Mike Blandamer, 1934-2014

Times Higher Education, March 27, 2014 | Go to article overview

Mike Blandamer, 1934-2014


A leading researcher in thermodynamics has died. Mike Blandamer, the son of a policeman, was born in Dorchester on 19 December 1934 and remained a passionate Dorset man for the rest of his life.

He studied for a BSc in chemistry at the University of Southampton (1957), followed by a PhD (1960). After a period of postdoctoral research at the National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, he moved to the University of Leicester in 1961, where he was promoted from assistant lecturer to lecturer and then reader before becoming professor of physical chemistry in 1991.

Although he spent his whole career at Leicester, Professor Blandamer held visiting appointments at the University of Calgary in Canada and the Groningen Centre for Catalysis and Synthesis in the Netherlands. He was also involved in major collaborative projects, both with these institutions and with the Memorial University in Newfoundland.

At the heart of Professor Blandamer's research was the kinetics of chemical reactions in aqueous solution and the factors that determine the rates at which they take place. Much of this had immediate industrial relevance. At Groningen, he was funded by Unilever for his unique expertise in analysing research data and modelling them accurately. He went on to work with his Leicester colleague, Paul Cullis, professor of organic and biological chemistry, on the fundamental properties of proteins and enzymes, to aid our understanding of how drugs bind to their targets. …

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