Professor Albert Davies CEng EurIng FSAIMM FRSA FIMMM (Obit)
Professor Albert Davies was a Past President of the former Institution of Mining Engineers (IMinE). He died on 13 July 2010. His funeral had a full congregation of family, friends and ex colleagues to express their affection and respect for Albert and his devoted wife Margaret.
Education and career
A full account of Albert’s life and professional career would (and has) filled several pages. Albert was born and raised in Pen-y-Groes, Wales, educated at Amman Valley Grammar School and (in a forerunner of the National Coal Board scholarship scheme offered by Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries Ltd in 1945) at University of Wales Cardiff, graduating with a First in 1948.
He subsequently qualified as a colliery manager, and, following several years of pioneering mining projects in Africa (on which he could wax lyrical when in the mood), he returned in 1957 to West Wales to work as Colliery Manager at Abercrave, East Pit, Ammanford and Pentreclwydau collieries.
In 1961, Albert was appointed HM Inspector of Mines and Quarries in the Lancashire district, and was later promoted to District and Senior District inspector grades in the East Midlands and South Wales. He retired in 1989 as HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines and my ‘next door’ colleague and friend.
Retirement for Albert turned out to be a busy period and he was professionally active to the very end. He would not have wanted it any other way. He was appointed Honorary Professor by the University of Wales, College of Cardiff, at its School of Engineering for five years from October 1991.
He undertook international consultancy for several major companies in addition to more domestic concerns. He was appointed a member of the Judicial Commission of Enquiry into Safety and Health in the Mining Industry of the Republic of South Africa and Editor-in-chief of the final report leading to the South African Mines Health and Safety Act 1996.
Albert’s association with the IMinE began in 1948 as a student member, which we were all encouraged to do, and ended as National President in 1990-91. Along the way he was President of the South Western local society in 1980-81 and became a Fellow of the Institute of Quarrying. His published technical papers were many, invariably topical and excellent contributions to our mining industry.
Albert will be remembered with a great deal of affection and respect. He brought a wide practical experience to bear upon the professional life he cared for so deeply. This was enriched by personal qualities that influenced many to emulate his approach. He is survived by his widow, who supported him so ably throughout a long and busy life, his son Alun, daughter Menna, and their children.