It was with great regret that we learnt of the recent passing of our esteemed member John (Eric) Riordan.
Throughout his long academic career, Eric made a major contribution in Northern Ireland to the teaching of Organic Chemistry, especially in the field of Polymer and Colour Science.
Whilst employed in the Linen Industry Research Association at Lambeg Eric studied for a part-time degree at The Queen’s University, Belfast (BSc 1955). He was subsequently appointed by the Belfast College of Technology as a lecturer in the Textiles Chemistry Department, with a dual role as a Recognised Lecturer to courses in Applied Chemistry within the Faculty of Applied Science of The Queen’s University of Belfast. In 1963 he was responsible for course content in Organic Chemistry and Polymer Science and Technology for the newly offered Queen’s University BSc degree course in Polymer and Colour Science.
His research interests encompassed both Polymer and Colour Science. This was demonstrated by his published work on self-coloured polymers and the award of an MSc in 1968 for research in polyamides containing azo repeat units.
In 1971 he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in the newly founded Ulster Polytechnic at Jordanstown, now Ulster University, whilst QUB’s Department of Applied Chemistry relocated to its main campus at Queens.
At the Ulster Polytechnic he served with distinction on a range of courses where his knowledge of Polymer, Colour and Materials Science was invaluable to the tuition offered in, for example, City & Guilds Higher Diploma in Textiles, Associateship of the Society of Dyers and Colourists, LRIC in Polymer Science and Polymer Chemistry aspects in Material Science (MSc in Plastics Engineering).
For many years he was an active member of a number of professional societies related to his academic position. These included The Royal Institute of Chemistry (FRIC, 1974), Royal Society of Chemistry, The Society of Dyers and Colourists (FSDC, 1979), the Plastics Institute, The Plastics and Rubber Institute (FPRI, 1985) and the Institute of Materials.
Throughout his long teaching career, Eric was highly respected by students and academic colleagues alike. His personal dedication to, and continued interest in the wellbeing of his students as they passed from his care to careers in research, industry and academia earned him their enduring friendship and respect. Although he retired early he maintained a keen interest in the academic and professional progression of his extended family and his former students alike.
A. A. Crangle, R. Cromie