Born in Northern Ireland, Derek Gray received his BSc from Queen’s University Belfast and PhD from the University of Manitoba. For many years an employee of the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, with cross appointments in the Department of Chemistry, McGill University, he is currently professor emeritus in the Department of Chemistry, McGill University. His research interests are in polymer, colloid and surface chemistry, with emphasis on the surface properties of wood, pulp and paper. Discoveries from his research group have included the first reported formation of liquid crystalline cellulose derivatives, and the first preparation and self-assembly of cellulose nanocrystals to give chiral nematic suspensions and ordered films. These unexpected properties have led to wide interest in the production and application of nanocellulosic materials. He received the ACS Anselme Payen Award in 1994, and in 2013 a NSERC Synergy Award, a lifetime achievement Award from the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada, and the Marcus Wallenberg Prize (Sweden) for contributions to forest industries.
Derek G. Gray