Alumni

Obituaries

It is with regret that we annouce the death of the following alumni of Imperial College London and the constituent medical schools and Wye College. Alumni are listed according to the date that the Alumni Office was informed of their death. If you wish to inform us of the death of an alumnus, please contact the Alumni Office on +44 (0)20 7594 6138 or at alumni@imperial.ac.uk.

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List has 440 notes on 44 pages << < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>
David J Watts 15/01/2018  
David John Watts

Provided by Heather Watts & Lucy Watts-Lanning

(Chemistry 1985-88)

David was born on 11th December 1966 in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He spent his early years in the North East before attending Imperial College in 1985, where he graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1988. He then pursued a career in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, specialising in process safety. His final role was as an industry regulator at the Environment Agency in Nottingham.

His interests included literature, history (particularly military), theatre, travel, and Newcastle United. He died unexpectedly from a stroke on October 20th 2017 at the age of 50. He leaves his wife Heather, a fellow chemistry graduate, and daughter Lucy from his first marriage to Caroline.  He will be sadly missed.
Terry Wood 15/01/2018  
Dr Terry Wood, B.Sc (Hons), DIC. D.Sc

Chemistry 1950

Provided by his second cousin, Rozanne Aldridge

He went to primary school in Dartford, Kent obtaining a languages scholarship to the prestigious Dartford Grammar School. Changing from specializing in languages, Terry went on to study Pure and Applied Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry for his highers (equivalent of today's A levels). Having sat the Civil Service Sciences exam, and come second nationally, he instead went on to study Chemistry and Physics at Imperial College, London on a scholarship from Kent County Council, obtaining his Batchelor of Science and Doctorate in four years of study.

After leaving Imperial College, Terry was due to go to work in South Africa with a number of his friends from University, but unfortunately contracted TB and had to spend a considerable time recuperating in St George's Hospital in Tooting.

On his recovery he took a job working under Dr Julius Bender at Bovril. It was while working under Dr Bender that he developed his interest in biochemistry which was to form the basis of the rest of his career. In 1958 he travelled to Australia, where his first post was a lectureship at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. However, after only one term, an offer arrived for a permanent position at Sydney University lecturing in Biochemistry which he took. In 1959 he married Catherine, the young lady he had followed to Australia.

In 1963 Terry accepted a post lecturing in pharmacy at Kumbasi in Ghana, returning to the UK in 1965 to work at the Maudesley Hospital lecturing in biochemistry to staff and the medical students. At this time he was awarded his Doctorate of Science by the University of London, the award being based on his original research and the number and quality of his scientific papers published.

In 1966 a lectureship was offered to Terry at the prestigious McGill University in Montreal, Canada which he accepted, becoming senior lecturer and professor. This post continued until 1973 when he and his wife moved to Paris to allow Terry to teach in French at the College du Science.

Taking advantage of his renewed French language skills, Terry next accepted a post working for the Department of Agriculture in Sierra Leone before returning to the UK. After a brief return to the UK, he accepted what would be his final overseas position as Professor and Head of Department at Salisbury University, Rhodesia in 1976 staying through the transition of that country to Zimbabwe before finally returning to the UK in 1984 where he went to work for the Merck pharmaceutical company in Poole using his language and computing skills, before taking early retirement in 1989.

He collaborated with Ivor Smith of the Courtauld Institute on the first edition of the book "Chromatographic Techniques – Clinical and Biochemical Applications" (Heinemann 1958). In 1971, a six month sabbatical was spent in the laboratories of Jean Roche and Nguyen van Thoai at the college of France, Paris, using techniques of optical rotary dispersion, circular dichroism, and differential spectrophotometry to investigate the active sites of enzymes. He translated from the french "Unity and Diversity in Biochemistry (Pergammon 1980) by Marcel Fiorkin. In 1982, an eight month sabbatical was used to write part of the monograph entitled "The Pentose Pathway", which was published December 1985 by Academic Press, New York.

Terry was highly intelligent, his IQ remaining 145 even into his advanced years, and, despite being serious minded and not generally given to frivolity, he was one of life's enthusiasts, becoming very focused once anything enthused him .The award of a Doctorate of Science is testament to his eminence in his chosen field.

His personal interests included foreign travel, skiing, tennis, pistol and rifle shooting, hiking, microcomputers and associated hardware. An excellent linguist in French, German and Spanish. Terry passed away 3.11.2017 at his home in Poole and he is survived by his wife, Catherine.

Paul L Harris 07/12/2017  
Dr Paul Linnell Harris

Chemistry, 1959

Provided by Alan Redman and Dr Harris'Son

Paul was born in Leicester on 14th January 1935 and attended Wyggeston Grammar School. He joined the Chemistry Department of the Royal College of Science (as it then was) in 1953. He graduated in 1956 and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1959. He was later awarded his M.Sc. in Computing from the then Hatfield Polytechnic. He joined Enfield Grammar School as a Chemistry teacher 1959 and remained there, becoming Head of Department, until his (early) retirement in 1985. He married Margaret in 1970 and they had a son, Edward.

In his student years he developed many cultural interests and was an avid reader. He was interested in all things mechanical and rode motorcycles for many years. He was immediately involved when, in 1955, the RCS acquired a 1916 Dennis fire engine (later christened Jezebel) as a mascot. He was 3rd Secretary in 1957-8 and 4th Chairman in 1958-9 of the Motor Club formed to look after her. His main mechanical interest was in the Ffestiniog Railway which he joined as a volunteer in the mid 1960s. He spent many weekends and school holidays working on the permanent way to restore the track from Porthmadog to Bleanau Ffestiniog, He later turned his literary talents to the production of a newsletter for the FR volunteers. He was a founder member of the Heritage Group of the Society and edited the quarterly Heritage Group Journal) from its 2nd to its 125th edition.

In his later years, his health deteriorated but he was still able to attend the celebration of Jezebel's 100th birthday in 2016. Died 24th April 2017.

Philip Smeed 06/12/2017  
Philip Smeed
Geology, 1958
Provided by his Son, Phillip

Philip Smeed has died at the age of 78 and was the Former Mayor of Bridgwater.
Philip was committed to his community, serving as Superintendent in the Avon and Somerset constabulary and in retirement as Town and District Councillor, and an active member of Rotary, Bridgwater Civic Society and supporter of Bridgwater Arts Centre, Blake museum, Bridgwater Operatic Society and Bridgwater Choral Society, the Two Town Talker charity and the Bridgwater Carnival.

A wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and a good friend to many, will be sorely missed. He is survived by Wife Ute, three children and 6 grandchildren.
S Oakeshott 28/11/2017  
Simon Oakeshott

St Mary's Hospital Medical School 1966

Birmingham Post and wrote fiction, then worked as a hospital porter before turning to medicine. For some years he was an anatomy demonstrator at Cambridge University, later becoming interested in psychiatry. He trained at Fulbourn Hospital and the Tavistock, specialising in child and family psychiatry. His lifelong interest in literature, narrative and language led him into practise in psychotherapy. His gentleness, generosity and compassion endeared him to patients and colleagues alike. He continued working until not long before his death. His marriage to a fellow doctor, Eleanor Birks, ended. He leaves Natasha, his partner of 25 years; two sons; and five grandchildren.

Philippa F Keyes-Evans 21/11/2017  
PHILIPPA KEYES-EVANS
(St Mary's Hospital Medical School, 1955)
Provided by her son, Owen Keyes-Evans

Philppa Keyes-Evans passed away in Kent, on 25 October 2017, after a prolonged struggle with dementia. Born in north London in 1931, she lived in Watford and then Manchester before her father's job took the family to Cardiff. There she met Hubert, starting a relationship which endured for the rest of her rich and industrious life.

Even at school she was reported to work energetically and steadfastly, and she gained a scholarship to Malvern Girls' College. Later, she studied to be a doctor at St Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, qualifying in 1955. After gaining specialist qualifications in anaesthetics, she spent much of her medical career juggling work at hospitals in Surrey and Hampshire with bringing up her family in the London area and then in Winchester. They eventually moved to Sandwich when she gained a consultant post in Thanet. There she developed a further specialist interest in pain management.

Philippa brought her high standards not only to her work and family-related activities, such as cooking and needlework, but to a variety of other areas as well. In Winchester she was a member of a singing group, and continued singing activities later in Kent. Whilst in Winchester she also became seriously engaged in figure skating. After retirement she led a group of NADFAS Church Recorders in Kent for many years. A lover of gardens and flowers, she brought a creative side to her gardening, and later became very active in the floral arts world, including participating in competitions up to international level as well as being a judge and mentor. Photography became another interest, for which she won a national award, and she had a darkroom installed in the house in Sandwich. She always enjoyed travel, from car expeditions and skiing holidays with the family to ship cruises in later life, and over many years her family developed a close relationship with a family in Norway.

Passionate but not ostentatious, Philppa will be very much missed by those who knew her. She is survived by her husband Hubert, son and daughter.
Bridget C Jackson 20/11/2017  
Bridget Clare Dixon
Associate specialist in Nephrology Rotherham General Hospital
(b 1942; q St Mary's Medical School, London 1966; LRCP,MRCS, MBBS, MSc)
Died 31 August 2017
Provided by Bev Paul

Bridget spent most of her professional career with the renal unit at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield and later at its satellite dialysis unit at Rotherham Hospital from where she retired in 2008. She continued her medical work as a very active public governor for the Rotherham Trust from 2011 until her death. She was also active with the BMA having been chairman of the Sheffield Division (2004-6) and attended the ARM every year from 2002 speaking on a variety of topics. Outside medicine she was a member of the Wales branch of the Rotherham Labour Party, a keen gardener and most of all an enthusiastic viola player in several local orchestras and chamber music groups. She leaves Matthew, her son.
Joseph A Modro 15/11/2017  
Joe Modro
(Civil Engineering 1952-57)

Joseph Alexander (Joe) Modro died on the 2nd February 2017, a few days before his 83rd birthday. Born in Lodz, Poland, on 11th February 1934, he left the country in September 1939 at the age of five, due to the Nazi invasion, travelling with his mother and older sister on a long and often dangerous journey via Algeria, Tangiers in North Africa, Seville in Spain and finally a flight from Lisbon into the UK. He finally arrived in London in December 1942 to be reunited with his father in London. His father had used his many contacts to enable their journey and they had to stay at several refugee camps en route, particularly in Algiers where they spent 18 months, before flying from Tangier to Seville and thence to London.

Joe was educated St Martin's Prep. School in Northwood, and Mayfield College in Sussex, where he first started playing rugby - and developed a passion for the game that would last him throughout his life. He was captain of the cadets and school captain at Mayfield. He also attended Clapham College, London, and during that time played for Blackheath Rugby Club where, although he did sometimes get a game for the 1st team, he was a regular prop for the 2nd team.

In 1952 he gained a place at City & Guilds College to study Civil engineering, graduating in 1957. (It is said by his friends that the 5-year study period and the fact that he was a founder member of the University Wine Tasting Society, were not in any way connected!) Whilst at Imperial, Joe continued with rugby and gained University colours for the sport.

On obtaining his first job with Consultants Sir Bruce White, Wolfe Barry and Partners, he was posted to Northern Ireland as an Assistant Resident Engineer in Lisburn. Still keen to keep up his rugby, he joined the Northern Irish Rugby Football Club (North Rugby Club) in Belfast. Whilst in Northern Ireland he also met Maisie Henry, a very able nurse working at The Royal Victoria Hospital, who became his wife in March 1961.

By 1960 he was back in London, where he continued his rugby by joining the London Irish Rugby Football Club. By the end of the 60s he was working for contractors MJ Gleeson, who had gained a solid reputation for building power stations and dams. Joe continued with Gleesons until the late 70s, during which time they were constructing the massive British Aluminium Company smelter at Lynmouth, near Newcastle, together with a number of the earliest motorway projects. He also worked on shopping centres, hospitals and leisure facilities, notably the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, and the Crystal Palace National Recreation Centre in London.

He then moved to Balfour Beatty, where he was to spend the remainder of his career, mostly in the role of Chief Engineer. One project of which he was particularly proud was construction of the 1,800MW Dinorwig hydroelectric Power Station in North Wales, built deep underground in man-made caverns and tunnels beneath the mountain Elidir Fawr as part of a major pumped storage scheme. Joe also enthusiastically contributed to the training of young civil engineers. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for more than fifty years, and was elected a Fellow of ICE in 1997.

Joe and his wife Maisie lived in Banstead, Surrey from 1971 until Joe's death. He will be sadly missed by his wonderful and ever-supportive wife, and by his three children, Joseph, Peter and Christina, as well as by five grand-children. He was a member of the Old Centralians, later to become CGCA, throughout his career, and he felt such a strong connection with the CGCA that he was put to rest wearing his CGCA tie.He will be greatly missed.

John E Guthrie 08/11/2017  
John E Guthrie
(Botany and Plant Technology 1954, PhD 1957)
Provided by his wife, Elizabeth.

Born on 23 May 1991 in Pulborough, Sussex and died on 10 January 2017 in the comfort of his home; Los Masos, Eastern Pyrénées, France.

Education:
1941 – 1947 Collyer's School, Horsham, Sussex, earned a special place scholarship, Oxford School Certificate
1948--49 Technical Assistant, Bayer Products Ltd , Crawley, Sussex
1949-52 Portsmouth Municipal College, Hants., Intermediate B.Sc.; Chemistry / Botany / Zoology; London external B.Sc.; Chemistry, Botany, Zoology
1952-54 Imperial College of Science earned a London County Senior Scholarship, B.Sc.; A.R.C.S. (Honours Botany)
1954-57 Imperial College of Science, earned a DSIR Scholarship, DIC and Ph.D Plant Pathology
President, Students Union, Captain Boat Club – Tizard, Challenge Cup, Senior Sculls

John's early work was in crop research principally on cereals, including wheat, barley, oats and maize in East Africa. He worked entirely overseas, spending most of his time in Kenya. He also worked in Niger, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Malawi and briefly in Brazil in the late 1960s.
From 1963 – 1969 he was Senior Wheat Research Officer at The Plant Breeding Station, Njoro, Kenya. Here he was Director with a staff of 80 employees (15 of these were graduates).
From 1971 – 1981 John was a virologist at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Muguga, near Nairobi, Kenya. At this time he engaged in ground breaking research to aid the development of cassava / manioc. It had application both as a human and animal food staple.
In West Africa from 1981 – 1985, John worked at the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics to establish a new research station near Niamey in Niger. In 1987, he ran a seminar at Yamoussoukra, in the Ivory Coast and delivered a keynote address on the cultivation of cassava.
John's research findings on cassava were not widely acknowledged at the time. Subsequently, the importance of this crop, with its ability to grow in very testing conditions, has been recognised. Cassava has been hailed as the "crop of the 21st century" by such agencies as the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank.
In retirement, John enjoyed nearly twenty years living the Eastern Pyrenees of France. He is survived by Liz, his wife of 53 years of marriage; by a son and daughter and four grandchildren. He is affectionate and widely remembered for his wry humour and devastating one-liners.


Michael H Dixon 07/11/2017  
Dr Michael Dixon
(St Mary's Hospital Medical School 1943)
Provided by his son, John Dixon

Our father, Dr Michael Dixon, died aged 95, was one of the dwindling band of doctors who qualified before 1948 and therefore was recognised as a founding member of the new NHS.
His decision to go into medicine came at a young age during the war when watching bombers go over for the blitz and the dogfights. During these years, the medical training was reduced to four years, with no holidays. They were keen to get the new recruits through. Dad always told the story of the examiner in his finals who showed him the skull of a child and asked him to name its age. He hazarded a guess '6?'…'Quite right' came the answer, '6 months'.

As a houseman in St Mary's during the time of the V2 raids he found it gruelling: the only other doctor covering the ward was an elderly consultant pathologist whose main interest did not encompass the living! He lost weight during that time, as he walked the huge ward with a textbook in one hand…

After the war he was posted on National Service, first to Italy and then to Egypt and North Africa, before marrying a nurse, our mother, who died last year after 68 years together. They settled in Esher, in Surrey, where Dad took up general practice, finally retiring at the age of 85 in 2007.

When he took up General Practice he also made what he later termed one of his canniest investments. Professional indemnity insurance was then available from the Medical Defence Union at the princely sum of £3 per annum or £25 for life; and after considerable thought he invested in the latter….it was to work out at just over 40 pence per year. How times have changed!

In those days, GPs sometimes turned their hand to surgery, and as such, Dad developed a part time surgical practice at the Thames Ditton Cottage Hospital. His high point in medical achievement came when he studied assiduously for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, which he eventually attained, so becoming a Fellow of both that College and that of General Practitioners.

Before the law was changed in 1968, opiate addicts were supported on a very socially liberal system by those GPs who were prepared to take them on their lists, and Dad was one of those GPs. It was evident that vulnerable people also needed housing if they were to be rehabilitated, and my mother had been working with voluntary organisations in London, which led to my parents founding a social housing project in a house in Esher called Cranstoun, which my father had just inherited.

When the law was changed, the house became a therapeutic community for opiate users, supported, if not initially funded, by the Home Office. This was a classic construct of the liberal 60s, a coalition of people who were likeminded or could be persuaded, working to no template and negotiating with the Home Office. It was one of those visionary projects which was so unlikely to get off the ground that it somehow did. The naysayers were confounded by the reality, like those who said that there was no call for such a project in Esher, who were silenced by one of the addicts being offered heroin in the Wimpy Bar. The Cranstoun Project steadily expanded over the years, always in the field of addiction, and has now become one of the premier voluntary organisations for drug addiction in the UK.

It was founded on my parents' strong Christian belief, the fellowship of the believing (and the doubting), and on Dad's medical practice and standing in the community. My fondness for the Catholic faith was greatly fostered by going to one public meeting in a village near Esher where the audience was greatly opposed to setting up a hostel for drug addicts till the local priest, who was on the panel, rounded on one very vocal protester 'you are a member of my congregation….sit down!'.

Dad never really stirred far from Esher, living in the same house which he had had built in 1954 until his death. He believed passionately in medicine, and in what medicine could do to help people, and he used it for social reform. He was hugely aided in this by our mother Annie, who had an extraordinary ability to ignite community action, and by many individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who believed that things could be better.

Dad's other love was tennis, and he played for and was President of the local Esher club for many years. He was a canny player, and his medical and tennis life naturally intersect: such as on the occasion when he was playing (and losing) a key match in the club championships. At that point a call came through from a patient who was seriously ill. Dad left the court to attend to his patient, and somewhat later returned invigorated and duly won the match.

In his later years he spent a good deal of time on GP training, to attract more recruits to the specialty. He retired from medicine at the same time as from tennis, when he became too frail, in his mid-80s. After that his grandchildren became increasingly important to him.

He leaves four children, John, Janie, Sarah and Cadz, eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
List has 440 notes on 44 pages << < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>
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