Dr. Kenneth Magnus is the noted author of four books as well as respected educator whose time spent at the University of the West Indies left an indelible mark on not only his students but Jamaica as whole.
Dr. Magnus was born in Vineyard Town, Kingston. He attended school at Titchfield Primary and received a scholarship to study at Wolmer’s Boy School. He completed his Bachelor of Science (BSc) (General) and his Master of Science (MSc) in Organic Chemistry at the University College of the West Indies (UCWI), later renamed UWI. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organic Chemistry from the University of London.
Dr Magnus and Professor Cedric Hassall synthesised the antibiotic called Monamycin, which was named after the Mona Campus and which Magnus patented in Canada, Germany and the UK. He also started the Applied Chemistry programme at the UWI. He developed science programmes for Jamaica’s primary and secondary schools as well as a postgraduate Diploma in sugar cane processing.
On his retirement in 1996, he became Professor Emeritus. In 2007, the university renamed the Applied Chemistry Teaching and Research Laboratory of the Mona Campus, The Kenneth Magnus Building in "recognition of his significant contributions."