Mike Ashfold received his BSc and PhD degrees at the University of Birmingham and was a Guy Newton Junior Research Fellow (Oxford) prior to his appointment as a Lecturer (1981) and subsequent promotion to a Chair of Physical Chemistry at the University of Bristol (1992). He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 2009, is retired from the Leverhulme Chair of Chemistry (2020) and is now an Emeritus Professor at Bristol. Mike’s research interests span broad areas of molecular spectroscopy and photochemistry, and thin film growth (particularly diamond chemical vapour deposition).
Mike’s associations with the RSC include: Chair of the Molecular Beams and Dynamics (1996–2000) and High Resolution Spectroscopy (2001–02) groups and encouraging their merger to create the current Spectroscopy and Dynamics Interest Group; Chair of the Faraday Editorial Board from 1994 until the cessation of J Chem Soc Faraday Trans in 1998 and the launch of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP), and acting as founding Chair of the PCCP Editorial Board (1999–2000) and as Chair again 2003–05; service on Faraday Council (Ordinary Member, 1991–94, Vice President, 1995–98 and President, 2009–12 – a period that witnessed a marked increase in the frequency of Faraday Discussions and establishment of the Physical Chemistry Early Career Researcher Network meetings); Chairing the RSC's Science, Education and Industry Board (SEIB) 2012–18 and, by virtue of that position, membership of RSC Council throughout that period. As Chair of SEIB, Mike helped promote and monitor RSC initiatives like the Researcher Mobility Grants and Enterprise Plus Industrial Placements, and oversaw the RSC's responses to numerous policy issues.