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Chemistry pays tribute to David Wails

Posted on 25 June 2020

There is sadness in the Department of Chemistry this week at the news that one of the victims of the Reading terror attack is a former student.

Dr David Wails, Senior Principal Scientist at Johnson Matthey, studied for both his undergraduate degree and PhD in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York.

Professor James Clark, David's PhD supervisor, said: We are deeply saddened by the news that York alumnus David Wails was a victim of the Reading terror attack. 

“David studied with us from 1988 to 1995, first achieving his BSc in Chemistry in 1991 followed by a PhD in Chemistry in 1995. His PhD was on high performance membrane and fibre materials. 

“During his time at York, David proved himself to be a bright and engaged student, and our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this very sad time.”

Dr Stewart Tavener, a fellow alumnus of the Department of Chemistry and a close co-worker of Dr Wails in the 1990s, said: Dave was a lovely bloke and we were a close-knit group while doing our PhD together. He was good company and always had a very dry wit and sense of humour. I was shocked and saddened to hear the news and my sympathies go out to his family and friends.”