Peter Gray (chemist)

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For other people named Peter Gray, see Peter Gray (disambiguation).
Peter Gray
Born (1926-08-25)August 25, 1926
Died June 7, 2012(2012-06-07) (aged 85)
Fields Chemistry
Alma mater
Notable awards
Spouse Barbara Gray (died 1992),
Rachel Gray

Professor Peter Gray MA PhD Sc.D FRS[2] (August 25, 1926 – June 7, 2012) was Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Leeds and subsequently Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Gray attended Newport High School.[5] Gray was educated at the University of Cambridge where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences in 1946 and a PhD in Chemistry three years later.[citation needed]


In 1955 Gray was appointed a Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Leeds. He was promoted to Reader in 1959 and to a personal chair as Professor of Physical Chemistry in 1962. He became Head of the Department of Physical Chemistry on the resignation of Lord Dainton in 1965. His research interests included combustion flame and explosion oscillatory reactions and chaos in chemistry.[6]

Gray left Leeds when he was elected Master of his old college Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1988.[7] He remained Master until 1996 and was then a Life Fellow of the college until his death in 2012.[3]

Awards and honours[edit]

Professor Gray’s career was garlanded with many academic honours, including election as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1977. Gray was awarded an Honorary DSc by the University of Leeds in 1997.[8] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 19??.[2] His nomination reads:

Personal life[edit]

With his first wife, Barbara (who was a Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Leeds), Gray had four children; Christine, Andrew, David and Sally. Following her death in 1992 Gray married his second wife, Rachel, who survived him.[7] His interests included music, hill walking and classical Russian science and maths.[6]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir William Wade
Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Neil McKendrick
Preceded by
Lord Dainton
Head of the Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Leeds[3]
Succeeded by


  1. ^ Chris Elliott . Much-loved former college master dies. Cambridge News. 16/06/2012
  2. ^ a b c Scott, Stephen K. (2014). "Peter Gray 25 August 1926 -- 7 June 2012". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2014.0013. 
  3. ^ a b c Professor Stephen Scott. Professor Peter Gray, DSc, FRSC, FRS.
  4. ^ Gray, P. & Scott, S. K. (12 May 1994), Chemical Oscillations and Instabilities Non-linear Chemical Kinetics, Clarendon Press 
  5. ^ John Griffiths. COMBUSTION PEOPLE Professor Peter Gray, FRS: 80 this year!
  6. ^ a b Gray, Peter — Natural Sciences (Physical).
  7. ^ a b University of Leeds, Obituary
  8. ^ Professor Peter Gray news article. 15 June 2012.
  9. ^ "EC/1977/19: Gray, Peter". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2014-09-08.