Class of 1980 - 1989

Robert John Mitchell (MSc Civil Engineering 1981)

26.03.1954– 13.04.1018
Provided by his Sister, Sue Terry

Robert has died suddenly at the age of 64 years. He was a lone yachtsman and his body was found in the ocean between Madeira and the coast of Portugal on 13th April 2018. His yacht Katniss is believed to have sunk in a storm.

Before taking up sailing, Rob had a long career as a civil engineer, specialising in the management and treatment of water. He worked overseas in the Seychelles, the UAE, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain building dams, pipelines and waste water treatment works. However the major part of his career was spent with Thames Water where he was a senior project engineer.

Rob was a gifted child who in 1965 was awarded a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School which he attended from 1965 to 1972. At MGS he achieved academically specialising in science and maths in his senior years. In 1973 he went on to Trinity Hall at Cambridge University where he studied engineering. Later in 1980 he went to Imperial College London where undertook a MSc in Civil Engineering.

Rob married Sarah (nee Malseed) in 1984 and has a daughter Lucinda. The marriage ended in divorce in 2012.

Approaching retirement and with no background in sailing, Rob one day saw a marina full of yachts and thought “that’s what I would like to do”. Ever a man of his word and always thorough in his preparation he began to undertake a series of sailing qualifications. He researched the best yacht for a life of single handed cruising and bought Katniss in 2014. For the next 4 years he cruised around the Mediterranean living his dream. When disaster struck Rob was on his final voyage back to the UK where he planned to sell his yacht and then live in Malta.