Professor Alan Katritzky 1928 - 2014

Professor Alan Katritzky 1928 - 2014

The College is deeply saddened to announce that alumnus and Honorary Fellow Professor Alan Roy Katritzky (1952, Chemistry) passed away on 10 February 2014 at the age of 85.

Alan was born in London in 1928 and came to St Catherine’s in 1948 to study Chemistry. He graduated with a BA in 1952 and went on to study for a DPhil. From 1954 to 1958 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Oxford at both Pembroke and Magdalen Colleges.

Following his time at Oxford, he moved to Cambridge University where he was a lecturer, and in 1963 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the School of Chemical Sciences at the newly opened University of East Anglia. In 1980 he moved to the University of Florida, where he began a very successful research career as Kenan Professor of Chemistry. Alan was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1980.

Alan always maintained close links with the institutions at which he studied and worked, and St Catherine’s is fortunate to be the recipient of his educational philanthropy. Alan endowed three undergraduate prizes and also funded the Katritzky Lectures at St Catherine's. These were lectures given by a distinguished Chemist, Historian or Art-Historian (the subject areas studied by Alan and his children). The inaugural Katritzky Lecture was given in February 2009 by Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas, one of Britain’s leading research chemists and educators.

In 2009 Alan received the Royal Society of Chemistry's Robert Robinson Award. The Award is for contributions to organic chemistry from a researcher over the age of 55, and Alan was given it for his many outstanding contributions to the synthesis and reactivity of heterocycles. He is the recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, medals and prizes and will be greatly missed.