The College warmly congratulates Professor Simon Aldridge who has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is elected alongside a group of over 90 exceptional researchers from around the world, ten of whom are from the University of Oxford.

A native of Shropshire, Professor Aldridge received his scientific training in Oxford, South Bend (Indiana) and London. His first academic appointment was in Cardiff, and since 2007 he has been Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow at Queen’s.

Professor Aldridge is an innovative and highly original synthetic chemist who has an international reputation for developing synthetic techniques to access novel compounds, particularly of silicon and aluminium, and demonstrating that they are capable of activating a range of small inorganic and organic molecules critical for catalytic processes.

Professor Aldridge said:

I’m extremely happy that the group’s work has been recognised in this way by the Royal Society – all the more so, given the fundamental nature of much of the science that we do. Most importantly, it is recognition of the dedication and inspiration of the exceptional students and co-workers with whom I have had the privilege to work over the past 25 years.

His group’s work focuses on moulding the chemistry of main group compounds to achieve ground-breaking reactivity in the capture and activation of small molecules. Much of this work concerns the design and synthesis of compounds based on s- and p-block elements, targeting systems with unprecedented bonding motifs and/or electronic structure, and which are capable of the transformation of industrially relevant substrates. Ultimately, this work aims to develop systems which alter the perception of the capabilities of main group compounds in stoichiometric and catalytic reactions.

Professor Aldridge has previously received the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Frankland and Main Group Chemistry awards and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Forschungspreis (Senior Research Award). Since 2019 he has been the director of the OxICFM and IMAT doctoral training centres focussing on the synthesis and application of inorganic molecules and materials.

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said:

I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the Fellowship of the Royal Society. This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry.

Photo by John Cairns