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Emeritus Professor Richard Bushby

Colleagues will be sorry to learn of the recent death of Emeritus Professor Richard Bushby, former Professor of Physical Organic Chemistry in the School of Physics and Astronomy, after a short illness.

Following his DPhil with ERH Jones and GH Whitham at Oxford, Richard took up the role of Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Queen Mary College London, and then Joined Yale University, working with JA Berson, as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow.

He then started his independent academic career in 1970 at Leeds as Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, rising through the ranks to be appointed as Professor of Physical Organic Chemistry in 1998, and Research Professor in 2004.

His background and training were in Physical Organic Chemistry and initially, his research concentrated on fairly traditional Physical Organic themes: carbanion ion pairs and pi-biradicals.

More recently, he developed an interest in Organic Molecular Materials, where he rapidly established an international reputation as a leader in the development and study of discotic liquid crystals (synthesis, conductivity, alignment and lyotropic behaviour), on model biomembranes (electrode-bound and patterned lipid bilayers and lipid-monolayer stabilised bubbles) and on high spin polymers (mostly non-Kekulé ammonium radical cation derivatives).

In the late 1980s he was instrumental in setting up the SOMS (Self-Organising Molecular Systems) Centre, based on the top floor of Chemistry, of which he was eventually to become the Director.

Following his semi-retirement, he became an Emeritus Professor and continued his research, spreading his activities between the Schools of Chemistry, and Physics & Astronomy. His very recent research was centred on lipid-stabilised microbubbles as theranostic agents (agents for imaging and treating cancer, within the Leeds microbubble group, and on high-spin polymers.

As well as being a fantastic and enthusiastic teacher of chemistry, Richard was a valued colleague and friend, who’s warm and friendly approach- as well as his huge enthusiasm for chemistry, was a true inspiration to many.

Richard will be sadly missed by his many colleagues and friends, at Leeds, and beyond.

Richard’s funeral will be held on 14 June, on which day the flag on the Parkinson Building will be raised to half-mast in his memory.