The very sudden and wholly unexpected death of Julian Walsh on 23rd September stunned us all.
Adrian Sutton paid this tribute at the time: "Julian was a friend and colleague to all of us in the CDT. His boundless energy and enthusiasm inspired and encouraged students and staff alike. When we worked on the proposal for the CDT in 2008 Julian stressed the importance of student leadership and of innovation in professional skills training. His advice was spot on, and his thinking has had a strong influence on the ethos of our CDT. He helped to make Hermes 2012 a great success. He had a vital role in making Authentity, the Ethics courses, the Career Planning course and the Science Communication course happen. He described himself as a 'professional nagger', but it was his dogged determination to make things happen that led to so many of the things that distinguish our CDT. His greatest passion was not the science, although he recognized its crucial importance, but being imaginative and creative in all aspects of the training and guidance students receive. He was a tremendous supporter of our engagement with industry, and he helped to bring about several of our industrial partnerships. Above all, he wanted to ensure the CDT made an impact on the World outside Imperial, an aspiration we all shared with him."
Julian spent 18 years in the oil industry as an international trader in London, Paris and Los Angeles. Hoping to put his deal-making skills to some educational use, he left in 1992 to work with his alma mater, Imperial College and help to devise, implement and guide a series of research-based multi-million pound strategic alliances with industry. He was among the founding team of two successful bio-pharma start-ups; Argenta and iThemba, South Africa’s first research-based pharma company focused on HIV/AIDS and TB.
He became involved in the first round of CDT launches, particularly working with the Chemical Biology Centre and the TSM-CDT at Imperial. He was a driving force for industrial engagement in the Thomas Young Centre, the London Centre for Theory and Simulation of Materials (TSM). Together with his wife, Carrie, he ran a French wine importing business: the ultimate self-financing lifestyle hobby.
Julian’s reach at Imperial was far and wide. But more importantly, he touched all our lives and many of us will miss greatly his friendship, passion and joie de vivre.
Article text (excluding photos or graphics) available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons license.
Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or © Imperial College London.