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The University of Southampton

Mass spectrometry leader honoured for ‘outstanding and sustained contributions’ to chemistry

Published: 5 October 2021
John Langley celebrates
Professor John Langley celebrates receiving the BMSS medal with colleague Julie Herniman

Professor John Langley from the University of Southampton has been awarded the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS) Medal. Professor Langley becomes only the seventh recipient of the prestigious honour that recognises outstanding and sustained contributions to the promotion of mass spectrometry.

The accolade’s nominations from across academia and industry praise him as “an advocate, a champion and a leader of British mass spectrometry”, highlighting the influence of his nearly 40 years’ experience in the field.

Professor Langley , Head of Characterisation and Analytics at Southampton, says: “This award came completely out of the blue. I had no idea, even as they discussed the 37 plus years membership of the recipient.  It is a fantastic honour, one of which I am extremely proud. It is testament to the research of many students and collaborations with industry and also working with BMSS for many decades.”

Mass spectrometry is the study of matter through the formation of gas-phaseions that are characterised using mass spectrometers by their mass, charge, structure, and/or physico-chemical properties.

Professor Langley received a mass spectrometry PhD from the University of London, where he started his working career. He has been based at the University of Southampton ever since and is now a Professorial Fellow (Enterprise) and Head of SCAS Southampton Chemistry Analytical Solutions (SCAS).

His research interests are in the application of separation science and mass spectrometry for chemistry, chemical biology, agrochemical and petrochemistry as well as probing new applications and areas for research.

Professor Langley has held many positions within BMSS, including service as Chair, Vice-Chair, General Secretary, Meetings Secretary and Advisory Board member. In 2016, he was awarded the BMSS lectureship.

He is a Chartered Chemist, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Chartered Scientist. He is first and only person to have been Chair the British Mass Spectrometry Society and the RSC Separation Science Group (2009 - ) and President of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation (2019-22).

His prowess in various fields has resulted in him being invited to speak at over 30 national and international meetings, with over 100 publications published in more than 30 leading scientific journals.

The BMSS Medal was established in 2002 and infrequently honours individuals deserving special recognition for their contributions to mass spectrometry.

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