Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 23 No. 3 August 2008

Anton (Anthony Richard) Blencowe

Anton Blencowe

Currently living in Melbourne, Australia, you could say that Anton (28) has come a long way from his roots in Gloucester, UK, but Anton’s journey has also been one of academic discovery. After completing his A-levels, he accepted a place at the University of Reading studying chemistry.

During his degree, Anton became interested in organic and synthetic polymer chemistry, a branch of chemistry that is increasingly impacting on the lives of the public, with applications ranging from anti-scratch coatings to medical devices. Anton undertook an honours project in the area, winning a prestigious Johnson Matthey award and, unusually for an honours student, publishing two articles in peer-reviewed journals. Graduating with a first class honours (masters degree), Anton was offered a DuPont sponsored PhD position in the Hayes Research Group, developing methods for the preparation of a range of unique polymeric materials.

During his PhD, he won several awards for his studies as well as publishing seven high-impacting articles, including a cover article in the top journal in the field of polymer and materials science. Throughout the course of his under-graduate and post-graduate studies, he also worked for RSSL, an analytical subsidiary of Cadburys Schweppes, developing in-house analytical methods and techniques.

In February 2006, Anton took up a position with the Polymer Science Group at the University of Melbourne, as a post-doctoral research fellow working alongside Prof. David Solomon, one of the co-inventors famously responsible for developing Australia’s “plastic money”. Anton is currently the acting laboratory manager and supervises four PhD students as well as continuing his own research activities for which he was awarded grants worth AU$ 1.6 million last year.

Since arriving in Melbourne Anton has published a further twelve articles, including two co-authored with his brother, Christopher Blencowe, another young, inspiring chemist. Following his example, Chris is now a PhD student working in the Hayes Research Group and Peter, the youngest of the Blencowe trio is studying for his BSc in chemistry at the University of Warwick. You never know what the future holds in store, but you can be sure that chemistry will play a huge role in the lives of these three Blencowes and hopefully, the fruits of their research will provide benefit to everyone.

Louisa Phillipson

updated: 31 October 2008