It is with deep regret that we report the passing of Dr Graham Ruecroft at the age of 54.
Graham spent his working life as a process chemist and great innovator. He studied chemistry at Teesside Polytechnic and the Polytechnic of North London before going on to complete a PhD at the Open University. His early career was spent in medicinal chemistry before he moved to the Cambridge area and to Enzymatix, one of the UK's earliest biotech companies. He contributed greatly to the development of Enzymatix through his skills in process chemistry, as it evolved into Chiroscience, before successfully floating on the stock exchange in 1994. Thereafter he focussed on taking laboratory processes for chiral intermediates to pilot plant scale and beyond as Chirotech was formed and eventually acquired by Dow Chemical.
His enthusiasm and unique practical approach were great assets to the companies in which he worked. More recently in 2006, Graham was instrumental in the formation and development of Prosonix, where he moved west to the Oxford area, turning his hand to a different field, that of ultrasonic process chemistry. This company achieved great success, using ultrasound to control particle size during crystallisation for respiratory medicines.
With a successful job completed at Prosonix he went on to form Celbius, where the company uses the same ultrasonic processing to benefit bioprocesses such as fermentation and biotransformations.
Graham achieved a number of business awards for performance throughout his career including two first prizes in the Royal Society of Chemistry Team Award for Innovation pertaining to particle engineering for new respiratory medicines and biocatalysis and drug design.
He touched the lives of many with his character and knowledge. Sadly, on 4th June 2015 he was involved in a road traffic collision that was to prove fatal.
Graham will be sorely missed by many in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.