My educator, mentor and pal, Michael Web page, who has died aged 76, was a physical-organic chemist who made pioneering contributions to his occupation over a profession spanning 5 a long time.
After finding out chemistry at Brighton, then a PhD in Leicester and Glasgow, Mike moved to Brandeis College, Massachusetts, in 1970 to do postdoctoral analysis with one of many world’s most outstanding physical-organic chemists, William Jencks. Collectively, utilizing classical ideas, they reinterpreted the options that may account for charge acceleration in enzymes, exhibiting there was no must invoke any of the beforehand postulated particular results. Their analysis article Entropic Contributions to Fee Accelerations in Enzymic and Intramolecular Reactions and the Chelate Impact, printed in 1971 within the journal Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences of the USA, has been cited greater than 1,300 instances.
On returning to the UK, Mike spent a 12 months with the distinguished bodily chemist Ronnie Bell at Stirling, earlier than shifting in 1972 to a lectureship at Huddersfield Polytechnic (now the College of Huddersfield). There he explored subjects as various as antibiotics, organometallics, reactions in liquid ammonia and the chemical origins of life. By 1985 Mike had been promoted to professor and grow to be head of chemistry. I began my undergraduate diploma that 12 months, and was taught natural chemistry by Mike. He was really inspiring, from day one. College students had been guided, with humour and the occasional quote from Shakespeare, in direction of a rigorous appreciation of natural reactivity.
Mike’s affect at Huddersfield was formidable, and he quickly grew to become dean for analysis, then deputy vice-chancellor. Nonetheless, he continued to oversee PhD college students and to publish. He was the founding director of Modern Bodily Natural Options, a business facility that gives analytical companies to corporations, and gained quite a few awards, together with the Society of Chemical Business’s Analysis and Growth for Society award, and an honorary doctorate. After retiring in 2018, Mike grow to be a visiting tutorial in chemistry on the College of Edinburgh, remaining extremely energetic, lecturing at conferences and publishing.
Born in Lewes, Sussex, to Lesley Web page, a postman and gardener, and Gertrude (nee Allen), Mike went to Lewes grammar college. In 1967 he met Caroline Stott on the College of Leicester, the place she was finding out English and historical past and he was doing a PhD. They married in 1968.
Anybody who encountered Mike will bear in mind a person of nice creativity, modesty and humour, who had as a lot curiosity within the work of others as in his personal. At lectures he had the power to ask easy but extremely penetrating questions, gently guiding the speaker to grasp a flaw or to see an necessary new path.
Mike is survived by Caroline, their daughter, Emma, and their granddaughters, Alice, Jessica, Katie and Claire. Their son, Tim, died in 2012.