Before his early retirement at the end of 2007, Professor (Emeritus) Adrian Carl Wright was Professor of Amorphous Solid-State Physics at the University of Reading (U.K.). He received his B.Sc (Chemistry, 1965), Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry, 1970) and D.Sc. (1987) degrees from the University of Bristol (U.K.). After completing his Ph.D. studies, he moved to the University of Reading, where he remained until his retirement, initially as an ICI Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1969-71) and then as a Senior Research Physicist (1971-3). In 1973, he was appointed Lecturer in Physics, before being promoted to Reader in Amorphography (1995-7). During his time at Reading, he spent three sabbatical years in the U.S.A.; first (1979-80) at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, then (1986-7) at the Argonne National Laboratory, the University of California (Los Angeles) and the University of Florida (Gainesville), and finally (1991-2) at the New York State College of Ceramics and the Argonne National Laboratory.
His research interests comprise neutron scattering and modelling studies of the structure and dynamics of a wide range of inorganic glasses and other amorphous solids, including silicate, borate, borosilicate, phosphate, chalcogenide, and fluoroberyllate glasses. He has over 200 publications in the scientific literature, and is a member of The American Ceramic Society Glass & Optical Materials Division. He was also a member of the International Advisory Editorial Boards of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids (1984-2011) and Fizika i Khimiya Stekla (Soviet/Russian Journal of Glass Physics and Chemistry; 1992-2002).
Professor Wright has been the recipient of several honours/prizes, including Fellowship in 1995 of both The American Ceramic Society and the (British) Society of Glass Technology. In 1990, he shared the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London Award, and in 1996 received The American Ceramic Society Glass & Optical Materials Division George W. Morey Award for his establishment of the field of Amorphography. He also presented the 2006 Samuel R. Scholes Lecture at the New York State College of Ceramics, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Glass Technology in 2009. Most recently, he shared the 2012 Otto Schott Research Award, for “his lifelong outstanding scholarly work devoted to the experimental study of glass structure in general”, and in 2014 presented The American Ceramic Society’s Edward Orton Jr. Memorial Lecture, entitled “My Borate Life: An Enigmatic Journey,” at the Materials Science & Technology Conference in Pittsburgh. He was President of the Society of Glass Technology from 2002 to 2004, and has served on both the Steering Committee and Council of the International Commission on Glass. The 6th International Conference on Borate Glasses, Crystals & Melts (Himeji, Japan, 18-22 August 2008) was held in his honour, and to mark his retirement.