School of Chemistry

Our History


The History of the School



1881 - University College Nottingham opened at Shakespeare Street consisting of four Professors and three demonstrators. Frank Clowes gave all the Chemistry classes to the day students.

1897 - F. S. Kipping took over Clowes when he left. Kipping was already an F. R. S. aged 34.

1911 - Only 12 Students had gained an Honours Degree in Chemistry.

1920 - The number of Chemistry employees had reached 8. Kipping did pioneering research on silicon compounds, and prepared novel silicones. The College examinations were still managed by University college London. Financially, the 1920s proved difficult, despite Jesse Boot's £20,000 gift and funding of a Lectureship in applied Chemistry. Basic raw materials for research had to be made or were donated by the Chemical Industry.

1928 - Jesse Boot gave the college a splendid new site and buildings in Highfield, but Chemistry staff continued to be responsible for evening classes at Shakespeare Street until 1945.

1936 - Kipping retired this year, the new Professor J. M. Gulland a pioneer in the analysis by physical methods of DNA.

1948 - J. M Gulland  was replaced by F. E King, which was also the year Nottingham gained full University status.

1954 - Professors of Physical Chemistry were appointed

1958 - Professors of Inorganic Chemistry were appointed.

1960 - Equality in staff number between all 3 sections was reached and the department moved into a new, purpose built building.

1960s  - The annual student intake doubled and annual numbers of research papers by staff increased from 35 to 80.

1970s/80s - In addition to Kipping, 5 formers Professors, 2 Emeritus Professors and 4 current Professors were all elected Fellows of the Royal Society.

1998 - The department, formally became the School of Chemistry. In the 50 years since University status was awarded, Chemistry at Nottingham has moved from humble beginnings to arguably one of the top Chemistry Schools in the UK with respect to the quality of its teaching and research.


School of Chemistry

University Park Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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