Dr. R. J. W. LeFèvre


    DR. R. J. W. LEFÈVRE has been appointed to the chair of chemistry in the University of Sydney, which will become vacant shortly through the retirement of Prof. C. E. Fawsitt. Dr. LeFèvre is at present head of the Chemistry Department of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, and hopes to take up his new post during the latter part of this year. Educated at East London (now Queen Mary) College, Dr. LeFèvre was appointed a lecturer at University College, London, in 1928, becoming later reader in chemistry of the University of London. During the whole of the War he has been with the Air Ministry and Ministry of Aircraft Production. In 1941 he went as chemical adviser to the Commander -in-Chief Far East, with headquarters in Singapore. He fortunately escaped, not without difficulty, and on arriving in Australia took up a similar appointment with the Royal Australian Air Force. He returned to England in December 1943 and later was appointed to Farnborough. In his research work at University College, Dr. LeFèvre applied physical methods to organic chemistry problems. His most important. work has been in the use of dielectric constant measurements to solve numerous difficult geometrical structural problems such as the identification of cis- and trans-forms. The method was also used for following reaction velocities. His wife, Catherine LeFèvre, was associated with some of this work, and she also carried out independent studies on the related phenomenon, the Kerr effect. During the War, Dr. LeFèvre 's work ranged over the whole field of chemistry-physical, analytical, organic, etc. -and his work made a notable contribution to the war effort. His appointment to Sydney will play an important part in the continuation of the close links which have for long existed between the universities of Great Britain and Australia.

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    Dr. R. J. W. LeFèvre. Nature 157, 472–473 (1946). https://doi.org/10.1038/157472b0

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