Professor Alan Katritzky FRS, organic chemist and a founding Fellow of the College, died on 10 February 2014 at the age of 85.
Alan was well-known for his work in heterocyclic chemistry, particularly the use of benzotriazole compounds and made many valuable contributions to chemistry publications.
He gained his BA and DPhil from Oxford University, before moving to Cambridge in 1958 where he was a lecturer. Alan was a founding Fellow and Director of Studies at Churchill College from 1960 – 1963, leaving to become Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of East Anglia.
In his resignation letter to the Master, Sir John Cockcroft, in August 1963, Alan wrote:
“I have enjoyed immensely my connection with Churchill College. It was wonderful to be one of the first fellows and to see the college grow from the tiny nucleus, into what is already one of the larger Cambridge colleges.”
In his reply, Sir John Cockcroft wrote:
“We have all been very grateful for what you have done as a founder Fellow of Churchill College. The first few years are always the most important ones in building up the staff and developing the way of working of the College.
You will always be welcome in Churchill College whenever you are in Cambridge, and I, in turn, will look forward to seeing how the School of Chemical Sciences develops.”
In 1980, Alan moved to the University of Florida, where he ran a research group working on synthetic methods, QSPR (quantitative structure–property relationships) and other topics.
Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1980, Alan was the recipient of multiple honorary doctorates, medals and prizes, including: the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Robert Robinson Award, for contributions to the synthesis and reactivity of heterocycles.