Sir John Enderby CBE FRS FInstP: 16 January 1931 – 3 August 2021

Sir John Edwin Enderby, having been elected FRS in 1985, served as Physical Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society from 1999 to 2004. He was also President of the Institute of Physics from 2004 to 2006 and was closely associated with Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP) as scientific adviser over a number of years. With such in-depth experience of publishing, the Foundation for Science and Technology was delighted when he agreed to become editor of FST Journal, a post he filled from 2009 to 2016. He was responsible for the redesign of the Journal in 2015, in which he involved colleagues at IOPP.

Sir John Edwin Enderby 


John was born in Lincolnshire but grew up in Cheshire before becoming a teacher after completing his national service. He took evening classes as a part-time physics student at Birkbeck College, London, earning a first-class honours degree in 1957. He stayed on at Birkbeck to complete a doctorate on the electrical properties of liquid metals.

After lectureships in Huddersfield and at Sheffield University, John was appointed Professor at Leicester University where he subsequently became Head of Department. He joined the Physics Department at Bristol University in 1976, becoming Head of Department in 1981. He held this role until 1994. From 1985 to 1988, he took leave in order to become Directeur-Adjoint of the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, the leading neutron beam facility.

In his research, he developed innovative ways of using neutrons to study the structure of disordered matter at the microscopic level. He and colleagues also pioneered physics research into how water molecules are ordered around ions in aqueous solutions.

John was awarded a knighthood in 2004 for services to science and technology.