During his time in office, Professor Tildesley hopes to apply his academic and industrial experiences to promote the importance of the chemical sciences in global industry and to work with the RSC to forge stronger collaborations between industry and academia.
He said: "I left behind 18 years of academic research and my position as Professor of Computational Chemistry to take up the role of Head of the Physical Science Group, and then Chief Scientist of the Home and Personal Care Division, at Unilever. I never regretted my move into industry.
"I had to learn more about the physical sciences, engineering, life sciences and psychology to work on developing innovative consumer products. I was using my specialised knowledge, but applying it with more breadth to projects such as modelling the decomposition of bacteria in the armpits for new deodorants, and avoiding 'crunchy' ice-cream by examining how peptides could be used to adapt its frozen structure.
"Open innovation - the sharing of knowledge, skills and infrastructure across industry and academia - is so important to our future. There are many important problems that can only be solved by chemical scientists from all sectors working together."
He continued: "I am extremely proud of the opportunity to be President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, starting with my year as President-Elect. The RSC is a leading learned society - dynamic and full of energy - that is both an outstanding publishing business and a superb vehicle for the education and advancement of chemistry. I am very much looking forward to working with the society to shape the future of the chemical sciences across all sectors, both in the UK and in emerging markets."
Chief executive of the RSC, Dr Robert Parker, said: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Tildesley as our President-Elect. He is a valued member of the RSC's Council and brings to the role a vast amount of knowledge and experience of interdisciplinary research across chemistry, materials science, life sciences and engineering in both university and industrial environments. We are looking forward to drawing on his experience and working with him on initiatives to build our community, bringing chemical scientists together from across all sectors and disciplines to share knowledge and ideas."
Professor Tildesley was announced as the RSC's newly appointed President-Elect at its annual general meeting on 10 July. At the same meeting, the RSC also announced the appointment of Professor David Grayson, former Head of the School of Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin, as Honorary Treasurer.