Sir Joseph Pope

Sir Joseph Pope, Engineering pioneer

May 10th, 2013

Sir Joseph Pope, one of the pioneers of Engineering at The University of Nottingham, has died aged 98.

Sir Joseph will be remembered by family and friends as a gifted engineer, for his commitment to technical education for young people and for his integrity and generosity. He died peacefully on 24 March aged 98 at The Firs nursing home in Nottingham, three years after the death of his wife Lady Evelyn, to whom he had been married for 70 years.

Professor Pope was born at Wicken in Cambridgeshire. He was Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Nottingham from 1949 to 1960 and laid the foundations for the success of the Faculty, which today is known for its world-class research and inspirational teaching. He believed that all engineering students should be brought together and taught the fundamental principles, which applied to all branches of engineering. He also believed that the credibility of academic engineers hinged on their aparticipation in the real industrial world.

He established night classes and summer schools for local engineers to update their knowledge of relevant engineering processes. Under Sir Joseph new areas of engineering opened up, including metallurgy, chemical engineering and the study of aeronautics and atomic energy. By the time he left in 1960 the Faculty had been transformed and he had overseen a major building expansion programme including T1, which was named The Pope Building in 1991 in recognition of his contribution to the University.

Sir Joseph also founded TecQuipment at Long Eaton in 1958. Since that time the company has gone from strength to strength, including spawning TQ Ltd, and these companies continue to deliver educational products, projects and training around the world, supporting the engineers of the future.

He went on to become Vice Chancellor of Aston University from 1969-79 and later a director of a number of companies. He was general treasurer of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 1975 to 1982, a former President of the Nottingham Society of Engineers and was knighted in 1980 for his contribution to education, engineering technology and industry.

Sir Joseph was made an Honorary Graduate of The University of Nottingham in 1987. He also received honorary degrees from the universities of Birmingham, Heriot-Watt, Aston, Queen’s Belfast and Salford.

A service of thanksgiving was held on 17 April at St Andrew’s with Castlegate, Nottingham. Donations can be sent to Macmillan Cancer Support, Unit 11, Lenton Business Centre, Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 2BY.

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