Second Royal laurel in 2007 for RSC President

13 July 2007

The Royal Society has awarded a Royal Medal to RSC President Professor Jim Feast for his "outstanding contributions to chemical synthesis with far reaching implications, particularly for the field of functional polymeric materials".

The announcement is the second Royal honour this year for Professor Feast, who is this month half way through his two-year tenure as President of the RSC.  

Professor Feast was awarded the CBE in the New Year Honours List.

Prof Feast's main career research passions have been polymer synthesis and characterisation, and applied polymer chemistry, and more recently non-covalent self-assembly of oligomers and polymers.

Much of his work has been directed to the synthesis of active functional materials, which requires precision and control in engineering molecular structure to achieve specific functions.

His areas of special interest have included electroactive materials (semiconducting, electroluminescent, pyroelectric and electrostrictive polymers) and the surface modification of polymers to inhibit bacterial mobility (relevant to biomedical applications in catheters and related areas of health management in the elderly).

Married with two children and four grandchildren, Birmingham-born Prof Feast, 69, was raised and went to school in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

After graduating from Sheffield University in 1960, he completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham in 1963, before spending his career at Durham University.  He was involved with the Leeds-Bradford-Durham Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science and Technology (1989-2001) - with eight years as director. 

He is presently an emeritus research professor at both Durham University and Eindhoven University of Technology, where he spends three months of each year.

Prof Feast's many accolades include: CChem, FRSC 1981, Recipient of Royal Society of Chemistry Medal for Macromolecules and Polymers, 1986;  the Swinburn Medal (1994)  of the SCI and Bakeland Lectureship (2004) of the Institute of Materials, 1994;  the Miles Lectureship, Cornell University USA, 1994; the Royal Society of Chemistry's Tilden Lectureship and Medal, 1996/1997, MacroGroupUK Medal Lecture 1999 and Interdisciplinary Award 2001; the Xerox Distinguished Scientist Lectureship, Canada 1999, and election to Fellowship of the Institute of Materials 1994 and to the Royal Society 1996; Honorary D.Sc. University of Warwick 2004.

For those unfamiliar with the eminent Learned Societies, it should be pointed out that The Royal Society in this context is not an abbreviation of the Royal Society of Chemistry; it refers to the organisation founded in 1660 by Charles II, an early President of which was Sir Isaac Newton.

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