Sir Alec Skempton, affectionately known as TUBBY, was a professor of soil mechanics and civil engineering at Imperial College, London; the leading British figure in his area of specialisation for half a century; and a hugely influential figure in the world of civil engineering who transformed its attitude to its own history.
Born in Northampton and inspired by his science teachers at Northampton grammar school, in 1932 Skempton went to the City and Guilds College, then a separate part of London University's Imperial College, to study civil engineering. Encouragement from his professor, Sutton Pippard, and a Goldsmiths' Company bursary allowed him to begin work on a PhD. Having obtained a post at the Building Research Station (BRS) in 1936, Skempton developed his work on reinforced concrete - an area in which Britain lagged behind the United States.
By January 1937, his love of geology guided him to the neighbouring soil mechanics laboratory. In joining that section of the BRS, Skempton began a lifelong involvement in soil mechanics.
The importance of Skempton's field immediately became apparent with the failure, under construction, of the earth embankment for a reservoir at Chingford, in north-east London. Skempton's analysis revealed that the speed of construction had imposed too great a load on the clay strata before they had gained strength from a consolidation process. His work at the BRS continued until 1946, encompassing Waterloo Bridge, the Muirhead dam (near Largs, in Scotland), Gosport Dockyard and the Eau Brink Cut channel of the river Ouse, near King's Lynn.
In 1945, Sutton Pippard invited him to establish a soil mechanics course at Imperial. Initially a part-time BRS secondment, the post became a full-time senior lectureship the following year. Assisted by Alan Bishop, Skempton built an international reputation for Imperial, which was consolidated by his introduction in 1950 of the first postgraduate course in soil mechanics. Skempton was elevated to the chair of soil mechanics in 1955. Two years later he succeeded Pippard as departmental head - a position he held until 1976 - and professor of civil engineering; from 1981, he was professor emeritus and senior research fellow.
For the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), in 1947 he was a founding member of the soil mechanics and foundations committee - first contributing to the Rotterdam international conference and then establishing what is today the British Geotechnical Association.
His ICE work saw him named as the first chairman of the civil engineers archive panel in 1975. During a 21-year tenure, he oversaw a reorganisation of the archive's collections. As chairman of the panel for historical engineering works (1982-90), he raised the professional standards of its work and publications.
His dedication was matched by his willingness to understand and contextualise the work of others. Challenging orthodox assumptions, he played a guiding role in developing intellectual and academic rigour in his field. Predecessors in civil engineering whose work had been ignored found a new champion in Skempton.
The work he edited on John Smeaton (1981), today recognised as a founder of modern civil engineering, his papers on the early fen drainage engineer John Grundy, and the biography he co-authored of William Jessop (1979), typified his thirst for, and dedication to, re-understanding his professional ancestors. The dissatisfaction with the work of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and others that drove his work on the origins of modern skyscrapers in the late 1950s typified his success in finding a fresh perspective. Active in publishing until the end of his life, Skempton had been working on a biographical dictionary of civil engineers of the British Isles, the first volume of which will be published this autumn: his zest for knowledge and learning was unsurpassed in civil engineering.
A keen amateur flautist, he performed at one of the first Imperial College lunchtime concerts, in 1950; he and his wife, Nancy, were avid croquet-playing members of the Hurlingham Club. His many honours included the vice-presidency of the ICE (1974-76), the fellowship of the Royal Society (1961) and a knighthood in the millennium honours, but he had a great dislike of formal gatherings.
During his time at the BRS he married Mary Wood, known to everyone as Nancy. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, she became his constant companion and supporter until her death in 1993. He is survived by his two daughters.
Alec Westley Skempton, civil engineer, born June 4 1914; died August 9 2001
Reginald Ridgway, affectionately known as JAKES, was an outstanding civil engineer, responsible for the Hammersmith and Chiswick flyovers in west London and many other important projects. In 1948 he founded the civil engineering company Marples Ridgway with Ernest Marples, an accountant who had been elected Conservative MP for Wallasey in 1945 and saw civil engineering as a means of boosting his prestige.
Reginald John Ridgway was born on October 27 1908 and educated at King's College School, Wimbledon, where he captained the Invicta Rugby XV, playing at centre three quarter. One of his proudest memories was of driving a double decker bus during the General Strike of 1926 instead of attending school. He was later simultaneously told off and commended by the headmaster, in front of the whole school.
After reading Engineering at Imperial College, London, Ridgway worked for Charles Brand, and was soon agent on many London Underground projects, including the Cockfosters-Turnpike section of the Piccadilly Line, and St Paul's station booking hall and escalators on the Central Line. With Balfour Beatty he was in charge of the Green Park Underground station, and with Holloway Brothers he was chief engineer for the Empire Pool, Wembley. Ridgway first met Marples when he was working as a consultant for Kirk and Kirk, of which Marples was a director (Kirk and Kirk originally had the contract for Poplar power station, later inherited by Marples Ridgway).
Marples Ridgway was started with a five-ton ex-Army truck and one crane. A critical element was the insurance, which was provided by John Hardwick, who had played outside centre with Ridgway in his school XV and now worked at Lloyds.
Marples Ridgway was taken over by Bath and Portland Group in 1964, but Ridgway remained managing director until 1972, when he became a non-executive director.
A powerfully built 5 ft 9 in, Ridgway had considerable presence, backed by a belief in his ability. He was very good with his staff, who were intensely loyal to him. He had no discernible interests outside work. At home, while the rest of the family watched television, he would sit in an armchair in the same room, entirely absorbed in his paper work.
He married, first, Sybil Rhodes; they adopted two sons, one of whom is the Atlantic rower and explorer John Ridgway. She died in 1944. He married, secondly, in 1946, Olga Hewitt, who died in 1984; they had a son.
Arthur Montagu Holbein, affectionately known as BEAN, studied Civil Engineering at Imperial College between 1915-1916 and 1919-1921 and was one of the founders of the Old Centralians' Trust and a driving force in running the City and Guilds College Association. He was Honorary Secreatary and Treasurer from 1939 to 1970, President in 1960-61, a member of the Links Club and creator of the BOOMALAKA.
Holbein's undergratuate course was interrupted by the 1st World War, in which he served in the Royal Field Artillery. Upon his return from the war as Captain, he continued the course in 1919, becoming a mainstay of Union activities and a very keen sportsman. During his subsequent professional career Holbein successfully completed a number of challenging Civil Engineering projects on which others have failed. He excelled in many spheres, becoming a leading figure in Civil Engineering profession and shouldering an immense amount of voluntary work, for which he was awarded a CBE in 1949.
However, Arthur Holbein is best remembered for his endless efforts in the advancement of technological education and training amongst students, becoming Vice-President of the City & Guilds London Institute and then in 1953 a Governor of Imperial College. As a testiment to his contribution to College life and student welfare, Imperial College named one of the halls of residence in Evelyn Gardens after him. He was a born leader and a man of extraordinary courage, who made prolonged and outstanding contributions to the profession and to his country's welfare.
Arthur Montagu Holbein died in 1970.
R. A. Rubenstein (1921-2005)
Richard Rubenstein, affectionately known as RUBY, was parachuted into Brittany on the night of August 6 and 7, 1944, as leader of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) "Jedburgh" Team "Douglas I". His companions were Lieutenant Jean Roblot of France and their British radio operator, Sergeant John Raven. Their Stirling aircraft encountered ground fire as it ran into the dropping zone, yet the SOE team and a 15-strong SAS group with them all landed safely. For Rubinstein, this was a useful apprenticeship for future operations against the Japanese in Burma.
Ninety-three Jedburgh teams, or "Jeds", almost all comprising three men, were dropped in France in the days and weeks following D-Day on June 6, 1944 - two on the actual day. They were not spies, and were dropped in uniform as proof of that.
Rubinstein had joined SOE from Anti-Aircraft Command, which was both dangerous and demanding work during the London Blitz, during which he was in charge of a searchlight detachment. He found it insufficiently adventurous, however, once the Luftwaffe ceased its mass bombing offensives. Disappointed not to be accepted for either commando training or as an artillery air-observation pilot, he volunteered for unspecified "tasks of particular danger" advertised by letter to units in the United Kingdom in October 1943. This led him to the SOE, possibly because he had a Higher School Certificate qualification in physics, which provided a useful basis for learning demolition work. Shortly afterwards, he joined the 300 or so individuals at Milton Hall being trained to form the Jedburgh teams.
Rubinstein was mentioned in dispatches for his services in France and awarded the Croix de Guerre. He and other surviving British "Jed" members were then given the option of going back to their parent units or volunteering for service with the SOE Force 136 against the Japanese in the Far East. He chose the latter, and sailed for Bombay with other volunteers in November.
His first operatioh in Burma, codenamed "Cheetah", took place in January 1945. Its purpose was to raise local "levies" among the Kachins sympathetic to the Allied cause in the upper Irrawaddy valley, where an attempt had been made to establish a resistance network in 1943. Despite his parachutlnq experience in France, Rubinstein had some qualms about the prospects in Burma. In his book SOE in the Far East, Charles Cruickshank recounts Rubinstein's feelings before the jump:
"Felt rotten all afternoon and very frightened. Very annoyed at the offhand manner of the non-operational types saying, 'Don't worry, old boy, the 'chute won't open anyway', all very funny! When take-off came I felt much better. Quite easy run. The moon was very bright and even colours showed up. A grand reception, all fear gone and glad to have arrived. One never notices the fear going; it just does."
Operation "Cheetah" produced useful intelligence on Japanese dispositions and supply lines. Rubinstein's next operation, "Chimp", was led by him and judged successful. His party was parachuted into a jungle clearing near Pyinmana, around 100 miles east of the Irrawaddy, in early April 1945 with the aim of raising a guerrilla force from the local anti-Japanese militia, the Anti-Fascist Organisation or AFO. He quickly raised a force of 200 guerrillas who operated against the Japanese under their own leaders but on his guidance, until the area was overrun by the advancing Fourteenth Army. Rubinstein then moved his SOE team southwards to Toungoo to join "Reindeer", another SOE team operating against trains ferrying Japanese reinforcements northwards through the Sittang valley.
He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry and leadership with the SOE in Burma. Operations with "Reindeer", which concluded using AFO guerrillas to help to mop up Japanese troops who had avoided the Fourteenth Army and escaped into the Karen Hills, marked the end of his adventures in the Far East.
He returned home and read mechanical engineering at Imperial College, University of London, taking up a place he had been allocated in 1939. He graduated with a first and began work with ICI on Merseyside. He joined a Territorial Army battalion of The Parachute Regiment. When De Havillands offered him a post in its sales engineering division, however, he returned to the south in 1956.
After an enjoyable and successful career with De Havillands and Hawker Siddeley Dynamics, he retired in 1986 and found his way back to his wartime friends through the Special Forces Club, of which he was chairman from 1989 to 1991.
He is survived by his wife Gay, whom he had known since his school days and married in 1943 just as he joined SOE, and by two sons.
Richard A. Rubinstein, MC, officer of the wartime Special Operations Executive, was born on August 29, 1921. He died on February 23, 2005, aged 83.
Sir C. J. Stubblefield (1901-1999)
In 1960 James Stubblefield, affectionately known as STUBBIE, became Director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain and of the Museum of Practical Geology (now the Earth Science wing of the Natural History Museum). During his directorship the Survey, the Museum, and the Overseas Geological Surveys were united into the Institute of Geological Sciences (now the British Geological Survey in Keyworth, Nottingham, to which the collections of fossils have been removed).
Stubblefield was born in Cambridge in 1901. He was a pupil at the Perse School, and went on to Chelsea Polytechnic and the Royal College of Science for his geological education. Here he had the stimulating company of two other promising students. One was O.M.B. Bulman, who became his lifelong friend, and with whom he worked on the early Palaeozoic rocks of Shropshire, collecting fossils and mapping the distribution of the rocks. A second was W.F. Whittard, also a great student of Shropshire fossils, who went on to become Professor of Geology in Bristol University, and a pioneer in promoting the value of off-shore geological mapping.
Stubblefield joined the Geological Survey of Great Britain in 1928, after five years teaching geology at the Imperial College of Science and Technology. Because of his expertise as a palaeontologist, the then Director of the Survey gave Stubblefield work in this field: identifying specimens collected by officers mapping rocks in different areas. Stubblefield became in due course leader of the Palaeontological Department, and was much concerned in preparations for the opening of the Geological Museum in South Kensington in 1935. In 1953 he became Assistant Director of the Survey, and in 1960 Director.
As Director he remained devoted to palaeontology: his work was characterised by thoroughness, acute observation, and the introduction of novel ideas. As a research worker in 1926 he had described a series of growth stages of a trilobite (a fossil arthropod) that he had collected, and shown unequivocally how the new segments of the body grew forward from the rearmost, settling a hitherto controversial matter.
In 1929 he had observed, in the colonial group of fossils the graptolites, that there were two distinct types of individuals, not a single type. His 1936 essay on how trilobites were classified was a penetrating and challenging masterpiece, containing the idea that a new group might arise from the arrested development of an ancestor. This was one of the early applications of such ideas to the evolution of invertebrate animals, and has since been widely followed.
In addition to such official work Stubblefield served his fellow palaeontologists in many unsung but necessary ways in which his authority and meticulous care were so valuable. For many years he served as editor, and subsequently, from 1966 to 1971, as President, of the Palaeontographical Society, an organisation which has provided monographs on British fossils for over a hundred years. Stubblefield put much time and effort into organising the British contribution to the first international treatise on trilobites, published in 1959. For many years prior to, and for 10 years after his retirement, Stubblefield compiled the Zoological Record section on trilobites, an invaluable index and comment on the world-wide literature.
Stubblefield's career was exemplary in its devotion to pure science, with ever an eye on its practical application in the search for mineral resources. His wise counsel and guidance on the preparation of work for publication, the necessity for accuracy and the need for caution in expressing opinions based on inadequate evidence, were salutary guidance for palaeontologists at home and abroad.
Despite all the calls on his time, he was always willing to help and advise a colleague, young or old, and was a devoted family man and a keen gardener.
Stubblefield's enthusiasm for what was beginning to be an exciting era for the North Sea was astounding. He said: "They will soon find oil in commercial quantities and you'd better prepare for a proper government control of what is found!" As usual, he was right.
Sir Cyril James Stubblefield FRS married Muriel Yakchee in 1932 and had two sons with her. He died in London on October 23, 1999.
Sir David Lancaster Nicolson (1922-1996)
Sir David Nicolson, affectionately known as NICK, was not only one of the most outstanding businessman of his generation but also a highly influential figure in the European Movement. Yet he preferred, as one former colleague put it, "to do good by stealth".
Unlike many businessmen with far fewer achievements to their credit, he was unstuffy, invariably courteous, spoke only when he had something to say, and never sought to claim the credit for his achievements. To the day of his death he retained a faint sense of surprise and pleasure at the honours heaped on him. Yet, as the same colleague said, "things seemed to happen when he was around".
Nicolson's father was a Canadian consulting engineer who had settled in Britain and, after Haileybury, he was educated as an engineer at Imperial College, London. In the last years of the Second World War he served with distinction as a Lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors in the Atlantic and in Normandy, where he was mentioned in despatches.
More importantly he met his first wife, Joan Griffiths, on the beaches where she was serving as a nurse. They married the following year and until her death in 1991 he remained the most romantically devoted of husbands - friends remember his face lighting up as she came into the room. The practical and romantic sides of his character were combined in his great love sailing, where he enjoyed both the nuts and bolts aspects and the romance of the sea.
In the 20 years after the war Nicolson worked primarily as a manager and then as chairman of Production Engineering, then probably the leading British industrial consultancy group, a position in which he built up his formidable network of business contacts.
But his best known role was as chairman of BTR between 1969 and 1984, years in which the company grew, quietly and exceedingly profitably, into one of the country's leading holding companies, one unlike its fellows in that it grew not only by acquisition but also by highly-disciplined internal growth.
As BTR grew Nicolson naturally became much in demand as a company director. In 1972 he became the first chairman of British Airways, a potentially explosive mixture of two greatly contrasted companies, British European Airways and British Overseas Airways, and before he left the chair in 1975 - with a knighthood - had overseen a most successful merge.
In the following 20 years he served as a director of a number of major companies, usually with distinction - returning to his roots as non-executive chairman of the managerial consortium which bought the VSEL (Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering) shipyards at Barrow-in-Furness from state ownership.
Nicolson's greatest contribution to public, as opposed to business, life came from his connection with the European Movement, which he clearly - and untypically - saw as pos- ing no conflict with his involvement with North America. He represented the London Central constituency in the European Parliament between 1979 and 1984 and in 1985 became chairman of the then nearly-defunct European Movement.
He was by no means a federalist, but proved himself a genuine internationalist. The romantic side of his character had been inspired by the idea of peoples working together as he had done with the Continental members of the European Parliament. At the European Movement his style resembled that at BTR: he delegated power and trusted those who worked with him to rebuild the Movement.
He carried his European convictions with him during his stint as pro- Chancellor of Surrey University between 1987 and 1993. He got on well with the students, initiated and attended debates on the subject.
He was also "influential" - a word much used about him - in helping to set up what is now a most successful European Management School at the University.
He had never neglected his father's native country, serving as a member of the British National Export Committee for Canada, and as a director of the Canadian group Northern Telecom for some years. But the most tangible evidence of his influence is the Memorial in the Mall to the Canadians who had served and died in two world wars.
This, dedicated by the Queen on 3 June 1994, was the result of Nicolson's capacity to bring together a group of often dissimilar people to achieve a definite aim, and remains a monument to him, almost as much as to the heroes it commemorated.
Sir David Lancaster Nicholson was born in London on 20 September 1922. He had one son and two daughters with his wife Joan. Nicholson died on 19 July 1996.
P. Harding (1919-2006)
Peter Harding's zest for life nearly killed him. In 1941, the 22-year-old decided to show off by rolling a Spitfire over Stroud as his parents stood watching below. Throughout The Links Club he was always known as PETER. He was born on 11 May 1919.
I was upside down and suddenly my maps were all over the place and I couldn't see, I grabbed at the controls and was going straight down at 300 miles an hour.
"My dad said what a wonderful stunt. I never told him I damned near killed myself. I went straight back to the mess for three double brandies."
Which is exactly the stiff upper lip that catapulted Peter through all of life's challenges including being in a prisoner of war camp where he was kept from 1941 to 1945.
He built a radio out of cocoa tins, tin foil cigarette packaging and Gillette razor blades, and a steam engine from American brass tubes which held toothbrushes which he adapted as cylinders and pistons.
As one of many students whose studies were interrupted by the Second World War, he left Dulwich College in 1937 and joined the Royal School of Mines to read metallurgy. Despite suffering from bronchitis and asthma, he became involved in the University Air Squadron.
In 1938 he worked as eighth engineer on the Africa Star between the United Kingdom and South America scraping the bronze bearings on winches.
His legendary status within Imperial College has guaranteed him membership of all three exclusive College social clubs.
He became President of Chaps in 1945, President of Mines and a member of Links a year later, a member of 22 in 1946 and Imperial College President in 1947 .
More than 150 members and guests took part in his 75th birthday at a grand dinner in the Sherfield Building. Few forget the memorable parties thrown in the grounds of his house; the wayward barbecues, the skinny dipping.
Peter's wife, Sheila, resigned herself long ago to the fact that her husband was married to Imperial College. With old age creeping up, he decided to ease off a bit, and avoided attending two club dinners on the same night.
Peter flew to Canada for the 25th anniversary of the annual ICENAE meeting in the Adirondack mountains. It could be his last visit abroad for a while, he said with a tinge of regret.
Peter Harding died on the 25th January 2006, aged 86. The funeral was at Lewisham Crematorium on 2nd February 2006.
Major-General Denis A K Redman (1910-2009)
Major-General Denis Redman, affectionately known as RABBITS, was a founder member of REME and head of his Corps. From 1960 to 1963, Redman was Director of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the War Office. During this period he played a notable part in solving the many complex problems arising from the transformation of a National Service-dominated organisation to an all-regular Corps.
A highly effective staff officer and well-regarded by his colleagues, he foresaw the increasing importance of electronics in military equipment and the need for REME to prepare for this new development. He also established the Officers' School, founded the museum and set up the Corps' journal.
Denis Arthur Kay Redman was born on April 8 1910 at Rochester, Kent, and educated at Wellington and at London University (City and Guilds Engineering College), where he gained a first-class degree in Electrical Engineering.
He joined the Midland Electric Light and Power Company but did not enjoy the life and, in 1934, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He transferred to the REME on its formation in 1942.
Redman was in the Middle East from 1936 to 1943. He commanded a Light Aid Detachment (LAD) in Palestine in support of 6 Royal Tank Corps and was mentioned in despatches. Command of the LAD of 3 Royal Horse Artillery, and then a move to the Recovery Company of the 7th Armoured Division, gave him a wide experience of operating in desert conditions.
An appointment as DAQMG at GHQ Middle East Land Forces was followed by attendance at Staff College, Haifa. Promoted to lieutenant-colonel, he was then engaged in planning the formation of REME in the Middle East and its transfer to a new Corps in 1942. He was again mentioned in despatches.
After a spell at the War Office as AQMG and another posting to REME, he attended the Joint Services Staff College and then moved to the REME Training Centre, Arborfield, as GSO1. He spent two years with 1 (BR) Corps in BAOR as deputy director electrical and mechanical engineering before taking up the same appointment for the whole Corps at the War Office.
In 1957 Redman became Commandant of the REME training centre. He attended the Imperial Defence College (later the Royal College of Defence Studies) in 1959, the first REME officer to do so.
After retiring from the Army in 1963 he was military adviser to Sperry Gyroscope and then served as chairman of civil service selection boards and as a general commissioner of income tax. Settled in a village in Wiltshire, he had a well-equipped workshop and manufactured a television set and a radio-controlled boat to his own design. He was a connoisseur of antique clocks, restoring and repairing them as a hobby.
Redman was Colonel Commandant of the Corps from 1963 to 1968. He was appointed OBE in 1942 and CB in 1963.
Denis Redman died on July 18. He married, in 1943, Penelope Kay. She predeceased him, and he is survived by their son and daughter.
Brian Locke, affectionately known as BOL, was a mainstay of the City and Guilds College Association for as far back as I can remember and probably before - certainly he was writing articles in the association magazine The Central in the mid sixties. Brian was passionate about engineering and its role in society and saw that the association could help at Imperial College by bringing together past and current alumni to promote what he described as “international camaraderie”.
Brian served on CGCA committees before he became Honorary Secretary from 1982 to 1990 and was elected President in 1991. During this time he lived in Cadogan Street, within easy reach of College and the many other London based organisations that he supported. He incorporated the street name into one of the companies he founded, Cadogan Consultants; and indeed for the barn, Cadogan Grange, that he converted in the ancient hill-top village of Bisley in his beloved Cotswolds where he maintained a home for thirty years.
He was a something of a renaissance engineer with a very wide spread of interests that crossed disciplinary and national boundaries. He had a thirst for knowledge, new places and new ideas. Through his many committees and projects he built up a vast network of friends and professional contacts. He was passionate about the commercialisation of new ideas and their application throughout the less developed world. He believed that engineering held the key to many of the problems that beset humanity. “Engineering is a valuable force in the unsettled world today,” he is quoted as saying in a 1982 article in The Central – the precursor of the IC Engineer.
Brian’s broad view of world affairs and his perception of their dependence on engineering meant that it was almost inevitable that he became a Founder Member of the Club of Rome: that non-government organisation that has done so much to alert the world to the dangers of over-consumption. He became President of the British Association of the club and at the time of his death was the UK representative. He was also one of 500 Fellows of the prestigious World Academy of Art and Science founded by Nobel Laureate and first Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Lord John Boyd Orr. He was appointed a Companion of the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management in 2002 for the work that he had done in its formation.
More conventionally he was a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a number of engineering institutes including Energy and the Gas Engineers. He was a Freeman of the City of London, and, eminently clubable, a member of the Athenaeum. He was a governor of a number of educational establishments including the London College of Printing. He was appointed Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Computer Sciences and Engineering at de Montfort University in 2000. Also in that year he became President of the Design and Industries Association.
Throughout his life he was concerned with the transfer and application of technology for efficient power production and energy efficiency. He was an expert in fluidised-bed combustion, energy efficiency and small-scale hydro-electric schemes which he promoted in many parts of the world, particularly India and China.
A reflection of his international approach and his life-long commitment to improving the status of the engineer in society was his very adoption of the title Eur Ing as soon as it was introduced in the UK. He saw it not so much as a personal title, but as a flag to wave about the importance of engineering for all to see. He regretted that more did not follow him in its use.
He was a keen supporter of the relationship between the City and Guilds of London Institute and Imperial College, helping to ensure that Fellowships were awarded to the most prominent alumni. He helped to create and was the first member of a new class of membership of the CGLI, that of Honorary Member.
He joined Imperial College to read Chemical Engineering in 1942 but at the end of his first year volunteered for war service. Coming from a Quaker background he served in the Friends Ambulance Unit until 1946 when he returned to college. Unfortunately he contracted rheumatic fever which forced him to spend three days a week in hospital. This made study particularly difficult and without completing his degree Brian launched himself with enthusiasm into industry and worked for a number of firms including Johnson Matthey and the Kestner Evaporator Co. He took his professional examinations for the Institution of Chemical Engineers in 1948.
During the first half of the 1950s, Brian worked for the Ministry of Power driving around with a van full of instruments helping companies with their energy problems. With a typical wryness he claimed not to be doing anything different from others at the time, “but the meters, thermocouples and other equipment helped persuade company boards.”
In 1965 he joined the Industrial Chemistry Group of the National Research Development Corporation (now BTG), the government organisation that exploited publicly-funded research results for commercial use. In 1971 he was asked to lead Special Projects responsible for nurturing new ideas in ways which themselves were innovative. His team became involved in setting up major developments in fluidised combustion of coal and a process for making blast furnace coke.
He was a director of a number of companies concerned with the exploitation of technologies: Formed Coke Ltd was responsible for the development of a steelworks coke process; Electrolysis Energy Ltd was concerned with the application of hydro-power and mineral and coal processing in remote areas; Combustion Systems Ltd was set up by BP, National Coal Board and NRDC to commercialize fluidized bed combustion for heat and power generation. He was also a director of Chem Plant Stainless Ltd responsible for design and production of energy efficient chemical plant for food, pharmaceutical, fine chemicals and plastics industry. He formed his own company - Cadogan Consultants - on leaving NRDC in 1977.
He lectured widely and wrote many articles and papers, contributing to books on technology, the management of innovation, energy, fuels, and other general subjects. A number of his articles have appeared in the IC Engineer over the years, on subjects as diverse as the Hovercraft, trade with India, Forecasting and development, The Club of Rome, the needs of Society, a history of The Central and an early history of events leading up to the creation of Imperial College.
He had the ability to see things from a different point of view. He asked the awkward question with gentle inquiring air that defied disapproval; the sort of question that had half the audience at an international conference craning their necks to see “who asked that?” He always looked beyond the day-to-day and could see the wider implications of discussions - beyond the confines of immediate debate – and was recognised for it. As another Guildsman Dr John Waller, a contemporary of Brian’s at NRDC, put it “In many ways he was the embodiment of lateral thinking.”
Brian also had two characteristics that distinguish all real engineers – he was precise and he got things done. These characteristics show in the annals of the CGCA, not only through the histories that he wrote for the journal, referred to earlier, but also in establishing procedures to keep the show on the road. Whilst he was Secretary of the CGCA, he prepared a set of notes outlining what the President and Secretary had to do, how and by when. Those notes are still being used today.
In Bisley he was viewed as somewhat eccentric, dashing to the shop or his office in the splendid “Old Court House”, wearing one of his many hats and raising it enthusiastically to passing villagers. Above all he was interested in people and was always bringing people together or helping them in some way. This is perhaps best exemplified by a note I found about him when I searched Google. As a member of the National Consumers Federation he nominated his local village shop owner, in Bisley, for an award subsequently given by Dr. Kim Howells, the Consumer Affairs Minister for "outstanding customer service".
Roderick Wilkie, currently managing director of Cadogan Consultants, said of Brian, “His network of contacts was legendary and maintained by a tremendous appetite for travelling, meeting and corresponding with people the world over. I think he invented the concept of networking.” I would agree with that.
Brian Locke, who died peacefully on Friday 23 April 2004, a month before the planned celebrations for his 80th birthday, was married for thirty years to his second wife Marie Jennings MBE, a well-known author and presenter of a number of series on personal finance on national television. He is survived by Marie, five children and eight grandchildren.
Leslie John Cardew-Wood (1898-1990)
Leslie Cardew Wood, affectionately known as L J, had a resourceful career, in some ways reminiscent of that of Ian Fleming's back-room gadgeteer "Q" in the James Bond stories.
During the later stages of the Second World War he ran "dirty tricks" centres for the Special Operations Executive at Stevenage and Poona. Earlier, before the fall of France in 1940, he advised members of the Deuxième Bureau, where his descriptions of sabotage measures earned him the sobriquet "Captain Blood".
A large, jovial, somewhat pear-shaped figure, Cardew Wood relished playing with his "toys", which included anything from sten-guns to more powerful explosive devices. He would evaluate their effectiveness from reports of their use, and fearlessly participated in tests of lethal devices before they were employed in the field.
In civilian life between the wars, Cardew Wood earned a considerable reputation for inventiveness. He developed an asbestos fire-fighting suit, which - while heavy and ungainly by today's standards - was greatly admired at the time, and was adopted by the RAF and civil airlines.
The press was particularly delighted by his willingness to don the suit and demonstrate its efficacy in test blazes. Less spectacular, but of more permanent significance, was his part in the development of silicone rubber for aviation purposes.
A bank manager's son, Leslie John Cardew Wood was born on Aug 4, 1898, and educated at Dulwich and the City & Guilds Mechanical Engineering Department. In 1916 he volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps, and while learning to fly was involved in an incident worthy of P G Wodehouse.
Having crash-landed on an estate in Staffordshire owned by the 3rd Lord Hatherton, he was informed by his lordship that one of the farmhouses had been made available as a holiday home to a troupe of chorus girls. Cardew Wood eagerly accepted an invitation to join them.
Next day, Lord Hatherton loaded the fledgling pilot's Vickers Gunbus with strawberries as a present for the Mess. Inevitably this seigneurial hospitality led to further forced landings.
Cardew Wood himself was grounded for good soon after the incident, when it was discovered that he had a heart condition. But by dint of pestering a general to the point of being threatened with arrest, he remained in the RFC and was posted to Heliopolis in Egypt as a navigation instructor.
On demobilisation, by then a lieutenant, Cardew Wood completed his education with a degree in engineering at Imperial College, London, and published a paper on air navigation, which was acknowledged by his election in 1920 as an associate fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
The next year he went to India, where he was responsible for installing refrigeration plants. On his return home in the mid-1920s he joined Bells Asbestos & Engineering, which later became Bestobell. In 1938 Cardew Wood was recruited by Major Lawrence Grand, who had been asked by the then "C", head of the Secret Intelligence Service (Adml "Quex" Sinclair), to start a secret service section, known as "D", shortly to be part of the new SOE.
Before long, the former RFC lieutenant was a colonel with responibility for Experimental Station 6 (War Department) at Aston House, Stevenage, or Station XII, as it became known. Cardew Wood's contribution was particularly important to SOE because of the sabotage weapons and equipment that Station XII produced from designs developed by Station IX at Welwyn Garden City.
With an increasing requirement for "toys" in the Far East, he was posted to the Special Forces Development Centre, which was established at Poona in 1944. There his staff concentrated on the development of special stores and demolition equipment.
Although the jungle offered less scope for ingenuity than Europe, some unusual toys were produced at that time, aimed at attracting Japanese army souvenir hunters. One was a fake Chinese lantern - made of wood and plaster rather than the customary heavy stone - with its five compartments filled with explosive. There were also Balinese carvings, moulded in high explosive, and finished in wood, sandstone or porcelain as a disguise; as well as tins of soya sauce and kerosene with Japanese labels, which exploded when opened.
After the Second World War Cardew Wood returned to Bestobell, where he remained until 1966. In later years his immense energy and zest found another outlet as a busy writer on rural subjects under the pseudonym of Pennell.
He married, in 1922, Vera Marion Kells; they had two daughters. He died in 1990, aged 92.
Carl Marx was quiet, unassuming, gentle and a very effective Guildsman. He always had a smile on his lips and shared his delight in the world generously. He never seemed hurried or harassed. He was meticulous and methodical, working long hours to achieve his objectives. He was an enormously influential supporter of the City and Guilds College through his long service as a member of the Committee of the CGCA, the Wine Committee and as the organiser for many years of the Annual Dinner. He was a committed member of the Links Club attending many dinners up until his last Annual Dinner in 2008. He was a keen Mason and belonged to the Imperial College Lodge and three others, becoming Master of two.
In 1977-78 he was President of the Old Centralians, as the CGCA was known then. It was the first time the association had a President who was head of a modest-sized family engineering business. As he said in his dinner address, “one of those curious organisations ........ to which Ministers pay lip-service and then ignore when formulating policy and yet which have survived amongst the giants in unending variety.” Carl saw the importance to the nation of small enterprises and independent engineers. His chief guest that evening was from big engineering, Sir Monty Finniston, who had recently stepped down as Chairman of British Steel and had been invited by the Government in the previous year to report on the state of British engineering. In his speech Sir Monty railed against the failure of government, CBI and the TUC to understand the nature of engineering and manufacturing. His report, The Finneston Report, published in 1979, led to universities awarding engineering degrees (BEng), and the formation of the Engineering Council and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). Carl Marx, typically, had taken an opportunity of the dinner to put over his views.
Carl Theodore Marx was born in 1920 in Frankfurt, the son of Erna and Erich Marx. His father, alert to the threat that Hitler posed, sent him to boarding school in England in 1934; the family did not follow for another three years. He became fluent in several languages at Mill Hill School in northwest London. Called Theo by his family and his many friends, he was always known as Carl at College, at least in my hearing.
Internment during the war
In 1938 he won a place to study mechanical engineering at City and Guilds College. In his second year he was elected Secretary of the Guilds Union and in his third year, 1940, he was elected President against the previous President’s nominated candidate. However, his tenure as President of the Union was short lived. Under Section 18b of the Emergency Powers Act 1939 he was interred with many members of the German Jewish community at Camp Onchan on the Isle of Man. It is typical of Carl that he should start an “English University” to teach English to fellow internees. His son Geoffrey recounts that many years later he would meet strangers in the street and at airports who would stop him and, sometimes, still with a heavy continental accent, tell him how much they appreciated his teaching!
Years later, too, Imperial College offered him the degree that was snatched away from him, but in typical fashion he declined. As he was wont to say, he preferred the letters PM after his name: Plain Mister.
On his release from the Isle of Man he worked for Napiers, a West London company manufacturing aircraft engines but shortly after joined his father who had set up an engineering company contributing to the war effort. Together they developed a new form of cable connector and their company Erma Limited flourished until it was sold in 1985. During his engineering career he was an active member and treasurer of the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association and for many years was involved in committee work at the British Standards Institute.
He played an active role in organising events at the West London Synagogue (WLS) during the war and his gift of being able to connect people found expression through the junior membership group and its journal, Focus. It was through WLS, at a dance that he had organised, that he met Anne Marie Kohnstamm, whom he married in 1948. A marriage enjoyed for 61 years.
Helping Jewish Refugees
Carl was a longstanding chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), a British charity dedicated to providing social and welfare services, as well as financial assistance, to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. He completely restructured the organisation after taking up the role in 1976, making it more adept at serving the changing needs of the refugee community, and after retiring as chairman 18 years later continued to act as a trustee until 2008. Whilst chairman he set about improving the efficiency of the organisation, introducing a social services department that now offers everything from meals-on-wheels to financial support. He was instrumental in founding Balint House, a daycare centre for refugees. He also chaired the house committees for two of the retirement homes for which the AJR was then still responsible.
Carl was also a council member of the Wiener Library, the Holocaust memorial institution, which allowed him to help to focus international scholarly attention on the plight of Jewish refugees; he joined the library’s Appeal Committee in 1980 and the Executive Committee in 1988. He also helped to set up the Centre of German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex
Collector and collator
Carl was evidently an inveterate collector — everything from stamps, rare coins and atlases to bus tickets and Tube maps — and he catalogued everything. In their youth his son Geoffrey and daughters Caroline and Eleanor helped to remove stamps from envelopes and collate collections. Carl typed everything on a portable typewriter that travelled with him, later to be joined by a computer. Geoffrey commented that, “life was not in order unless it was typed out.”
Indeed some of his papers from his time at College have survived – meticulously filed. His address to the Fresher’s Dinner 7 November 1939 is revealing in that he introduced the many senior professors who attended the evening together with A M Holbein, administrators of the College, representatives of the other constituent college unions and last year’s Vice President “who has done a tremendous lot for our Union – so much in fact, that he is unfortunately no longer with us!” All this typed on a manual typewriter with hardly a correction or mistake.
This interest and ability to catalogue, coupled with his sociability and interest in people, found their ultimate expression in the compilation of the family tree. It spanned 600 years and included nearly 4,000 people, encompassed every continent and included detailed historical notes of each period, a history of the Jews in every location, plus individual snapshots of everyone, relating who they were, what they did and how they lived. The enterprise took Carl and Anne around the world and was completed before the internet made finding ones roots easier. Once finished, they organised a reunion in New York and Germany for more than 140 family members worldwide. An unassuming and remarkable man, who achieved so much; he brought families together who did not even know they were related; he contributed in depth to society and gave so generously of his time and experience.
He was intelligent, cultured, inquisitive, witty, hard working: a Guildsman who will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Anne, two daughters Eleanor and Caroline and son Geoffrey.
Theo Marx, President of the City and Guilds College Association, Chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees, 1976-1994, was born on March 10, 1920. He died on January 6, 2010, aged 89
Sir Anthony Gill (1930 - today)
Sir Anthony Gill, affectionately known as Tony, did not fully understand the dictionary meaning of 'iconoclast' until his mid 30's - but his behaviour was as one from an early age. His upbringing made him intolerant of injustice.
At the Colchester Boys School, where he was Senior Sixer in the Cubs; Troop Leader in the Scouts and House Captain, he once climbed from a classroom window and went to the Headmaster's study, to complain about what he thought be unjust behaviour by the class master.
He left school before taking any national examinations. After four weeks learning that mending radios, while a personal ambition, was not a long term career, he became an office boy at Davey Paxman, the largest local engineering firm in Colchester. As part of his tea making duties, he aired to his bosses the view that Paxman's practice, of only accepting indentured apprentices from fathers 'rich' enough to pay for this, was unjust and impractical - given the need for the engineering industry to attract more recruits.
After a few months, he became Paxman's first 'non-indentured' apprentice and went on to become Chairman of the Apprentices' Association. In those days, apprentices were allowed to study during some of their work days - and Tony attended the Local Technical College, for the National Certificate and Higher National Certificate qualifications, as they were then called.
After the second world war, a number of ex. army officers and university graduates came to Paxman for what was called a 'graduate apprenticeship' and the influence of these on Tony was significant. He stopped his Higher National course and studied, by correspondence courses and at the Local Technical College, for Matriculation - followed by Inter B.Sc. - in order to enter University. He gained a State Technical Scholarship to Imperial College, which he joined, in 1951, at the age of 21, having completed his apprenticeship at Paxman.
At the City and Guilds College - the engineering 'part' of Imperial - he soon found that the degree course, while demanding, lacked the practical experience which, as an ex. apprentice, he knew to be of great importance to the formulation of engineers. He successfully campaigned for the inclusion of appropriate programmes in the C & G degree course and, by so doing, attracted attention from other students. This lead to his election as Vice President of the C & G Students Union and, when the President Elect failed his examinations - and did not return to the College - he was elected President of the Union in 1953 - 54.
Without knowing that this was going to happen, Tony had married in the 1953 vacation - so the 1953 - 54 year was a busy year for him. Fortunately, a balance between hard work and enjoyment earned him a First Class degree - though he could do little with that until after National Service, which took the two subsequent years 1954 to 1956. While these years could have been wasted, Tony was successful at the WOSB and gained a commission, following which he completed two periods in REME Command Workshops, which provided invaluable management experience.
In 1956, Tony was recruited by the Brush Group and joined a small subsidiary of theirs called Bryce Berger, at Staines, as p.a. to the Managing Director. This proved to be a very significant personal association - as Mr Bruno Giordan, the Managing Director, was himself an active 'change agent', seeking support from active and committed 'like minds'. Tony worked for Mr Giordan, to introduce changes to the Bryce practices and performance and was promoted to a management position. When the owners of the Company were taken over by Hawker Sidderley, 'rationalisation' of the new organisation's small engine production required Bryce to vacate their Staines factory and be moved to a another location - at Hucclecote, in Gloucester. Mr Giordan appointed Tony to ‘project lead’ the transfer to Hucclecote and that transfer was completed within both the planned time scale and the agreed ‘budget’.
Perhaps as a ‘reward’, Tony was appointed Executive Director - and remained in this role when the Lucas Group purchased the company from Hawker Sidderley in 1960. His new Lucas ‘bosses’ regarded him as too young, at 30, to know about ‘management’ - and they ‘sent’ him to the Henley Management School, for training and development.
After this course, he returned to Bryce to find it making a loss - so concentrated on the actions necessary to bring it back to profit. These were successful and, after taking over executive control of Bryce when Mr. Giordan retired, he was transferred to CAV, in 1972, to be General Manager of their fuel injection division. In this role, he was active - and successful - in overcoming unreasonable union influence in the affairs of the organisation and bringing CAV to a profitable state.
He became General Manager of CAV when Godrey Messervy was appointed Lucas Group M D - and remained in this role, overseeing a major expansion of the fuel injection business, until he was appointed a Joint Group Managing of Lucas Industries in 1980. He became the Group Managing Director in 1984 and Deputy Chairman in 1986.
His career with Lucas culminated with his appointment as Chairman and Chief Executive in 1987, until his retirement in late 1994, when he was succeeded by two people - George Simpson, as Chief Executive and Sir Brian Pearce as Chairman.
During his career with Lucas Tony accumulated a shareholding in Lucas, whenever the Lucas story was not supported by market interest and/or he had cash to invest. He retired owning one million Lucas shares - and was disappointed that his successors did not exploit the Lucas assets, which had grown over more than 100 years. Instead, they first ‘merged’ Lucas with Varity and then sold the joint company to TRW. He was then obliged to sell his shares at much less than he believed them to be worth. ( George Simpson - now Lord Simpson - went on, as Chief Executive, to ‘destroy’ the General Electric Company. )
Tony had always been interested in - and committed to - education and training, so it was not surprising to that this was reflected in his other activities. He was Chairman of the Teaching Company Scheme from 1991 to 1996 and a member of the National Training Task Force from1991 to 1993. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering ( now the Royal Academy of Engineering ) in 1983 and has always actively supported the development of this organisation and the engineering profession in general.
He was a member of the Advisory Council on Science and Technology, from 1985 to 1991, during which he chaired their studies on education and training, as well as another on optoelectronics. He was also a member of the D T I’s Technology Requirements Board from 1986 to 1988. He was President of the Institution of Production Engineers in 1986/7 and was made an honorary fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers ( now the Institution of Engineering and Technology ) , when the two Institutions merged.
He was also a member of the Engineering Council from 1988 and became Deputy Chairman from 1998 to 1999, while Sir John Fairclough was, as Chairman, attempting to reorganise the professional institutions. He acted as Chairman of the Engineering Occupations Standards Group, from 1995 to 1997.
His reputation, for successful restructuring, took him to the Institution of Management, where he became Chairman of Council in 1996. After the extensive reorganisation of the I O M, he became its first president in1998 and continued to contribute to the development of the Institute until it became the Chartered Management Institute.
His activities were recognised by universities, which elected him to honorary fellowships or doctorates. The first was the Birmingham Polytechnic ( now the Birmingham City University ), followed by honorary doctorates at Warwick, Birmingham, Coventry, Southampton, Sheffield Hallam and Cranfield Universities. He became Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council at Cranfield in 1991 and continued in this role, during significant development of the organisation, until his retirement in 2001. During his time at Lucas, Tony Gill served as a non-executive director of The Post Office, where he was Chairman of their Remuneration Committee until he resigned, when the then Secretary of State at the D.T.I. refused to approve substantial salary increases for three senior Post Office executive directors. (Two of these subsequently left for much better paid jobs and The Post Office had to recruit replacements at higher salaries than those which had been proposed by Tony !) He was also a non-executive director of National Power and of Tarmac. He was created a knight bachelor in 1991.
After retirement from Lucas in 1994, he became Chairman of the Docklands Light Railway for five years until 1999, during which the running of that railway was successfully franchised to Serco, saving the Government a substantial sum.
Tony was always a keen sailor - although for many years this interest was subordinated to his other duties. So, after retirement, he moved, with his wife, Phyl, from homes in Warwickshire and London, to Hythe Marina on the South Coast, where, after owning a sailing boat for some years, they finally changed to motor boating, which they have much enjoyed for many years. During the Lucas years Tony had visited many countries around the World but did so for business reasons and without his wife. After retirement, he planned several pleasure visits to these - and other - Countries with his wife, mostly on small cruise ships of the Seabourn line.
After retirement to Hythe Marina, Tony became Chairman of the Hythe Marina Association - the residents’ association there. It was in this capacity that he, with the help of other Marina residents, joined with Marina Developments Limited in objecting to the planned building, by Associated British Ports, of a new container terminal on land adjacent to the Marina. The subsequent Planning Inquiry lasted well over a year and represented a major commitment for Tony and his Marina colleagues. Fortunately, the Inspector’s report, which recommended a rejection of the plan, was accepted by Ministers and the terminal - which would have operated 24 hours a day for seven days a week - has not been constructed - and the tranquil atmosphere at Hythe Marina continues.
Tony and Phyl have three children - two daughters and a son - each of whom have married and have added a total of six grandchildren to the family.
Professor Sir Hugh Ford (1913-2010)
Hugh Ford, affectionately known as TT, was born in 1913, the son of a freelance inventor, and was educated at Northampton School. At the age of eighteen he began an apprenticeship in the locomotive works of the Great Western Railway. In 1934 he was awarded a Whitworth Scholarship which enabled him to attend the City and Guilds College, graduating with a first class honours and gaining the Bramwell Medal for achieving first place in the mechanical engineering list. He later gained a PhD from City and Guilds College for his work on heat transfer and fluid flow problems.
During the Second World War Sir Hugh joined Imperial Chemical Industries Alkali Division in Cheshire as a Research Engineer. He worked on commercial high pressure polyethylene plant and the design of a pilot plant for the manufacture of chlorinated polyethylenes. Three years later he became Chief Technical Officer to the British Iron and Steel Federation and progressed to the position of Head of the Mechanical Working Division of the British Iron and Steel Research Association. His research in to the operation and characteristics of cold strip mills gained him the IMechE’s Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal in 1948. His work eventually led to the development of automatic gauge control which became popular worldwide. By 1947 he had gained experience in establishing new laboratories, at Sketty Hall and the Hoyle Street, Sheffield laboratories of BSRIA.
A brief period as Technical Director of Paterson Engineering, waterworks engineers, was followed by a Readership in Applied Mechanics at Imperial College (previously City and Guilds College). A year later he received the DSc(Eng) of the University of London. He established a consulting practice, Sir Hugh Ford and Associates Ltd, working as Chairman to link the fields of academia and industry, and joined several companies as director.
In 1951 he became Professor of Applied Mechanics and oversaw the rebuilding and re-equipment of the Mechanical Engineering Department. During this period he worked on applied mechanics research and teaching, plasticity theory and metal working processes. He worked across numerous fields including polymer engineering, biomechanics, high pressure technology, fatigue and fracture mechanics. He was invited to join the Research Grants Committee of DSIR which later became the Science Research Council. In 1968 he became the first Chairman of the Council’s Engineering Board, promoting the Total Technology concept, a scheme for postgraduate training linked to management as well as technical concerns. In 1966 he became Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Head of Department at Imperial College. In 1978 he was made Pro-Rector and retired in 1980.
Sir Hugh Ford’s professional achievements are numerous. He has been President of the Institutes of Metals and Sheet Metal Engineering and in 1983 was awarded the James Alfred Ewing Medal of the Institution of Civil Engineers for his contribution to engineering research. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1967. He is a founder member of the Fellowship of Engineering and was a vice-President from 1981-84. In academia he has received honorary doctorates from Salford, Queen’s (Belfast), Aston, Bath and Sheffield universities and is a Fellow of Imperial College. He was knighted in 1975.
He joined the IMechE council in 1962, serving until 1982, and became involved in the Applied Mechanics Group, the Engineering Policy Review Committee, the Council Awards Committee and the Technical Board. He worked on the Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science and founded the Materials Forum, chairing from 1979 to 1984. In 1984 he became an Honorary Fellow of the IMechE. The Hugh Ford Management lectures are held annually by the IMEchE’s Management Group In 2008 Sir Hugh celebrates his 95th birthday and is an active member of the engineering profession.
A Life Member of CGCA, Sir Hugh served as President of the Old Centralians (later City & Guilds College Association) in 1973-74. That he retained a keen interest in CGCA well into his nineties may be judged by his attendance at CGCA's AGM in 2009 - just over a year ago.
Professor Sir Hugh Ford died on the evening of Friday, 28th May 2010.