Notable People

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Sir Alwyn Williams

Geologist and University Administrator
Born 8 June 1921.
Died 4 April 2004.

A prominent geologist who discovered silica and phosphate biominerals in brachiopod shells.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Honorary Graduate, Lecturer, Principal
GU Degree: LLD, 1988;

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The following achievement is associated with Sir Alwyn Williams:

Discovery of silica and phosphate biominerals in brachiopod shells
Alwyn Williams' discovery that there is a major change in cellular and biochemical processes in the creation of the shells of marine brachiopods changed the understanding of biomineralistaion in living organisms.


The following honours are associated with this person:


Sir Alwyn Williams (1921-2004) was Principal and Vice Chancellor from 1976 to 1988. Under his leadership, the University faced up to and met the challenges involved in modernising and developing research and teaching in computing and new technologies. He was awarded an LLD in 1988.

Born in South Wales, Williams studied Geology at University College of Wales and came to Glasgow in 1950 to lecture at the University's Geology Department. He was Professor of Geology at Queen's University Belfast from 1954 until 1974 and then at Birmingham University before returning to Glasgow as Principal in 1976. He was knighted in 1983.

Williams was a highly-respected scientist who continued to pursue his research interests while he was Principal, and worked full-time on a number of academic projects after his retirement.