O’Sullivan, Cornelius

Cornelius O’Sullivan (1841-1907)                  

Cornelius O’Sullivan was born in Bandon, County Cork in 1841.  His father was a merchant.

Cornelius O’Sullivan received his early education in Bandon and he attended evening classes given by the staff of Queen’s College Cork (now UCC) as part of a scheme to bring science to rural areas in Ireland.  He distinguished himself in their examinations and was awarded a scholarship to the Royal School of Mines in London to study under A. W. Hoffmann, one of the greatest nineteenth century teachers.  He followed Hoffmann to Berlin to continue his studies in organic chemistry.

Cornelius O’Sullivan joined the firm Bass & Co 1866 as assistant brewer.  He stayed there for the rest of his career, becoming Head Brewer in 1894.  He was one of the first chemists to apply scientific principles to brewing and it is for his work on the products of the hydrolysis of starch by acids and by diastase the he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Cornelius O’Sullivan was awarded the Longstaff Medal of the Chemical Society in 1884, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1885.  He was a Fellow and Vice-President of the Chemical Society and an original Member of the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and Ireland.

Cornelius O’Sullivan died at Burton upon Trent in 1907 and he is buried at Ballymodan, Bandon, County Cork.


Further Reading:

H.D. O’Sullivan.  1934.  The Life and Work of Cornelius O’Sullivan, FRS. Guernsey.

Mollan, C. 2007.  It’s Part of What We Are. Dublin, Royal Dublin Society.


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