Alumnus Supports Science

Alumnus Supports Science

We were delighted to welcome Professor EA (Peter) Robinson (Tulley's 1951) back to Alleyn’s on Wednesday 15 June to open The Professor EA (Peter) Robinson and Colonel John Robinson Outreach Laboratory.

We are hugely grateful that Peter chose to support science at Alleyn’s and our outreach efforts. His donation supported the refurbishment of a science laboratory that will benefit not only current Alleyn’s pupils but also the wider community through partnerships and the Primary Outreach Programme. The refurbished laboratory features a ‘pod’ system, sliding doors and flexible seating.

Professor Robinson was joined on the day by his nephew, Pete Robinson, who is the son of the Colonel John Robinson (Tulley’s 1951). They joined Year 8 for a biology class with Mr Jones, Head of Science. The pupils heard that Professor Robinson and his brother used to practice science experiments in their basement in Forest Hill in the 1940’s and that Professor Robinson’s favourite scientist was his colleague at the University of Toronto geophysicist J. Tuzo Wilson.

Professor Robinson attended Alleyn’s with his twin brother Colonel John Robinson (Tulley’s 1951). They joined the School in 1944 and spent one year at James House at “Alleyn’s at Rossall” before Alleyn’s returned to Townley Road in 1945. After Alleyn’s Peter studied at UCL before travelling to Canada as a post-doctoral chemistry fellow, where he  stayed to blaze a trail at Erindale College (now U of T  Mississauga). He joined the University of Toronto faculty in 1961 as an Assistant Professor of chemistry and moved west five years later to help create Erindale College. Peter  served variously as first Associate Dean, acting Dean, Dean and Principal as the new campus took shape. In the laboratory, Robinson’s initial foray into research was directed toward a greater understanding of the complex chemistry of sulfuric acid. He and his research partners were involved in the invention of superacids, pioneered the use of the Toronto Mercury Arc-Lamp, were among the first to use laser spectrometry, and discovered the elusive proof of C-H---O hydrogen bonding in methanesulfonyl fluoride and other substances.

Our heartfelt thanks to Professor Robinson for his inspiring words and support.