Class of 1980 - 1989

Robert John Mitchell (MSc Civil Engineering 1981)

26-03-1954 – 13-04-2018
Provided by his sister, Sue Terry

Robert 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 four 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.

Professor Jason Reese FInstP FREng (BSc Physics 1988)

24 June 1967 – 8 March 2019

Professor Jason Reese, Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, passed away on 8 March 2019.

A graduate of Imperial’s world-renowned Department of Physics, Professor Reese went on to complete his masters and doctoral research at the University of Oxford in applied mathematics.

During his varied career, he won awards for his work on multiscale flow systems and fluid dynamics. His research earned him the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s prestigious Kelvin Medal.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and the American Physical Society.

In 2018 he was made RAEng Chair in Emerging Technologies, a ten-year position to focus on the development of defence systems from molecules to machines.

Professor Reese held research and teaching positions at the Universities of Cambridge, Aberdeen, Strathclyde and King’s College London, and was appointed to a number of Government committees, including the Scottish Science Advisory Council and the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science Expert Committee. In 2013 he took up the distinguished positions of Regius Professor of Engineering and Director of Research in the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

Away from academia, Professor Reese applied his expertise to the utilities sector, where he co-founded Brinker Technology Ltd. Their novel leak detection technology has been used in oil and gas pipelines and wellheads, and on mains water pipes.

Colleagues at the University of Edinburgh describe Professor Reese as having a ‘natural warmth and good humour’, being generous with both his time and energy in supporting younger colleagues. Professor Reese is survived by his wife Alexandra and their daughter Zoe.

A full obituary was published in March 2019 in The Herald.