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Professor Paul Raithby
Professor Paul Raithby

Internal News - 20 April 2006

Bath chemist elected President of the British Crystallographic Association

Paul Raithby, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, has been elected as the President of the British Crystallographic Association (BCA), the UK body that encompasses chemists, physicists, biologists and material scientists in academia and industry with an interest in structural science.

Professor Raithby’s election took place at the recent spring meeting of the Association.

In his new role as President, Professor Raithby is keen to develop and promote the teaching of crystallography at the postgraduate and undergraduate levels, and in secondary schools. He wants to make more accessible this fundamental science, which was used to unravel the structure of DNA and is now used in research laboratories daily to probe the structure of new materials, pharmaceutical products and the molecules of life.

Professor Raithby is one of the leading chemical crystallographers in the UK and is pioneering techniques in time-resolved diffraction studies – making molecular movies so that researchers can watch molecules as they react in the solid state.

He uses high-intensity, synchrotron X-ray radiation for much of his work and currently holds a joint appointment with the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils’ (CCLRC) Daresbury Laboratory.

He was also the team leader of the working group that was recently awarded £3.6 million to build a single-crystal molecular crystallography beamline, at the new Diamond synchrotron being built at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, near Oxford. A beamline is a facility at which researchers get access to synchrotron light, the tunable and high-energy X-ray beams used in research.

Professor Raithby is also one of the two UK representatives on the International Union of Crystallography’s Commission for Structural Chemistry. He has written over 700 research publications and is one of the most highly cited UK chemists.