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College of Scholars Principal and Patrons

The College of Scholars Principal and Patrons are:

Prof Alan Heaton, Principal

Alan HeatonOn leaving school, Alan worked in the chemical industry before gaining a PhD entitled The Synthesis of Highly Fluorinated Pyridines from Durham University in 1967.

He joined the forerunner of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) in 1969; he became Professor of Chemical Education and Head of Chemistry in 2002, and took early retirement in 2006. Alan is the author of five undergraduate textbooks on industrial chemistry plus Problem Solving in Analytical Chemistry. He has also written chapters in books, and course material on industrial chemistry for the Open University, with whom he was a tutor for over 30 years.

In 1988-9 he carried out research on CFC Replacements at ICI Chemicals and Polymers as a Royal Society/SERC Industrial Fellow.

In 2007, 2008 and 2011, as a visiting consultant at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, he gave advice and helped to write a new BSc in Industrial Chemistry.

Currently, he is also a trustee of Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes, Cheshire.

Within SCI, Alan chaired the then Liverpool Section three times and was the first Chairman of the Liverpool and North West Regional Interest Group. He was awarded the Society’s Lampitt Medal in 2004. Alan is an elected member of the SCI Membership Affairs Committee, the Board of Trustees and is Chair of the Early Career Support Sub-Committtee. 

Prof Sir Geoffrey Allen

Sir Geoffrey AllenSir Geoffrey Allen joined SCI to network with its broad ranging membership, and to participate in the activities and conferences of the Technical and Regional Interest Groups and their relevant committees. He was also attracted by the information provided by SCI journals, especially C&I.

Following graduation from Leeds University in 1949, he continued his studies to gain a PhD in 1952. He became Professor of Chemical Physics at Manchester University, then Professor of Chemical Technology at Imperial College, alongside which he was Chair of the Science and Engineering Research Council from 1977-1981.

Sir Geoffrey then held an industrial position as Research and Engineering Director at Unilever and was Executive Advisor to Kobe Steel Ltd for 12 years. He returned to Academia in 1994 as Chancellor of University of East Anglia, a position he held until 2003.

Sir Geoffrey is a Past President of SCI (1989-1991) and is a keen supporter of SCI’s activities for those at an early stage in their career. Sir Geoffrey is a member of the organising committee for SCI’s Public Evening Lecture series.

Dr Andy Merritt

Andy MerrittAndy Merritt is Associate Director of Chemistry at the MRCT Centre for Therapeutics Discovery, which looks to develop innovative drug screens emerging out of ground-breaking MRC research and subsequently pursue drug discovery programmes.

Previously Andy was a Director of Discovery Medicinal Chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline, with global responsibility for development of the corporate screening collection and providing molecular tools for target validation. He has been at the forefront of the application of combinatorial technologies to drug discovery since the 1990s. Andy joined Glaxo in 1987, working on oncology and pain drug discovery programmes.

Andy sits on the RSC Chemical Biology interface Forum Executive and the Chemistry World editorial board. He sat on the Royal Society higher education working group which published 2 reports on STEM subject provision in 2006 and 2008. He has been a regular lecturer in pharmaceutical medicine at Imperial College, Warwick and Sussex Universities.

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