Professor Neville Greaves (1945-2019)

Professor Neville Greaves came to Aberystwyth in 1996 as Professor of a new research group in Materials Physics and Head of Department following a distinguished career at the Synchrotron Radiation Source at Daresbury Laboratory, where he built up X-ray Spectroscopy facilities and established the Materials Science Division.

A graduate of St Andrews University and with a PhD from the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, he pioneered the development of combined X-ray techniques bringing spectroscopy, diffraction and scattering together in the same experiment.

In 1990 he received the Science and Technology Award presented by the Guild of Glass Sellers for his work on glass structure.

He founded the international conference series on Synchrotron Radiation in Materials Science in 1994 and was the UK International Advisory Committee Member for the world's largest synchrotron radiation source, SPring-8 in Japan.

In 2003 he became Director of the newly formed Institute of Mathematics and Physics at Aberystwyth University, continuing in post until 2010. During that time he was also a member of the Royal Institution Davy Faraday Research Laboratory Committee and received a Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Orleans in 2002 for advancing the understanding of disordered materials using synchrotron radiation.

Between 2005 and 2009 Professor Greaves served on the Council of the Institute of Physics and was awarded a Scientiae Doctor at the University of Cambridge in 2008. He joined the Science Board of the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council in 2009, and in the same year was awarded an Honorary Chair at University College London.

In 2010 he became a Distinguished Research Professor in Physics at Aberystwyth University and also a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge.

He received the George W Morey Award, from the American Ceramic Society in 2011, for major contributions to the field of glass science, and international workshops marking his 65th and 70th birthdays were held at University College London and at the Royal Society.

In 2012 he was awarded a DAAD scholarship for collaborative work on ultra-high temperature liquids at German Aerospace, Cologne. In the same year he was elected a Foreign Learned Scholar at Shanghai University, and also became a Visiting Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College Cambridge. Wuhan University of Technology elected him their Strategic Scientist in 2013 and in 2016 he was the Cooper Distinguished Lecturer at the annual meeting of the American Ceramic Society.

Neville’s enthusiasm and dedication was an inspiration to us all and his contribution to his subject and his university is immense. He had many interests and a wide knowledge of subjects beyond science and was always excellent company. He was a talented musician with an excellent singing voice and had firm opinions that he was always fearless in defending.

Professor Andrew Evans
Head of the Department Physics
June 2019