Dr Margaret Christie, former Fellow in Chemistry at St Hilda's, has died

13th August 2021

We were saddened by the news of the death on 31 July of Dr Margaret Christie, Fellow in Chemistry at St Hilda's from 1958 to her retirement in 1985.

Born in Fochabers in Moray, Scotland in 1925, Margaret Christie read Applied Chemistry at Glasgow University and on graduation in 1945 was appointed to an Assistant Lectureship at the Royal Technical College. Having completed her Glasgow PhD, she won a Carnegie Senior Scholarship to Cambridge in 1950 where she studied the recombination of iodine atoms ('a satisfying piece of fundamental work,' as she wrote of it) in the Physical Chemistry Department where Norrish and Porter were developing the technique of flash photolysis for which they would later win the Nobel Prize.

After a year at the University of Rochester, New York State, she returned to a research fellowship at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1953, and in 1955 was appointed to the University Demonstratorship in Cambridge. In 1958 she moved to St Hilda's to take up post as the second Chemistry Fellow alongside Muriel Tomlinson, together with a University Demonstratorship in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory where she pursued her research into the kinetics of nitric oxide reactions. She was appointed to a University Lectureship in 1963, a position she held until her retirement aged 60.

Margaret Christie and Muriel Tomlinson were an inspiring and exacting duo as Chemistry tutors to generations of St Hilda's students through the decades they worked together.

The eulogy read at her funeral on 10th August concluded: 'Margaret was a thoughtful, kind, caring and considerate person with a happy disposition, a jolly sense of humour and was a true friend to many. She will be missed and remembered.'

Our thoughts are with her family at this time as we remember her achievements.