Professor Russell Tailby

Professor Russell Tailby was the first Head of Department in the Process and Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Surrey.

Inaugural Tailby Prize

Maham Farooq was awarded the inaugural Tailby Prize for outstanding chemical engineering graduates at the University of Surrey in 2010.

The Tailby Prize was set up in memory of Professor Tailby by two of his past students, Mike Banfield and David Wood. The prize is funded by former students and is awarded annually to the graduating chemical engineering student with the best results at the University of Surrey.

Professor Tailby with students

"Many thanks for telling me about the Tailby Society. I think the Aims are excellent, especially the second one - my father believed that Chemical Engineering was not an end in itself but he wanted to qualify graduates for positions at Company Board level. So he taught a course called “The Engineer in Society”. This encompassed a range of topics from Patent Law to The City and how the Stock Exchange and companies worked. He was a very practical man - not an academic. He was appointed External Examiner to Cambridge so that he would keep the feet of the academics at Cambridge on the ground!  Although Cambridge got their own back by describing my father’s course as “Tailby's Plumbing Shop”!! 

I have many memories of Battersea Poly as my father used to take me up there for at least a day in the holidays where I would be looked after by the Lab technicians - Charlie Chesterman, Mr Grazinski, to name but two. I would be allowed, under supervision, to operate the electric drill and the lathe!  Later I was allowed to play (badly!) on the Edwin Tate organ in the Great Hall. I wonder what happened to that organ?  It was in on the ground floor of Surrey University - I went with my father to Sussex University to see how they set about building it."

Professor Tailby’s son, Chris, when we told him our proposals about the Tailby Society.