Births, deaths and marriages
We are always delighted to receive updates from alumni telling us about their weddings and new arrivals. We also remember those who are no longer with us. If you have news you would like to share with the alumni network, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and don’t forget to include a photo if you have one.
Surrey - born 2017
My name is Zhuo Li (MSc in International Business Management 2014) and I met my husband, Kang Liu (MSc in Healthcare Management 2014) in a new student chat group. He was already on campus for his language course at the University of Surrey. He was very kind and gave me varieties of useful information. We became close friends. When I arrived in the UK, he became my guide around campus and we fell in love naturally. It didn’t take long for us to know that we want to spend the rest of our lives together.
Being together in Surrey, we were able to support each other through every step of the way. We headed back to China and got married. Three years later our beautiful son was born. We had already come to an agreement that we would name our baby Surrey, in honour of our university. Surrey is not simply a place that we studied at. We found love there. We decided to start a family there. We figured out what we wanted there. It is really important to us for our son to know what the University had given us.
Now Kang is working as a Marketing Supervisor in the American pharmaceutical company, Allergan. I am Director of Operations of global finance company, Asset Pro. We both benefitted so much from our time at the University. The University of Surrey will forever be our favourite place in the world. Wonderful things do happen there.
Celebrating the unions made whilst here at Surrey.
On 5 October 2019, John Wood (Hotel and Catering Management, 1985) married Gemma Harris at a wedding at Sharpthorne in West Sussex which reflected the couple’s passion for all things Monty Python. The couple got engaged in front of Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin at a fundraiser after party and Palin sent them a wedding message saying: “I hope their marriage lasts as long as Monty Python, and is just as silly. Good wishes, Michael.”
The wedding took place 50 years to the day after the show’s first broadcast and featured a mass of Pythonesque details including a huge neon sign with the words ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ at the reception. The wedding attracted widespread media attention and reports even made it into the Guardian and the Daily Mail.
Two Surrey graduates who shared the same campus flat as first-years in 2008 tied the knot on Friday 1 September 2017.
Victoria Goody studied Dance and Culture 2012 and Joseph Noel studied Music and Sound Recording 2012. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Sylvana Ramirez and James Lee who got married on 16 November 2015 in Sonoma, California.
Sylvana and James met in the University of Surrey during their MBA in 2012/13. Sylvana fondly remembers the Tuesday night Body Pump classes at the Sports Park while James still reminisces about the reading rooms in the library. They both enjoyed a drink at the fabled Chancellors bar.
I got married on 11/04/2015 to Robert Oldham, Bath graduate and current PhD student in Cancer Science at Southampton, after nine years together. I am a Year 6 teacher and now go by Mrs Hannah Oldham.
Remembering former Surrey staff and graduates.
We regretfully inform you that John Williams (BSc in Mechanical Engineering 1984) died tragically as a result of a collision whilst on holiday in Spain with his Bury Rugby Club friends.
He studied Mechanical Engineering at Surrey from 1980–84 and was a leading light of the rugby club, in keeping with his Welsh roots. He maintained strong links with the ‘old boys’ from his era since. He leaves his wife Rachel and three grown-up children, Lloyd, Ethan and Hannah.
We are saddened to hear of the death of Battersea Polytechnic Alumni Christopher Terrel Wyatt (BSc in Civil Engineering 1946).
Christopher is described by the Institute of Civil Engineers as “one of the greatest engineers of his generation”. He was involved with the design of the Channel Tunnel among many other famous global projects. He will be very much missed by his wife Patricia.
We are saddened to hear of the death of former Maths lecturer Dr Mike Clark. He started at Battersea College of Technology and was a founding academic of the Guildford campus.
He was the first Dean of Students and a keen sportsman, promoting the sporting side of university life. He coached the water polo team for many years, was warden of Colours, and, in 2012, carried the Olympic torch through Westcott.
He was an honorary member of the Students’ Union. Mike retired at the end of the 1990s, after which he edited the retired staff magazine.
After gaining his diploma, he joined Caterer and Hotelkeeper and subsequently joined Catering Times as features editor. After 18 months he moved to the Hotel and Catering Industry Training Board as Head of Information Services, before returning to Catering Times as editor where he remained for 13 years.
In 1978, he published the first edition of How to Buy Your Own Hotel, which was subsequently revised in 1984 and 1995, with a recent major revision in 2015. This time in collaboration with Peter Nannestad.
Miles founded Wordsmith and Company, a public relations and publishing company specialising in the hotel, catering and tourism industries in 1981. He was joined by journalist Alan Sutton and later he formed Wordsmith Marketing and Public Relations with Diane Needham to provide a full and exclusive public relations and information service in London for Jersey Tourism.
He edited and produced Tourism: a Portrait to celebrate the silver jubilee of Horwath Consulting; edited the Horwath Book of Tourism and was consultant editor of The Hospitality Yearbook published by the HCIMA (now IOH).
He was responsible for producing the British Hospitality Association’s annual contract catering report from 1996 to 2010. He also acted as public relations consultant and editor of the BHA’s publications including its magazine, annual reports and Trends and Developments reports.
He was a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.
Miles was considered to be one of hospitality’s most important and admired journalists and communicators.
He leaves a wife, Diane, two children, Katie and Stephen, and four grandchildren, Hugo, Lawrence, Zephyr and Celeste.
It is with profound sadness that the family of Baptist Furtado, of Bejai, announce his passing at Mangala Hospital, Mangalore, India.
He was the only child of Daniel and Carmine Furtado (nee D’Souza) of Surathkal, Mangalore. He studied at Vidyadayini High School, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from St Aloysius College, Mangalore and a Master’s degree in Physics from Belgaum University.
Baptist had a full and productive life, working as a teacher and lecturer across different countries. Early in his career, and following some years teaching in Bombay, India, Baptist moved to Zambia where he taught in the Chemistry Department at Canisius College, also teaching physics and maths. When he left the college, he spent a year teaching at St Raphael’s School in Livingstone, before moving to Lusaka with his family, where he taught for some years at Evelyn Hone College. He then went on to obtain an additional Master’s degree in 1981 – this time in Medical Physics – from the University of Surrey. He spent the rest of his career in Nigeria, teaching physics at secondary schools in Ogoja, Cross River State, before going on to become a lecturer at the University of Calabar’s Medical School, where he taught medical physics to radiographers and medical students.
He returned to India with his family in 1995, where he spent his retirement years.
Baptist had a deep love for animals – especially dogs and cats – and nature, music, enjoyed watching sports and nature programmes and studying. He valued education very highly. He was soft-spoken but firm and principled and people who knew him speak about his calmness, gentleness, and his love for his family.
He is survived by his wife, Adela, his son Leslie, daughters Lisa (Allan) and Selma, and four grandchildren. He is greatly missed.
Ron’s daughter Ann has told us the sad news of the death of her father in June 2018, aged 95. He was the Librarian of Battersea Polytechnic from 1950 and moved the library to its new site at Guildford when the University of Surrey was created in the 1960s. He retired as Librarian in 1982.
"I’m greatly saddened to report the death of my husband, Leo. We both studied together over the same years in the LIS department.
We had been married for 33 happy years. Leo was a doting, kind and gentle father to our two daughters and much loved by all who knew him; treasured by us all.
We maintained many friendships from our student days and so many have been supportive with visits and messages during his illness and our subsequent bereavement.
I treasure the years we had together and our shared history at Surrey. Fortunately, we were able to celebrate our youngest daughter’s wedding just weeks before Leo’s illness. He died only eight months later as a result of an aggressive brain tumour.
We had managed a brief visit to Surrey a few years ago but we were somewhat disorientated!"
It is with sadness we announce the death of Jos, who graduated in 1983 with a BSc in Maths. She was a very popular and much loved member of the student community and maintained close contact with many friends from the University. She was married to Slim Hayward, a loving, caring husband. Jos suffered a few health problems during the past months but showed what a true fighter she was and hosted several parties which brought many of her close friends together.
There can be few professional audio engineers who have not heard the name of John Borwick. He was, after all, editor and chief author of what is probably the most famous sound recording textbook of all time – Sound Recording Practice – and because John devoted the best part of his career to educating the professional audio engineer.
With a BSc degree in Physics, Maths and Applied Maths from Edinburgh University, John served as a signals officer in the RAF from 1943 to 1947. He then joined the BBC as a studio manager/balance engineer and later ran BBC Radio’s training studio. On leaving the BBC, he became a regular broadcaster, including anchoring the fortnightly Sound programme.
He was instrumental in setting up the BMus (Tonmeister) course in Music and Sound Recording at the University of Surrey and was senior lecturer and course director there for 11 years. He left the Tonmeister course in 1979 when David Pickett took over. David left in 1983, and when the University was unable to appoint a successor, John agreed to return for a further year.
I first met John in 1984 when I was appointed to run the Tonmeister course as his (second) successor. I well remember our first meeting; he seemed quite relaxed and I was very nervous. If only he’d realised how ill-prepared I was, I expect he would have been more nervous than me!
He was Secretary of the Association of Professional Recording Studios for many years and instigated their annual Engineer’s course at Surrey's Music Department. John also contributed much– to the Audio Engineering Society, helping to set up the British Section in 1970, being its first secretary and doing a two-year stint as Vice-President Europe.
He somehow found time to be technical editor/director of Gramophone magazine for 36 years and published many books, from Hi-Fi for Beginners in 1961 via Sound Recording Practice and Microphones: Technology and Technique to the Loudspeaker and Headphone Handbook. Amazon lists 29 titles by him.
In 2012 he was awarded an APRS Sound Fellowship for his services to the audio industry.
Broadcaster, educator, author, journalist, academic, John Borwick will be mourned and missed by generations of Tonmeisters as well as the audio industry at large; he truly was a great man.
One of our honorary graduates, Bill Bellerby MBE, known affectionately as Mr Guildford, died at the age of 100 on 19 September.
Bill was Guildford’s most respected elder citizen, serving for many years as a Labour councillor for Stoke ward and Surrey County Council and served as Mayor of Guildford in 1972–73 and 1973–74.
He trained as a teacher in 1948, and went to teach at many schools across Surrey including Northmead Boys’ School, Woodlands County Primary School, Perry Hill County Primary School and Knollmead County Primary School, where he spent 19 years as headmaster before retiring in 1979.
He celebrated his 100th birthday in March this year in the company of many friends, including Guildford MP Anne Milton.
He was married to Doreen, also a local councillor, for 74 years and who passed away in 2015, aged 95.
Together with Doreen, he was awarded the MBE in 1991 in recognition of his services to the community. In the same year, they were both awarded honorary degrees by the University.
Honorary graduate Professor Ke Jun has died at the age of 101 in Beijing, China. He was a renowned scientist and educator, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a pioneer of metal physics and the history of metallurgy, and professor at the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB).
Professor Ke graduated from the Department of Chemistry at Wuhan University in 1938, completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham in 1948 and later became a senior lecturer there. He returned to China in 1953, and served as professor at the Beijing Institute of Iron and Steel Technology, Chair of the Department of Physical Chemistry, Vice President of the University of Science and Technology Beijing, and Consultant to President consecutively. In 1980, he was elected an Academician of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and member of the Standing Committee of the Faculty of Science.
In 1980s and 1990s, Professor Ke worked hard to promote the international outreach of USTB and established a bridge between Chinese professors and colleagues in the UK. In 1988, he received an honorary doctorate from Surrey for his contribution to the study of the history of metallurgy in China, as well as his endless efforts to promote the academic exchange between the two countries.
It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom who graduated from the University of Surrey in Mathematics in 1969, having started at Battersea in 1965. He subsequently completed a MSc at the University of Surrey in 1971.
Tom spent his time working in the computer industry and only retired from work a few months before. He leaves his wife, Margaret, and daughter Abigail.
It is with sadness we announce the death of former University technician and later police officer PC Nigel Furlonger on 9 March 2017.
Before joining the police force, Nigel worked in the School of Biological Sciences but had always dreamt of becoming an officer. As a tutor for new officers, Nigel featured in the TV series Rookies which followed young recruits joining the force. In the show in August 2016 he said: “When they first come to me they are a member of the public in a uniform. I’ve got to turn them into a police officer.”
Retired Surrey senior research fellow Dr Miloslav Dobrota said: “Nigel really was one of the loveliest people you would wish to meet. Everyone in the old School of Biological Sciences knew him as he was also the School’s cheeky, cheerful and lovable IT chap who came to install and check on our e-mail.
“He really was a bundle of fun, not averse to giving people an impromptu hug. Indeed I recall that I would do my best to embarrass him (when he became a PC) by giving him, this uniformed officer, a hug. Needless to say when I did come across him he beat me to it.”
Nigel’s funeral took place on 7 April at St Emmanuel Church in Stoughton.
It is with sadness we announce the death of Bill, who graduated from the University in Metallurgy in 1969. He subsequently competed a PhD at Swansea University and spent more than 30 years at 3M, first as a metallurgist before moving into HR.
He leaves his wife, Kay, sons Stephen and Andrew and three grandchildren.
We have been informed of the sad news of the death of Philip Byrne, aged 89, who graduated with a BSc from Battersea College of Technology in 1951.
We are sad to announce the death of Susan Goltsman, who with her husband Daniel Iacofano, graduated with an MSc in Environmental Psychology in 1980
Susan and Daniel went on to found MIG, based in California, which specialises in environmental design that promotes healthy human development.
Susan pioneered the concept of inclusive design, the idea that “every individual has the right to full and equal participation in the built environment”. She created and tirelessly advocated for environments that contribute to our physical, creative, emotional, social and intellectual development. Through her efforts, those are now foundational elements in park and urban planning and design.
With Daniel, Susan set up the MIG Research Fund for Environmental Psychology at Surrey, which awards scholarships to MSc students to carry out projects that chime with the company’s ethos. In 2013 the couple hosted an alumni reception in their offices for Surrey graduates based in the US.
The MIG website says: “Beyond being a Founding Principal of our company, Susan was a visionary force behind all that is MIG, our inspiration and innovator, our fearless leader, always pushing us forward toward greater things.”
The University is saddened to hear of the death of Martin Foltin who tragically died aged 35 in a motorcycle accident in his hometown of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.
After graduating, Martin joined the opening team of the Four Seasons Doha Hotel in 2005. He subsequently worked at the W Doha for six years, latterly as assistant director of food and beverage at the hotel. Last year he moved to Bahrain as complex director of food and beverage for Westin & Le Meridien.
Friend and fellow graduate Chris Connor said: “Martin was the soul of our department, liked and respected by all whether you were in his direct friendship group or not.”
Martin met his wife Ana Figueiredo Foltin at Surrey and they were due to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary this year.
We are saddened to hear of the death of Peter Jacobsen, who studied Linguistics and Regional Studies from 1968–72. Devoted husband of Lindsey, also a Surrey graduate.
It is with sadness we announce the death of Emeritus Professor Otto Pick, who was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and was Pro Vice-Chancellor from 1979–85.
Professor Otto Pick was born in Prague to a Czech-Jewish family. His father was the well-known German-speaking journalist, writer, translator and critic Otto Pick. Professor Pick began his studies in Prague, where he attended an English high school. After the establishment of the Protectorate in Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939, he escaped to the Great Britain thanks to the ‘Nicholas Winton train’. In the UK, he graduated from school and continued his education at Oxford University.
In 1943, he joined the Czechoslovak Army in the UK, where he served in various garrisons, and he also participated in the Normandy landings. After the war he returned to his hometown – Prague. There he worked briefly at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic, and he enrolled at the Faculty of Law at Charles University. After the communists took power in Czechoslovakia, he, as a former member of the Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade in the UK, was forced to emigrate again – this time with his wife Zdeňka – to the UK, where he obtained a position as an editor at the BBC.
He also continued his studies in history at Oxford, where he won a scholarship. After his university studies Pick embarked on an academic career. He started out as an assistant at the London School of Economics, where he completed his postgraduate studies. He moved to the University of Surrey in 1973, where he headed up International Relations in the former Department of Linguistic and International Studies, before becoming dean and pro vice-chancellor.
In 1983, he became the head of the Czechoslovak section of Radio Free Europe in Munich, and afterwards he taught at the University of Munich and also at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna.
He moved back to Prague in 1991, where he contributed to the creation of the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University. In 1993, Professor Pick became the director of the Institute of International Relations and worked there until 1998 when he became the First Deputy in the office of Jan Kavan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a focus on the integration of the Czech Republic into NATO.
Later, he achieved a series of successes as an Ambassador at Large with a focus on Czech-German and Czech-Austrian relations. Between 2000 and 2013, he was an adviser to all the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
He was awarded the Czechoslovak Medal for Valour against the Enemy (1945) and the Federal Cross of Merit for the support and development of democracy and he was appointed as a member of the Order of St Michael and St George (2002) by the Queen.
Bruce Russell, who died on 2 January 2016, was a well-known figure in the British construction industry, particularly abroad.
His father Edward was a civil engineer, working on perfecting tank-launching pads for the D-Day invasion for two years before it took place, just as Bruce was born. Bruce followed Edward into engineering which he never ceased to find fascinating and absorbing. He was educated at Highgate School, and regretted that, in those days, the school did not take engineering seriously, and was biased towards medicine and the law. This did not deter him, and he read civil engineering at the University of Leeds, where he met his beloved wife-to-be Jenny.
After graduating, he immediately started work with Taylor Woodrow, on a cargo tunnel at Heathrow airport, learning a whole new range of swear words, as well as how to work extremely hard. Soon he was on the Danube basin in Romania, working on a huge irrigation project, learning another new language, this one based on Latin and French roots, and also learning to respect the locals’ ability to breakfast on ‘tuica’, a powerful plum brandy.
Mining in Sierra Leone was next, becoming project manager, up in the bush, and turning around a failing project. This time he had to learn respect for the so-called ‘dragons beneath the ground’ and their effect on the men above. He cared deeply for the well-being of his men, and they responded to this.
Dubai, Malaysia and Borneo beckoned and were enjoyed until he decided that his three children should have a settled English education; he could not bear to send them away “to be brought up by someone else” and so the family returned to the United Kingdom.
Bruce still travelled the globe, and recognised throughout the industry for his can-do approach, he rose to become chairman of Taylor Woodrow International and a Main Board director. He gave evidence on behalf of the construction industry to Select Committees about the importance of foreign contracts, went on foreign trade missions, was part of the reconstruction of Kosovo following the break-up of Yugoslavia, and of the development of the Light Rail Transit system in Kuala Lumpur in time for the Commonwealth Games, when he had the pleasure of advising the Queen to “hold on tight” as the train set off on its maiden journey.
Taylor Woodrow effectively bowed out of international construction in 2000, and Bruce took early retirement – and continued to use his practical and relationship skills. He became Emeritus Professor at the University of Surrey, developing a course in construction management, was a major in the Engineering and Logistics Staff Corps, a governor of Highgate School, a trustee of Highgate Cemetery, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, and the Highgate Newtown Community Centre, as well as giving his time generously to other local charities.
He eventually succumbed to the strains of an enlarged heart, which he had coped with from birth, a fact few friends would have guessed, as they saw him golfing hard, producing enough fruit and vegetables from his garden to make the family self-sufficient, walking the Cornish Coastal path, sailing his dinghy, and supporting his local football team, Arsenal.
He is survived by his wife Jenny, and their three children, Sophie, Pippa and Guy and eight grandchildren.
A personal remembrance by Battersea alumnus Frank Green
The afternoon of 8 December 8 2015, was bright and blustery as about a hundred family and friends met at Aldershot Crematorium to celebrate the life of, and say goodbye to, Ken Berkeley: Chartered Engineer and Fellow of both the Institute of Corrosion and the Institution of Material Minerals and Mining.
I first met Ken when we were Battersea ‘Freshers’. An affable man, full of fun and kindly wit, he loved his ale and had a trim, almost military moustache. All of that stayed with him all his life. He was one of an in-between generation. Some of us had arrived straight from school, others had seen extended military service, a few had been in the war. Ken was one of those in the middle who had left school, done his National Service in the REME and then arrived at Battersea.
He joined the Metallurgy Department and was a candidate for the Institution of Metallurgists: back then many professional institutions were examining, as well as being qualifying, bodies. The Institution and London University had nearly identical syllabi. It wasn’t long before the Met. Department and the Hotel and Caterers moved in to their new, purpose-built, block. With many ladies on the upper floors and lots of chaps below, romances flourished. Ken and Elizabeth met and formed a close and enduring partnership.
Perhaps Ken’s career was determined by one of our lecturers, the corrosion expert Lionel Shriver, who went on to play a major role in the design and development of the protection system for the Thames Barrier. Battersea had a strong entrepreneurial spirit so Ken and a fellow student set off on their own into the corrosion protection business. That initial association did not last, but Ken built his own business and became recognised as a world authority in cathodic protection. His book, aimed at giving practical advice to engineers, surveyors and architects, remains a recommended text.
He became an active member of his local community; as a committed Christian he gave, together with Elizabeth, much time and talent to the Scouting movement.
Ken had had a good student career too. Battersea had no Students’ Union building, but there was the Student Representative Council whose activities served much the same purpose. Our bar was across the road at The Grove pub.
Ken was active in many ways, becoming the President of the SRC during 1954-55. His fondness for his ale was one of the drivers behind his part in creating the Met. Department’s 53 Club. This was essentially for maintaining a contact network after we had left. Ken always saw it as a drinking club too; one of its rules was that if you were caught not wearing your 53 tie on a Thursday, you bought drinks all round. It lasted until 2003, and we saw it off with a great farewell dinner at the old Kew Bridge Pumping Station.
The last time I saw Ken and Elizabeth was at a recent Battersea Lunch at the University. Though frail, he was still dapper and witty and still thought of the 53 Club in its drinking mode. I understand that even when being taken to hospital, he asked his paramedics if he could drop off for a pint!
The Grove often had jazz in an upstairs room, another of Ken’s delights, so it was no surprise that good jazz was playing as we entered the chapel and as we left we got The Saints loud and clear. Ken abides as being “among that number”.
John was born in Sutton on 22 November 1948 when he joined his sister Eileen to complete the family of William and Alice Harding.
He was educated at St Joseph's College, a specialist College for Mathematics, in Upper Norwood. John proved to be a brilliant scholar and achieved A-level scores exceeding those required for Oxbridge. However, he chose to enter Imperial College London, world-famous for its engineering and science, and opted to study civil engineering.
His application and innate intelligence led him to graduate at the top of his class of very bright contemporaries with a First Class Honours degree. He proceeded as a postgraduate student in advanced structural engineering and specialised in the strength of steel plates such as those used to construct bridges and marine structures.
Around this time, there was an intensive programme of research on steel box girders underway in the Structural Engineering Laboratories of Imperial College. This was as a result of the collapse of a series of box girder bridges during construction, resulting in the deaths of many construction workers.
The first of these was The Milford Haven Bridge in South Wales and this tragedy was followed by the collapse of bridges of similar construction at Yarra in Australia and Koblenz in Germany in 1971.
Public concern at this loss of life was at such a peak that Government grants poured into Imperial College, funding research to find the causes of these failures and prevent future collapses. John's research slotted neatly into this programme and he went on to produce ground-breaking results that contributed significantly to the output of Imperial's team.
Following John's stellar performance as a researcher, I invited him to join me as a co-editor of The Journal of Constructional Steel Research in 1980. As with every other task undertaken by John, he proved to be superbly efficient as an editor and continued to co-edit that journal for some 35 years.
Of course, it was not just me who recognised John's talents and, although appointed as a Lecturer at Imperial in an attempt to retain him on our staff, he was inevitably lured by the offer of a Professorial Chair to The University of Surrey in 1985 at the relatively young age of 37.
In 1991 he was promoted to a senior management position as Pro Vice-Chancellor. At this level, he undertook a series of roles including student welfare, staff development, and external academic relationships.
In this latter capacity, he established a special relationship with St Mary's, Strawberry Hill, (now St Mary's University) where he served on their Governing Body for several years. Alongside these responsibilities, he also was Head of Civil Engineering from 1997 to 2002.
Basically, if there was a difficult senior job to be done, John was entrusted with it. Throughout, John continued with his research and numerous publications with amazing energy and enthusiasm.
When I arrived at Surrey as Vice-Chancellor in 1994, John had already established a worldwide reputation as a distinguished academic. We became even closer friends and allies in our duties of leading and managing the University. I treasured his advice and company until my retirement in 2005. Three years later, John took early retirement in March 2007 and moved with his family to their lovely home in Shipston-on-Stour.
During the past eight years, John's many interests flourished in a way that was nothing short of astonishing. His passion for photography reached exceptional heights. John joined the local photography club where the club chairman reports that by 2009 he was the most prolific of the members and was winning prizes all over the world for his photography.
But what of John 'the man'? In all senses of the phrase John was a Big Man. So many people have been in touch since the news of his untimely death to express their admiration for John and condolences for his family, that it is possible to assemble some of the virtues attributed repeatedly to him by those who knew him well.
Words and phrases such as gentleman, genuine, honest, fair, patient, good natured, a wonderful boss, loved his students, loved by his students, a family man, occur again and again. All of these resonate loudly with me.
But the John I like to recall was a dear friend with whom I spent many happy hours swapping ideas and planning our next actions together, interspersed with laughter aided by his gentle good humour, over a pint (or maybe two), with me teasing him about his Irish ancestry and him denying any Celtic connections and declaring himself to be a True Blue Brit.
Whatever his ancestry, he was 'one hell of a guy' who has left an indelible mark on so many aspects of life from the educational sector, the engineering profession, the publishing world, the art of photography, the gardening scene and most importantly on his family, friends and admirers across the world.
It is cruel that he has been taken from us so soon, when he had so much more to give. John was married with two daughters. We shall all miss him enormously. May he rest in peace.
Professor Patrick Dowling, 18 May 2015
It is with sadness that the University announces the death of Sir Basil John Mason, known as John, who was Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University from 1979-1985.
Sir John was Professor of Cloud Physics at Imperial College London and was Director-General of the Meteorological Office from 1965-1983. He held many notable positions within his field of science, physics and meteorology including that of President of the Royal Meteorological Society, President of the Institute of Physics, Treasurer of the Royal Society, and UK Permanent Representative to the World Meteorological Organisation.
Before he became Pro-Vice Chancellor, John had been a member of Council since 1969 and Chairman of Council from 1970-1975. Sir John died on 6 January 2015.
Information from The Times:
Sir Harry Hookway, who completed his PhD in Chemistry at Battersea in 1947, was the first chief executive of the new British Library, having masterminded the planning of the vast building at St Pancras.
Sir Harry was handpicked for the task after impressing the government as a scientific attaché to the British Embassy in Washington, reporting on the technological revolution in the US that was causing the ‘brain drain’ of British scientists to organisations such as NASA. He used his scientific rigour (and diplomatic skills learnt in Washington) to bring together several disparate organisations, such as the British Museum and the National Lending Library, together into the ‘hub’, as he called it. Started in 1978, the final part of the building was finished in 1996.
He was born in London and attended the Trinity School of John Whitgift in Croydon. After his PhD, he moved to Washington where he forged a partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities to take forward the English Short Title Catalogue covering the 18th century. He foresaw the digital revolution and made plans for the catalogue to be digitised.
He leaves two children: Simon, who works in financial services, and Philippa, who serves in the police.
John Wakely, who has recently died at the age of 96, worked for Battersea and Surrey in various capacities for 45 years. He joined Battersea Polytechnic as its accountant in 1953, becoming the accountant of Battersea College of Technology in 1956 when the status of the institution changed, and then, 10 years later, accountant and deputy secretary (finance) of the University of Surrey from 1966. He retired from this position in 1977 and then served for a further 21 years as part-time ‘Retirement Correspondent’.
John was born and brought up in the London Borough of Fulham. He joined the finance department of Chelsea Polytechnic in 1935 and, apart from war service and a year in the film industry, spent the rest of his career in education. John was a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators and his professional skills as an accountant and financial adviser were evident to everyone closely connected with Battersea and Surrey. Ralph West (the Principal of Battersea in the 1950s) and Peter Leggett (Principal of Battersea and subsequently the University’s first vice-chancellor) both readily acknowledged John’s leading contribution to the successful establishment of the University, as did the senior lay members of the Battersea’s Governing Body and Surrey’s first Council (notably Sidney Rich, the chairman whose tenure spanned the transformation of Battersea into the University of Surrey).
John was a key member of the small central administrative team which worked tirelessly to relocate Battersea College of Technology to Guildford as the then new University of Surrey. One can only begin to imagine the amount of work that entailed, without the benefits of modern office technology. Indeed, recalling his time at Battersea and Surrey, John noted that until 1963 all cheques drawn on the institution’s bank account were handwritten and individually signed. It was only then that “after long and careful consideration” the Governing Body agreed to his proposal that a “cheque-writing machine which created a facsimile signature produced by metal dies” should be purchased!
But John was much more than an accountant concerned with estimates, budgets and balancing the books. He was interested in everyone – staff and students alike. For example, when the Battersea Students’ Union was suspended for a few months early in 1959, and had to meet in the bandstand in Battersea Park, John attended the meetings as an ‘interested spectator’. It is probable that he subsequently had a hand (behind the scenes) in resolving whatever crisis had occurred between the Principal, the Governing Body and the Students’ Union. He championed the case (albeit unsuccessfully after a narrow defeat in Council) for a member of the non-academic staff to be included on the Council when the original Charter and Statutes were being drawn up in the mid-1960s. Also, he often called in at the public relations office (then located in a goldfish bowl-type office on the second floor of Senate House) with the latest news of a former Battersea colleague with whom he had been in touch.
It was therefore very appropriate that John should be appointed as the University’s part-time Retirement Correspondent in 1977. He carried out these duties diligently for 21 years thus laying the foundations of what would later become the Surrey Society and, more recently the alumni relations office, which now includes former staff as well as graduates. Again, he did this without the help of modern technology, for example cutting out pieces of news from the University’s weekly Newsletter and monthly Gazette, which a member of the Secretariat team then turned into a quarterly newsletter for retired staff.
On his retirement from full-time responsibilities in 1977, John was awarded the degree of Master of Science honoris causa and he also received a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in acknowledgement of his long service to the University. We extend our condolences to John’s daughter, Helen Faulds, and the rest of the family.
Anthony Kelly (known to his friends as ‘Tony’, but invariably addressed in the University as Vice-Chancellor or simply VC) was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex in 1929. By the time he was attracted to Surrey by Lord Robens (then Chancellor of the University) to become the University’s second Vice-Chancellor, he had an international reputation as a scientist with experience in universities, government and industry.
Undergraduate study at the University of Reading, where he obtained two first-class honours BSc degrees – General and Special (Physics) – was followed by a PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1953. He then worked at the University of Illinois and at Birmingham University before spending three years as an Associate Professor of Metallurgy and Materials Science at Northwestern University, Chicago. He returned to Cambridge in 1959 to take up an appointment as a university lecturer and as a Founding Fellow of Churchill College where he was Director of Studies in Natural Sciences until 1967. He then moved to a number of roles in government science for eight years, becoming Deputy Director of the National Physical Laboratory in 1969. He received an ScD from the University of Cambridge in 1968 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1973 at the age of 43.
During the tenure of Professor Kelly’s vice-chancellorship, from 1975-1994, the number of full-time students at Surrey increased from 3,000 to 7,000 with a significant increase in the proportion of postgraduate students. During the 1980s the University developed a large network of associated institutions, awarding Surrey degrees (notably the Roehampton Institute and St Mary’s College, Twickenham, both now universities in their own right) and at that time it became one of the foremost validating universities in the country.
Although Surrey’s annual income rose from £6m to £63m between 1975 and 1994 – a significant real increase – the 1980s were not an easy time to be a vice-chancellor. In the infamous University Grants Committee (UGC) cuts of 1981, Surrey suffered one of the highest reductions in government funding, in spite of being at the forefront of establishing links between higher education and industry. Professor Kelly responded to the situation with characteristic determination, closing a number of academic departments (rather than spreading the pain evenly which would not have been in the long-term interests of the University) and further increasing the University’s income from non-government sources. At this and other times, conversations in the Vice-Chancellor’s office could be challenging but, as Sir Austin Pearce (then a Pro-Chancellor and a former Chairman of British Aerospace) said many years later, when presenting Anthony Kelly for the degree of DUniv honoris causa “when he digs his heels in he is invariably right”.
A notable feature of the University’s strategy in the 1980s was the development of the Surrey Research Park. Anthony Kelly had first conceived the idea during a sabbatical term in Switzerland in 1979 and a small group (including in particular Jerry Leonard, University Treasurer and Leonard Kail, University Secretary) took the development forward. It was at around the same time that Anthony Kelly became the first Chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology. It is fitting that the building at the entrance to the Research Park which accommodates start-up companies is named the Anthony Kelly Technology Centre.
Surrey was one of the first universities to introduce a staff appraisal scheme in response to the 1985 Jarratt Report on the management of higher education and was also one of the first to draw up a strategic plan, long before all universities were required to do so by the Funding Council. Anthony Kelly was a strong advocate of the professional training year which has made a major contribution to Surrey’s consistently high graduate employment record. He had the interests of students at heart and he was meticulous in developing good relationships with the Students’ Union. He was a champion of student sport and could often be found on the Manor Park sports fields on a Saturday afternoon cheering on one of the University’s teams. He encouraged the development of a broader range of subjects in the University – for example the introduction of Dance Studies, a controversial move at the time.
Unusually among vice-chancellors, Professor Kelly continued to make a significant contribution to his own discipline. He was elected to the Fellowship of Engineering (now the Royal Academy of Engineering) in 1979, to the National Academy of Engineering of the USA in 1986 and to the Academia Europaea in 1990. He received many international prizes and awards and honorary doctorates from Birmingham, Reading and Surrey, Hanyan University in South Korea and Navarra University in Spain.
He is regarded by many throughout the world as the “father of composite materials” and received the President’s Award of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011 in recognition of a lifetime of significant achievement throughout a career spanning more than sixty years. His major book, Strong Solids (first published in 1965, third edition 1986) is still regarded as the seminal work in the field. An international symposium Advanced Materials in the Marketplace (organised by Professor Michael Kelly and Professor Jim Castle) was held at the University in 1994 to mark his retirement. He was Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Structural Safety of the Institutions of Civil and Structural Engineering from 1988 to 1998.
At another event held to mark Anthony Kelly’s retirement, HRH The Duke of Kent (Chancellor of the University) commented on his ability, as an experienced yachtsman, to chart a course through choppy waters – an ability which helped to steer the University through a difficult period following the 1981 UGC cuts. At the same event, Professor Graeme Davies (Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England) proposed a toast to the continued success of the University, concluding: “Professor Kelly has had the vision to set about one of the most difficult tasks in higher education – to change irreversibly the culture of an institution. I believe that during the thirty years since the Robbins Report only two of the former colleges of advanced technology have made it into the top grouping of our best international research universities: Surrey and Bath” - a judgement surely amply borne out in current university league tables.
On his retirement from the University, Tony and his wife Christina (who sadly died in 1997) returned to live in Cambridge. He soon became actively involved as a Fellow of Churchill College (having been elected as an Extraordinary Fellow of the college in 1985) and as an Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Research Fellow in the University’s Department of Materials Science and Technology. He became a well-known and respected figure at Churchill, editing the college’s Review for many years. He served as President of the Institution of Materials in 1996-97.
Professor Kelly was for a number of years a Vice-President of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. He was appointed CBE in 1988 and a Surrey DL in 1993. Although from a devout Roman Catholic background, he did not allow his faith to intrude on his role as the head of a secular institution, while nevertheless encouraging the development of an ecumenical approach to the university chaplaincy. He was appointed a Knight of St Gregory in 1992.
Anthony Kelly died peacefully in his sleep at home on 4 June 2014 at the age of 85. The University extends its sincere condolences to the members of his family, Marie-Clare, Paul, Andrew and Steve.
Jim studied metallurgy at Battersea Polytechnic from 1947–50 and in 1952 became a member of the teaching staff, with a particular interest in welding technology.
The department was in many ways in advance of its time in realising that close relationships with industry to find solutions to practical problems was of great importance to both sides. To achieve this, it would be necessary to call upon the expertise which existed elsewhere in the institution. Jim played a vital role in promoting these aims and the advantages he saw in industrial collaboration.
He was a supporter of interdisciplinary courses, largely because he realised that problems in industry were frequently of an interdisciplinary nature; of a flexible approach and the introduction of an element of general studies and, perhaps most of all, the concept of the sandwich course, not always welcomed by academics.
In 1965, Jim was appointed Industrial Liaison Officer, and in 1969 became Director of the Bureau of Industrial and External Liaison, whose tasks covered short courses, extra-mural contracts and contacts with the University friends. Jim was instrumental in in setting up the Surrey Alumni Society (now Forever Surrey) and integrating Battersea within it.
Upon his retirement in 1984, the University Newsletter said: “It can be seen that Jim has played a significant role in the establishment of a modern vocational university. He has an approach which is stabilised by a happy family relationship and it has always been the case that Jim and Jo have supported University occasions with a sense of belonging and fun.”
At his funeral, Professor Peter Miodowdnik, Head of he Department of Metallurgy from 1982-1988, said: “The links he created included inviting captains of industry to come to see what we were capable of doing and getting them to contribute to the revision of syllabi so that they were more industrially orientated.
“Most importantly, he championed a system of industrial placements for students in their third year, following the system which we had started in the Metallurgy department. This meant that students had a whole year of industrial experience under their belt before completing their final year and gave an industrial context to their academic studies.
“They returned more mature, more confident and more determined to complete their degrees. This gave them a valuable advantage when it came to subsequent employment interviews. Jim’s tireless work in this allowed Surrey to top the league table for percentage employment after graduation year after year.”