Dr Mike Foulkes left school with one A-level, in Chemistry, so he could work as a technician in industry. He undertook day release and evening classes at Harrow Tech. for four years in order to gain his ONC and HNC in Chemistry. He moved jobs during this time, working in analytical chemistry. While with the Cookson Group, he completed his parts I and II GRIC to graduate as a chemist, ending up as a laboratory manager. After some 13 years in industry, Dr Foulkes joined Les Ebdon’s PhD group at Plymouth (now University) in 1985 to study the analytical properties of the newly-available IC plasma. Upon completion of a post-doctoral position with UoP and MAFF, he gained a lectureship in Environmental Chemistry within Environmental Sciences at Plymouth. This academic career progressed through Senior Lecturer to the position of Associate Professor in Environmental and Analytical Chemistry which he held until he retired at the end of 2018.
Dr Foulkes’ academic day-job was based upon teaching, training and research. Teaching focused on inorganic and analytical chemistry, from access through to post-graduate programmes in both chemistry and environmental science courses. Many modules, courses and field-work he ran or contributed to were practically-based with hands-on teaching; including chemistry in the rainforest. His research has focused on analytical techniques, often using atomic spectroscopy. Dr Foulkes is the author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed papers, chapters and books (the latest with Hywel Evans; ‘Analytical Chemistry: A Practical Approach’). He has presented at many national and international conferences and has supervised numerous PhD students. He has also been a chemistry admissions tutor and ISO quality measurement manager.