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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry

Head and shoulders of Ray Freeman

Courtesy Department of Chemistry photography

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Professor Ray Freeman FRS, aged 90.

Ray was the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Magnetic Resonance in this department from 1987 until his retirement in 1999, although he remained active in collaborative research for long after that date. Before joining Cambridge Ray spent the majority of his university career in Oxford. Throughout his career he had a close association with Varian Instruments, having worked there in the 1960s when the company was at the cutting edge of developments in NMR.

Ray was hugely influential in the development of new techniques in NMR spectroscopy, and had a significant hand in many of the techniques which are used on a day-to-day basis in NMR facilities around the world, and which revolutionised NMR as an analytical technique. Ray was a superb communicator and was often the 'star turn' at NMR conferences - his presentations were characteristically littered with wry jokes, self-deprecating remarks, and illustrated by his beautiful hand-drawn slides and cartoons. He was a great mentor to his students who remember him with great fondness. Many have gone on to achieve significant success in their own rights, and all acknowledge Ray as a significant influence on their own careers.

Ray was a gentleman scientist, somewhat of the old school, and a devoted family man. He will be greatly missed but his legacy is substantial.