Melissa Lee, one of Europe’s most popular chemicals industry journalists, has died, aged 32, following a brain haemorrhage.
After graduating in chemistry from Cardiff University, Melissa studied publishing at West Herts College.
She began her career in chemicals journalism in 1992 with the Royal Society of Chemistry, where she became assistant news editor of Chemistry In Britain.
In 1996, Melissa joined the Emap monthly European Plastics News, where she was quickly promoted from technology editor to senior editor in recognition of her significant contribution to the magazine.
Her technical background enabled her to identify and understand the hottest emerging technologies and she was able to convey the most complex developments in easy-to-understand terms. This extended to turning her articles into ideas for highly successful international conferences, some of which she chaired.
In October 2000, Melissa moved from Emap to Reed Business Information where she was appointed news editor on European Chemical News.
Wherever she worked, Melissa’s journalism skills and industry knowledge quickly earned the respect of her colleagues and peers. She was a great team player.
Her perpetually cheerful and effortlessly outgoing manner won her countless friends in the business publishing sector.
She relished the travel opportunities that came with her work and she was well loved by her counterparts on magazines around the world.
Melissa enjoyed the good things in life: music, literature, cinema, the theatre, and fine food and drink. The red Michelin Guides became an essential part of business trips across Europe. These involved staying in the cheapest hotel in town so that it was possible to eat in the finest restaurant and still keep within the travel budget.
For more than 10 years, Melissa had been bravely fighting an extremely rare hereditary condition. This had hit her badly at the beginning of last year following treatment for a brain tumour. However, she had been making a steady recovery and resumed full-time employment this year.
The fact that she appeared to be on the mend means that the news of death has come as terrible shock to everybody who knew her. She always remained incredibly cheerful, upbeat and resilient during her times of illness, and she always bounced back. We thought that she always would.
Melissa will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by her partner, Gerard, her parents, her brother Daniel, her huge circle of friends and all of us who were lucky enough to work with such a truly special person.