Professor Colin Bodsworth CEng FIMMM (Obit)

Fellows' Lounge
24 Sep 2010

Professor Colin Bodsworth CEng FIMMM was an active member of IOM3 and its forerunners for over 65 years. For fours years he gained practical experience of metallurgy at United Steel Companies, interrupted by war service, before his formal education at Sheffield University, where he won the Mappin Medal. His first academic appointment was a lectureship at Liverpool University, which was followed by a senior research post at Richard Thomas and Baldwins’ laboratories.


Appointment at Brunel University

Colin’s appointment in 1966 as Head of the Department of Metallurgy at the newly established Brunel University allowed him to exploit his familiarity with both the academic and industrial worlds to equip students for careers in industry. His administrative responsibilities extended beyond the Department and he became Dean of Technology and then Vice-Principal. He remained active in the research of iron and steel making and took on a full teaching load.


Expertise outside of his job

Colin’s wise counsel was in constant demand for external professional activities. He served on influential committees of the Iron and Steel Institute and The Metals Society (both predecessors of IOM3). The National Physical Laboratory co-opted him to organise an international conference on metallurgical thermodynamics at the University. He was external examiner to the undergraduate materials course at University College, Cardiff, and to numerous PhD candidates elsewhere.

He authored such well-respected books as The Physical Chemistry of Iron and Steel Manufacture and The Extraction and Refining of Metals, which are object lessons in applying scientific principals to develop and optimise industrial operations.

Colin was a loyal mentor and friend. He is renowned internationally for his contributions to metallurgy but his preferred memorial would be the fine careers of graduates whose education he planned and directed.

A man of integrity, he was regarded with affection by staff and students and displayed considerable courtesy for both. He led by example, setting high standards as a scientist and teacher. His criticism could be devastating but was always kindly offered and wonderfully helpful, tempered by sound Yorkshire common sense. Colin was modest and radiated quiet competence in everything he did. He died on 22 July 2010 after a short illness and we deeply regret our loss.