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Retirement of Dr David Scott

last modified Nov 09, 2016 03:14 PM
Retirement of Dr David Scott

David Scott and John Dennis

Dr David Scott retired from this department at the end of September 2016 and a gathering was held on 28 October at the New Building to mark the event.

Friends joined him in a farewell drink and Head of Department, Prof John Dennis, said a few words.

David joined the department in 1983. His background was in mathematics and small particle physics, so he arrived with little knowledge of Chemical Engineering. He learned quickly, though, soon becoming a pillar of the Department and giving excellent service.

David could lecture on almost any aspect of chemical engineering and always produced exemplary examination questions and solutions. Generally even the first drafts of his exam questions were error-free.

He had a profound influence on the development of the undergraduate courses. He was Director of Teaching for a number of years and he won a Pilkington Prize for Teaching in 2011. He was also Senior Tutor of Fitzwilliam.

A valuable attribute was to give good simple explanations of apparently complex matters. His ability to understand the core of a complicated problem and extract fundamental governing equations – often with analytical solutions – was a key skill in the John Davidson mould.

In research David collaborated successfully with Nigel Kenney, Nigel Seaton and Bill Paterson on pressure swing adsorption, with Bill Paterson and Rex Thorpe on moving beds, with Rex Thorpe on bubble dynamics in fermenters, with Ian Wilson on oscillatory flows for cleaning, and with John Davidson on solidification of metals in castings and on flow of granular materials in rotary kilns.

Prof Davidson noted, "Very recently David solved a nasty looking differential equation evolved by Ian Wilson and me.  David’s analytical result showed, most helpfully, that the numerical solution, which Ian and I had used, gives silly answers; I have always been suspicious of numerical integrations."

Prof John Dennis presented him with a card and said, "We wish him well. Hopefully he will stay involved through supervising and will be available for consultations. It is hard to replace anyone of this stature."

David was also given a contribution towards a pair of binoculars for bird watching.

Later that evening, there was a dinner at Fitzwilliam College.