Vol. 3 No. 1 (2019)
Historical Articles

Bringing Together Academic and Industrial Chemistry: Edmund Ronalds’ Contribution

Beverley F. Ronalds
University of Western Australia, Australia
Edmund Ronalds

Published 2019-03-31


  • Chemical technology,
  • coal-tar processing

How to Cite

Ronalds, B. F. (2019). Bringing Together Academic and Industrial Chemistry: Edmund Ronalds’ Contribution. Substantia, 3(1), 139–152. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-211


Born 200 years ago, Edmund Ronalds (1819–1889) obtained his doctorate in Germany under Liebig, became a professor at Queen’s College Galway and ran the little-studied but significant Bonnington Chemical Works in Edinburgh. His few mentions in the modern literature relate generally to the legacies of his actual and assumed academic supervisors of renown, yet his hitherto unknown mentors included family members and the important chemists Graham, Magnus, Tennant and Tennent. The novelty of his shift from university to manufacture has also been noted. With the aid of little-known primary sources, this biography details the evolution of Ronalds’ career, exploring the context and influences for his diverse accomplishments and in particular the new and successful ways he bridged academia and industry through technological education and industrial research.