Neville George Parsonage,born in Merseyside in modest circumstances and the first to attend university in his family, applied to Oxford at age 16, earlier than usual due to having been fast tracked at a local school who spotted his talent for chemistry. After leaving Oxford with a first class honours degree in chemistry and a PhD , he briefly worked with ICI then did a fellowship/post doc with Professor Robert Scott in University of California Los Angeles where he met his Italian wife.
He joined Imperial College London in 1960 within the physical chemistry Department .He worked there until 1995, lecturing and in research , ending up as a Reader and then informally for 5 more years .He was a theoretician employing high-powered mathematics to interpret results. Colleagues especially his juniors remember him as an exceptionally modest man for his level of talent, happy to cooperate and pass on his ideas to help them succeed
He had many publications in peer-reviewed journals and 3 books , the first in 1966 written alone, covering the behaviour of molecules in gases, leading to equations for their viscosity, diffusion, thermal diffusion and thermal conductivity and thus to methods of separating mixtures of gases. The second with Staveley covered disorder exhibited by crystals-studied via a range of spectroscopic techniques and thermodynamic measurements. In the third book with Nicholson 'Computer Simulation and the Statistical Mechanisms of Adsorption' they studied the structure of interfaces between solids and gases or liquids at the molecular level -pioneering work using computers in the late 1970s in this field .Later work was on bilayers and thylakoid membranes, relevant in plant photosynthesis
He was a family man which extended to teaching them his beloved science, including at birthday parties marked with exciting chemical reactions. Outside work he was involved in ,local politics , education and playing cricket for a local club. He leaves behind a wife Clarissa 2 daughters and 1 granddaughter