Peter Day (1938–2020)

Biography of Peter Day

  • Peter Day

Ri positions

  • Director of the RI (1991-98)
  • Director of the DFRL (1991-1998)
  • Fullerian Professor (1991 – 2008)


Peter Day Peter was born in East Malling in Kent and educated at Maidstone Grammar school and Wadham College Oxford. He continued in Oxford to study for a PhD under the supervision of RJP (Bob) Williams – a leading and influential figure in UK Chemistry; and he subsequently became a fellow and tutor in Chemistry at St John’s College, Oxford.

His pioneering work in the field of mixed valence compounds and molecular electronic materials earned him election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1986. In 1988, he moved to become Director of the Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble - a world leading, international centre for scientific research using neutrons.

He was appointed Director of the RI and DFRL and to the Fullerian Professorship in 1991 and served the Institution for seven years. Within the DFRL, he continued his work on molecular electronic and magnetic properties of materials, with extensive use of neutron scattering methods. He also established a strong and productive partnership between the DFRL and University College London.