiting Chair Professor, National Taiwan University (2007); Distinguished Research Chair Professor, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Douliou, Taiwan (2007); Distinguished Visiting Professor, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands (2008); Distinguished Visiting Professor, World Class University Program, KAIST (2009) Korea. Furthermore Parkin is Honorary Professor, University College London, United Kingdom (2009) and holds Honorary Doctorates of RWTH Aachen University, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Regensburg and Technische Universität Kaiserslautern. He is Elected Fellow of the Royal Society London, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA and the National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences.
Stuart Parkin received a lot of international awards, last of all the Millennium Technology Prize of the Technology Academy Finland in 2014.