Ralph Alexander Raphael England

Biography of Ralph Alexander Raphael

Ralph Alexander Raphael
Ralph Alexander Raphael

Ralph Alexander Raphael (1921-1998) was Regius Professor of Chemistry at the University from 1957 until 1972.

Born in Croydon, to moderately orthodox Jewish parents of Polish descent, Raphael studied Chemistry at Imperial College London on a war-time, two-year course and graduated with first class honours. He was awarded a PhD after a further two years of research into the chemistry of acetylenes. In 1943 he began work with May & Baker on research into penicillin, and in 1946 returned to Imperial College as an ICI Research Fellow.

In 1948, Raphael was awarded the Meldola Medal by the Royal Institute of Chemistry for his work on the application of acetylenes in organic synthesis, and he went to Glasgow as a lecturer the following year. In 1954 he was appointed the first Professor of Organic Chemistry at Queen's University, Belfast, but returned to Glasgow three years later to fill the Regius Chair.

During his time at Glasgow, Raphael continued his pioneering research in Synthetic Chemistry and, among many awards, he won the Davy Medal in 1981 for his "distinguished contributions to organic synthesis and in particular his ingenious applications of acetylenic intermediates". In 1972 he was appointed the 1702 Professor of Organic Chemistry at Cambridge. He was appointed CBE in 1982.


Ralph Alexander Raphael
Organic Chemist

Born 1 January 1921, Croydon, England.
Died 27 April 1998.
University Link: Professor
Occupation categories: chemists
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Record last updated: 5th Dec 2008

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