Dr Paul Antony Bristow - obituary (BSc, MSc, PhD, CChem, CSci, FRSC)
30 June 1941 – 8 December 2022
Dr Paul Bristow studied chemistry at the University College London in the early 60s
He went on to do a PhD at Essex University when it was just formed, he was part of the first intake of students under Sir Albert Sloman
In the late 60s, Paul did post-doctoral studies at Bristol University and in 1970 he joined ICI in Manchester as part of a group specialising in the online analysis under Dr Paul Clark.
Later the team under Paul Clark moved to ICI Runcorn and I first met Paul when he developed and fitted an online analysis system on the plant I worked on at ICI Huddersfield in 1978.
At this time Paul published a book called ‘ Liquid Chromatography in Practice’
Later Paul moved to ICI Pharmaceuticals at Macclesfield in 1979 and there he developed an automated system for dissolution testing of tablets. The time of dissolution is an important quality attribute for tablets. This work involved programming using early versions of Texas Instrument microchips.
At the same time, Paul was involved in chromatography measurement and developed techniques for packing columns and sourcing the many components used for chromatography measurement used in the development of new products. ICI gave him special permission to set up his own company called HETP to do this.
Later Paul looked after the chromatography data systems used in process development. These systems handle vast amounts of data and he was at the forefront of the subject we now call data integrity.
Paul was very dedicated to his technical work and I remember one annual assessment which described him as ‘resistant to authority’
When he retired, he put a lot of energy into the ‘Boost’ group to develop libraries for the C++ programming language that provide support for tasks that support the language and to try to set standards for the language to make it more robust.
Paul was a keen cyclist and a Sustrans volunteer maintaining local cycle route signage. He enjoyed walking for most of his adult life – and had completed many – but not quite all of the Scottish Munros. In 2006 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He loved music and was a regular attendee at concerts.
He was a keen observer of RSC obituaries and was always delighted to read of the advanced ages that many chemists achieved. He would have been disappointed to have only achieved 81. Indeed all his family and all his many friends are too. He will be greatly missed.
Paul is survived by his son Huw, daughter Anna, four grandchildren and his partner Judith and wife Shan.
The Royal Society of Chemistry is not responsible for individual opinions expressed on this page.