Leading chemist dies

Tony Orchard, Fellow in Inorganic Chemistry at University College has died, aged 64. Orchard was a pioneer in inorganic chemistry, whose research helped to lay foundations for much modern technology.
Orchard first studied Chemistry as an undergraduate at Wadham and then gained a D.Phil at Merton in theoretical inorganic chemistry. He left before completing his doctorate to take up a fellowship at University College, aged 26, where he remained until his death.
During the 1970s Orchard led a group of researchers to produce work on photoelectron spectroscopy that allowed scientists to examine the electronic structure of materials. This research helped pave the way for technological innovations included in PCs and mobile phones. In 2003 he published his defining work, Magnetochemistry.
Professor Bob Williams, a Wadham Chemist, said “Tony Orchard was my undergraduate and graduate student. He was one of the cleverest of all my pupils. His early theoretical and experimental work on electronic structures of inorganic materials was of great interest.”
As well as such academic success, Orchard also excelled at both tennis and snooker playing, including notable victories at a young age in matches against future world champions Ray Reardon and Terry Griffiths.
Orchard was able to number among his friends former US president, Bill Clinton, who he met during the 1960s, when Clinton was a Rhodes scholar at Univ and Orchard was a young Junior Dean. Orchard was invited by Clinton to Washington for his inauguration, although Orchard was unable to attend due to academic commitments.
Orchard was keen to improve the system of undergraduate applications for chemistry in order to attract strong candidates in the subject and increase numbers of applicants. Williams further stated, “Later in life his commitment to his students and his college came at the cost of his practical research interest but he was always of great assistance to others whenever he was consulted.”
Tom Muir, a Chemistry student at Univ, told Cherwell “[Orchard] was a very genuine guy, who cared about his students. His tutorials were always enjoyable and he was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a vast range of subjects. He made a massive contribution to both Univ and Oxford chemistry. He will be greatly missed.”
Lord Butler, Master of Univ, described Dr Orchard as “a good-natured, sociable, affable man who was always good company. He knew his pupils well and cared deeply for them. He is remembered with great affection by many generations of Univ students”.
A Memorial Service for Tony Orchard will be held in the University Church at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday 29 October, followed by refreshments in Hall in Univ.ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2005