RSC President receives CBE and RSC Fellow receives Knighthood in New Year Honours

04 January 2007

RSC president Professor Jim Feast has been awarded the CBE in the New Year Honours List.

Prof Feast has been given the honour for "services to polymer chemistry."

His pleasure in receiving this award was greatly enhanced by the news that his long time friend and RSC Fellow J Fraser Stoddart has been awarded a Knighthood for to "services to chemistry and molecular nanotechnology."   Prof Feast said "This is great news for causes that we have both espoused for many years and I am delighted by the news of Fraser's Knighthood, I'm sure that it will spur him on to further and even greater achievements." 

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).

RSC president Professor Jim Feast unveils the Perkin commemorative plaque

RSC president Professor Jim Feast unveils the Sir William Perkin commemorative plaque at an event in London in autumn 2006

Married with two children and four grandchildren, Birmingham-born Prof Feast, 68, 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  moving in 1965 to Durham University, where he has been based for most of his career.

He  was variously lecturer, senior lecturer and professor and for 14 years  worked in the Leeds-Bradford-Durham Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science and Technology (1989-2003) - with eight years as director. 

He is presently an emeritus research professor at both Durham University (where he is part-time co-ordinator of the Nanomaterials Innovation Centre) 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  Award (1994)  of the Institute of Materials  and Bakeland Lectureship (2004) of the  SCI;  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; election to Fellowship of the Institute of Materials 1994 and to the Royal Society 1996; and Honorary D.Sc.University of Warwick 2004.

Prof Stoddart, who is director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and the Fred Kavli Professor of NanoSystems Sciences in the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) - was equally delighted to receive his knighthood.

He said: "This special honour is a reflection not only of my own achievements but also the considerable support that I have received from my academic colleagues, my students and, above all, my late wife Norma. 

"It also recognizes the significance and relevance of chemistry to everyday life and the international standing of the California NanoSystems Institute at the beginning of 2007."

Professor J Fraser Stoddart

Professor J Fraser Stoddart has received a Knighthood in the New Year Honours List

Between January 1996 to August 2006, Prof Stoddart is ranked by Thompson Scientific as the world's third most cited researcher in chemistry. He has published more than 770 research papers, and delivered more than 700 invited lectures around the world.  

Prof Stoddart is one of the few chemists to have created a new field of chemistry over the past quarter of a century, by introducing an additional bond - the mechanical bond - into chemical compounds.  

He has pioneered the use of molecular recognition and self-assembly to make mechanically interlocked compounds called catenanes (two or more rings interlocked, as in the links of a chain) and rotaxanes (a dumbbell-shaped component with at least one ring threaded in a manner reminiscent of an abacus).  

Some of his latest work on nanovalves is in the process of being adapted for drug delivery into cancer cells.

As well as being a Fellow of the RSC, Prof Stoddart is a Fellow of the Royal Society (1994), the German Academy of Natural Sciences (1999), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005) and the Science Division of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006).  He serves on the international advisory boards of numerous journals, including the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Angewandte Chemie, and Chemistry - A European Journal.

Prof Stoddart's daughter Alison is an RSC employee, and is based at TGH where she is assistant editor of the Chemical Communications journal.

He said: "I was extremely delighted to learn about Jim Feast's CBE for his services to polymer chemistry.  Since Alison was Jim's last postgraduate student at Durham, we had the immense pleasure in the Stoddart family of celebrating a double whammy this past weekend."

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