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COTANCE mourns the loss of another great man of leather science
Ken Alexander (27 October 1943 - 23 January 2017)
Dr K T W (Ken) Alexander (BSc, MSc, PhD) was a member of GERIC, the European Grouping of Leather Technology Centres, who gave a dynamic turn to this body by starting a long list of EU funded R&D projects that yielded many benefits to the European tanning industry and equipped it notably with the technologies serving sustainability. Ken Alexander was a highly appreciated President of GERIC.
Dr Alexander received his PhD in Biochemistry from Southampton University on the topic of cholesterol biosynthesis. After finishing his PhD, he worked at the Medical Research Council Lipid Metabolism Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, then for University of Utah and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra.
Ken’s main career in leather started when he joined the then British Leather Manufacturers’ Research Association (BLMRA) in January 1980 as a specialist researcher in protein science. He was appointed Assistant Director, Technical, of the British Leather Confederation in 1985, became Technical Director in July 1990 and Chief Executive of BLC in 1992.
He remained as Chief Executive until his retirement in early 2006. During his time at BLC, Ken also served terms as President of SLTC and of the international body, IULTCS; this included the organisation of a very successful international congress in London
As well as being an internationally recognised scientist, Ken applied his incisive mind and immense energy to his role as Chief Executive and he played a very important role in leading the modernisation of BLC during the 1990s.
He leaves behind his two sons, his beloved granddaughter, Ishani, and his sister, Lindsay.