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Flags lowered in memory of Professor Emeritus Russell

Professor Russell was known particularly for his polymer research and first-year and polymer lectures dating back to 1956.

Flags at Queen’s are lowered in honour of Professor Emeritus K.E. (Ken) Russell, who passed away at home in Kingston on Sunday, April 10.

[K.E. Russell]
Professor Emeritus K.E. (Ken) Russell

For more than 60 years, Ken Russell was a colleague, mentor and friend to faculty, staff and students in the Department of Chemistry. Born in England, Dr. Russell graduated from the University of Cambridge (M.A. Ph.D. ’48), completing graduate research on the kinetics of the cationic polymerization of isobutylene under the supervision of R.G.W. Norrish, recipient of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Dr. Russell’s interest in polymer chemistry arose through wartime work on butyl rubber. He was appointed assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University (1948-50) assistant lecturer at Manchester (1950-52) and fellow at Princeton (1952-54). 

In 1954, Dr. Russell came to Queen’s. He was known particularly for his polymer research and first-year and polymer lectures dating back to 1956. He, along with other colleagues in the Department of Chemistry and collaborators at DuPont Canada, were instrumental in bring the first high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)  spectrometer to Queen’s in 1981 through an unprecedented university-industry collaboration. Officially retiring  in 1990, his research publications in polymer science span 55 years, from 1947 to 2002.

In 2014 to recognize his contributions, the Department of Chemistry established the Russell Lectureship, featuring distinguished researchers in polymer chemistry and related areas of material science, as visiting speakers. The inaugural lecture takes place this Friday, April 15.

A celebration of his life will be held at the University Club at Queen's, 168 Stuart St. on Saturday, April 16, from noon to 2:30 pm; with remarks at 1 pm. Donations to the Russell Lectureship would be appreciated by his family.