Remembering Richard Wayne

We are saddened to announce the death of our colleague and friend Professor Richard Peer Wayne FRSC (1938–2023), Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Christ Church. Dr Martin Grossel reflects on Professor Wayne’s impressive career. 

Richard was educated at Worthing High School. In 1957 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, as an Open Scholar, and subsequently gained a First in the Natural Sciences Tripos. He then gained a Research Scholarship at Trinity College and was awarded a PhD in 1963 after which he spent two years as a Research Assistant at the University of Liverpool.

In 1965 he was appointed a Departmental Demonstrator in the Physical Research Laboratory in Oxford and elected a Tutor and College Lecturer at Christ Church. In the following year he was appointed to an Official Studentship at Christ Church, and in 1967 awarded a University Lecturership.

In 1973 he was elected Dr Lee’s Reader in Chemistry at Christ Church, a position which he held until his retirement in 2006. He was awarded the title of Professor in Oxford in 1996.

Richard was an internationally renowned authority in the fields of Atmospheric Chemistry (both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial) and Photochemistry. During his academic career he served on a number of national and international committees. He published over 180 research papers, together with important reviews and books on reaction kinetics, photochemistry, and atmospheric chemistry. In 1999 he received the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Reaction Kinetics award and, in 2001, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Castilla-La Mancha.

Richard was a skilled linguist and in 1975–76, while a Visiting Senior Scientist at the Centre de Recherches en Physique de l’Environment in Orléans, France, he gave lectures in French, much to the appreciation of his audience! 

Richard was an excellent tutor and lecturer who was regarded with great respect and affection by his pupils and colleagues. Though very demanding in tutorials, he was able to draw the very best out of his students. He enjoyed socialising with colleagues, pupils and friends and was a generous host, holding many fondly remembered social events at the Lee Reader’s House in St Giles.