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Fellows Directory

Geoffrey Allen

Sir Geoffrey Allen FREng FRS


Elected: 1976


Geoffrey Allen is a chemist known for his work on the physics and chemistry of polymers, and in particular, the thermodynamics of rubber elasticity — what puts the bounce into rubber. He was amongst the first researchers to measure cohesive energy densities of intermolecular forces in polymers. He also did pioneering work on miscibility — a property of substances that mix together.

As a consequence of ICI funding, Geoffrey formed a joint research laboratory at the University of Manchester, where he was Professor of Chemical Physics. He later became part-time Assistant Director of the ICI Corporate Research Lab at Runcorn. In 1981, he moved fully into the private sector becoming Research and Engineering Director at Unilever.

From 1977 to 1981, Geoffrey chaired the then Science and Engineering Research Council and was knighted in 1979. He was Chancellor of the University of East Anglia for 10 years from 1993 and was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Protection from 1994–2000. He served as President of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in 1994.


  • Philips Lecture

    On 'The impact of industrial and academic collaboration on new technology'.