Bringing Together Academic and Industrial Chemistry: Edmund Ronalds’ Contribution

  • Beverley F. Ronalds University of Western Australia, Australia
Keywords: Chemical technology, coal-tar processing


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.

Author Biography

Beverley F. Ronalds, University of Western Australia, Australia

Initially a lecturer at Imperial College London, Beverley Ronalds then gained industry experience in the design of offshore petroleum production facilities. She has also served as Woodside Chair of Oil and Gas Engineering at the University of Western Australia, where she remains an adjunct professor, and Group Executive at Australia’s national science laboratory CSIRO. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Edmund Ronalds
How to Cite
Ronalds, B. F. (2019). Bringing Together Academic and Industrial Chemistry: Edmund Ronalds’ Contribution. Substantia, 3(1), 139-152.
Historical Articles