Peter Varey, born in Watford and brought up in Brighton, graduated as a chemist. After sampling research in Warsaw and Manchester, he taught industrial processes – first at Kingston Polytechnic and then at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas. Back in the UK, he became editor of The Chemical Engineer and publisher for the Institution of Chemical Engineers. After a decade freelance, he laid aside all else to write this biography. He lived in Cambridge with his wife, the jewellery designer Irena Maria Varey, a mere half a mile from Abbey House where Peter Danckwerts lived for the last 20 years of his life. Sadly, Peter Varey died in 2017, shortly after publishing 100 Octane: the Story Behind the Fuel.