Reporter 444, 6 December 1999


Professor Boris Cole

Professor Boris Cole died on September 3 1999

Boris Cole devoted much of his professional career to the University of Leeds and in particular to the development of mechanical engineering.

He came to Leeds in December 1962, shortly after the department had moved to new premises on Woodhouse Lane. The move represented the implementation of plans within the University to increase the student intake to each of the three main departments of engineering to about 100 each year and Boris experienced all the excitements and frustrations of such major expansion.

Throughout this time he was particularly concerned to promote industrial links to develop a department of ‘direct industrial usefulness’. He published some 90 papers, mainly in the fields of thermo-fluids, applied mechanics and engineering education. In the 1980s the department became

Leeds’ first to break the £1m level of research income from external sources.

Boris served on several major University committees, including general purposes, planning, house and estates and maintenance and services. A flavour of his approach was impishly portrayed when he quoted the Oxford English Dictionary definition of an engineer in an inaugural lecture entitled Mechanical Engineering 1975 which he presented on November 28 1966. "‘One who contrives, designs and invents. An inventor. A plotter.’ I like the last part best."

Outside the University Boris was a very private person. He enjoyed music, particularly Bach, old maps and industrial archaeology. He retired from the University in December 1987. He is survived by his wife Sibylle, his daughter Esther and twin sons, Joseph and Max. More

Professor Duncan Dowson

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