Obituary - Mark Thomson-Tur CEng MIMMM

23 Jul 2018

1958 –2018

Mark Tur was an expert in the implementation of antimicrobial copper technology and a fervent supporter of education and professional development initiatives.

Mark joined Copper Development Association (CDA) in 2007 as a Technical Consultant, with 20 years’ experience in the non-ferrous metals industry. He quickly adapted to his new role of providing impartial, non-commercial information on copper and copper alloys, drawing on his wealth of commercial experience.

He gained his HND in metallurgy at North East Wales Institute, Clwyd. His first role was as metallurgist at Stone Manganese Marine, a heavy foundry specialising in marine propellers, and he left industry as Managing Director of metal tube producer, Cole and Swallow Materials. Mark understood the importance of professional training and development throughout his career, gaining Chartered Engineer status in 1980, an MBA from Oxford Brookes University in 1993 and Chartered Marketer status a year later.

Mark’s main role at CDA was translating the scientific and economic evidence base for antimicrobial copper into practical applications, raising awareness of healthcare specifiers and supporting the supply chain to develop a range of products. In 2007 he worked with UK manufacturers and hospital staff to get prototype copper and copper alloy touch surface products installed at Selly Oak Hospital for a ground-breaking clinical trial. Over the following 7 years, he presented on copper technology at major national and international infection control conferences, sharing a platform with leading laboratory and clinical researchers and providing the vital link between ‘this is why’ and ‘this is how’.

Mark became an expert in the implementation of antimicrobial copper technology and provided technical support to colleagues throughout the Global Copper Alliance, the global network of industry associations, and to companies around the world entering this new market. The President of the International Copper Association, Tony Lea acknowledged Mark as a key international contributor to the work of the Copper Alliance.

Mark chaired the BSI CH/216 panel for the development of a new test standard on antimicrobial materials, easily gaining the respect from the panel of microbiologists and making significant progress towards a draft standard.

During his 11 years with CDA, he was a fervent supporter of education and professional development initiatives, eager to share his extensive experience with the next generation. He developed and delivered many training presentations, workshops and lectures on copper alloys for antimicrobial and also for marine applications. He was an active contributor to the joint Institute of Corrosion and MCF New Entries to Corrosion Engineering initiative. He was an invited speaker at many professional associations, such as the Guild of Architectural ironmongers, The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, Architects for Health and The International Institute of Marine Surveyors. Mark was a member of IOM3 and presented at various Institute events including Materials for a Safer World, Materials Innovation for Infection Prevention and Design Bugs Out.

Mark connected well with his audiences as he understood both their technical and commercial requirements. He was generous with his time and knowledge, had a great sense of humour and was always ready to help. He was a highly respected expert within the Global Copper Alliance network and among the many professionals he advised on properties, applications and specifications of copper and copper alloys.

In his spare time, he enjoyed travel, outdoor pursuits and cooking. He loved the sea, having grown up on the Isle of Wight. Mark is survived by his wife, Fiona, and brother, Tim.

Angela Vessey
Director, Copper Development Association