Obituary – Steve Winterbottom CEng CSci FIMMM

Fellows' Lounge
1 Feb 2016

Stephen Winterbottom CEng CSci FIMMM 1951–2015

The death of Stephen Winterbottom, on 9 December, 2015, is reported with great regret. Stephen, or Steve as he preferred to be known by his friends and colleagues, had been in the rubber industry since 1968. His first position was as a Senior Assistant Chemist at Adhesive Tapes Ltd (Sellotape), where he worked on new product development. In 1980, he moved to St Albans Rubber, which later became E & R Polymers, where he remained as Technical Manager for the next 23 years, initially at its Hertfordshire site and later at its plant in County Durham. During this time he developed formulations for sponge and solid mouldings, and embraced broader responsibilities for quality systems and health and safety. The final part of his career was spent with James Walker & Co. Ltd at its plant in Cockermouth, Cumbria, as a Senior Development Technologist. Here, Steve adapted his technical skills to the world of high performance elastomer sealing products, and designed many of the company’s elastomer materials. 

His professional education started in 1968, studying for an LIRI at the National College of Rubber Technology in north London, where he returned in 1983 to obtain his Grad PRI. While the importance of academic qualifications is recognised, the bulk of his extensive knowledge was gained through practical experience and his treasured collection of rubber technology books. A member of the Institution of Rubber Engineers (IRI) and subsequently IOM3, he was a Fellow, a Chartered Scientist and Chartered Engineer.

Steve was an excellent rubber technologist and a gifted compounder. He loved his work, and was the co-author of numerous technical papers. An enthusiastic mentor, he helped many aspiring technologists to improve their technical skills during his long career. In his spare time, Steve was involved with charity work, playing and umpiring cricket, playing bowls and gardening. Widely known in the rubber industry, he was one of the last of his generation of technologists who had started their careers in the 1960s, and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Steve leaves behind his wife, Michelle, and his children, Angie and Laurence. Our thoughts are with them and his wider family at this difficult time.

Peter Warren CEng CSci FIMMM