Ralph Timms joined SCI in 1985, and the Oils and Fats (now Lipids) Group in particular. He was elected to the Group Committee in 1994 and has been a tower of strength to the Group and indeed to the Society ever since. He served as vice-Chairman, Chairman, and Immediate Past Chairman for the group in the period 1995 – 2001.
Ralph has also served as a Vice-President of the Society and as a member of the Executive Committee, where he has been able to contribute a great deal thanks to his business, consulting, and entrepreneurial experience. He has only recently retired from a very successful business career. The Society has greatly benefited from his added spare time since his retirement, as Dr Timms has been able to contribute more time and has continued to make major contributions to the organisation of major meetings of the Oils and Fats group, a particular highlight of which was the very successful first SCI Congress ‘Edible Oils and Fats – Trends in Raw Materials, Processing and Applications’ held in Cairo in March 2007.
Ralph is a leader in his specific field of Oils and Fats, but has also been a leader for 20 years in SCI, both in the Oils and Fats Group and in the former Council and the Executive Committee. He has committed to furthering the interests and reputation of SCI externally.
He is a very worthy winner of the Lampitt Medal.
In addition to his commitment to SCI, Ralph has worked for Unilever, the CSIRO (Food Research Division) and Sime Darby in Great Britain, Australia and Malaysia. He has also worked for short periods at the Leatherhead Food Research Association, UK, and the then Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia, now the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. From 1995 to 2004 he was involved in the setting up and running of a new company - Britannia Food Ingredients Ltd - at Goole, Humberside, UK, which is a major producer of cocoa butter, confectionery and other speciality fats. He remains a shareholder.
Ralph worked as an independent consultant from 1988 until retirement in October 2006.
For several years he has been a member of the ‘Oil seeds, animal and vegetable fats and oils and their by products’ sub-committee (AW/307) of BSI and has been leader of the UK delegation to ISO and CEN meetings. He is a member of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, the European Federation of Lipid Science and Technology and SCI's Oils & Fats Group committee. He takes an active part in all these organisations.
He is chairman of the Food Nutrition and Quality sub-committee of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s Programme Advisory Committee.
In 2003 Ralph published The Confectionery Fats Handbook, a comprehensive guide to all aspects of the properties, production and use of confectionery fats. He has published well over 50 scientific papers, written many book chapters and presented papers at many conferences.