Fireballs, explosions and rockets at this year’s Bill Williams Memorial Lecture

27 November 2017

Dr Joel Loveridge
Dr Joel Loveridge

‘Creating fireworks, and the scientific principles behind them’
Dr Joel Loveridge, Swansea University
1.15pm-2.15pm, Wednesday 13 December 2017
Physics Main lecture theatre, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth University

Dr Joel Loveridge, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Swansea University, will deliver this year’s Bill Williams Memorial Lecture, aimed at school pupils in year 10 and above.

The lecture, entitled ‘Creating fireworks, and the scientific principles behind them’, will take place from 1.15pm-2.15pm on Wednesday 13 December in the Physics Main lecture theatre on Penglais Campus.

Through demonstrations including fireballs, explosions and rockets, Dr Loveridge will discuss what needs to be considered when creating fireworks and the science behind them.

The annual Memorial Lecture was set up as a tribute to the late A.J.S “Bill” Williams MBE (1920-2016) who was renowned for his schools’ lecture series.

During his long career at Aberystwyth University from 1950-2011, he travelled the length and breadth of the country speaking to more than 80,000 children.

As part of a Royal Society of Chemistry initiative to encourage interest in science among 10–12 year olds, Bill devised the demonstration lecture ‘Science and Energy’ in 1990, which demonstrates that energy occurs in different forms which are interconvertible, with the pupils performing all the experiments. The lecture was given all over the country on some 800 occasions.

His enthusiasm and commitment brought many awards during his lifetime, including his MBE for Services to Science and to Young people, the Michael Faraday Award Lecture, the B.D Shaw Bronze medal and the RSC Silver Medal for Achievement in the Promotion of Chemistry.  In 2014, he was named as one of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 175 Faces of Chemistry.  He was posthumously honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University in 2016. 

The Bill Williams Memorial Lecture is hosted by the West Wales Association of Young Scientists, which was established by Bill Williams and Sir Granville Beynon in 1977, and sponsored by the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

For further information about the lecture please contact Paula Hughes -




Alice Earp, Communications and Public Affairs, Aberystwyth University
01970 622578 /