Neil Coville obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc.
degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand
(Wits), Johannesburg, before proceeding to
McGill University, Montreal in 1968 where he
obtained his Ph.D degree (1973). After
post-doctoral work at Harvard University he
returned to Wits in 1976. He worked his way
through the ranks in the School of Chemistry,
from lecturer to Chair of Inorganic Chemistry
before becoming an Emeritus Professor. He is
still a member of two DST-NRF Centres of
Excellence (Catalysis; Strong Materials) and
maintains an active research group.
His research work is focussed on carbon
chemistry – synthesis and applications - and this has led
to many studies on the shaping and doping of carbons.The applications
include the use of the carbons as catalysts supports (e.g.
in Fischer-Tropsch catalysis) and for use in sensors and