PROFESSOR Ron Lawes, founder of one of Oxford’s most successful research centres and leader of British nanotechnology, has died aged 75.

Prof Lawes was one of the first scientists to champion the micro-technology and nanotechnology industry in the UK, advising government officials.

In 1977 he founded the Central Microstructure Facility (CMF) at the Rutherford & Appleton Laboratories in Harwell, and ran it until his retirement in 2003.

He represented and promoted the UK’s interests in micro and nanotechnology internationally, as well as advising overseas governments and industries.

Born in Southampton on September 26, 1938, Prof Lawes was the first in his family to go to university, graduating from Imperial College, London.

His achievements and contributions to nanotechnology were recognised in 1995 with his election as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Prof Lawes died of a heart attack on November 3, and All Saints’ Church, Faringdon, in the town where they lived, was filled with more than 100 people for his funeral on November 18.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jean, neé Whitehouse, daughters Catherine and Vivienne, who live in Rugby and Kent respectively, and two grandchildren.