Reporter 397, 17 February 1997


Professor Philip L Marsden died on January 11 1997 aged 72

Philip Marsden joined the staff of the Physics Department at Leeds in 1948 after graduating from Birmingham. He was promoted swiftly and in 1968 was awarded a personal chair which he held until his retirement in 1989. He had a tremendous enthusiasm for Physics and this was matched by impressive experimental and organisational skills. These allowed him to build complex equipment for work in cosmic ray physics, early European scientific satellites, scientific ballooning and the development of radiation detectors for astronomy. His skills were widely known and they lead him to playing a major role in the international team which developed an astronomical infra red satellite in the early 1980's. His ability to raise funds, recruit teams and start working in an empty laboratory was awesome. He revelled in a " hands-on " approach to his work to which he applied prodigious effort. Yet in addition to all these activities, he had the time and energy to be twice chairman of the Department and play active roles on many University and research council committees. He took a delight in teaching and fostered the very successful undergraduate course in astrophysics. On retirement, some of his considerable energies were devoted to being Honorary Secretary to the Edward Boyle Memorial Trust and he continued to take an interest in the work of the Department. He will long be remembered with warmth by his colleagues.

(WK Griffiths)

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