Susan Bourne is the Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Cape Town. Her PhD, obtained at the University of Cape Town, was a study of organic inclusion compounds undertaken under the supervision of Luigi Nassimbeni. After a postdoctoral period in Texas, USA, she joined the Chemistry Department at the University of Cape Town and rose through the ranks to become full Professor in 2008.
Her research interests include the application of physicochemical methods to inclusion compounds and crystal engineering of metal-organic materials, all with the aim of correlating solid state structure with physical properties and reactivity. She has published over 140 papers and has supervised over 20 postgraduate students.
She has served as Head of Department, Deputy Dean, and as interim Dean of the Faculty of Science. She has held several offices in the European Crystallographic Association, and is currently Chair of the Structural Chemistry Commission of the International Union of Crystallography. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the University of Cape Town.