SOUE News Issue 2


Those who were undergraduates in the 50s, 60s and 70s may remember being taught surveying by Alwyn Robbins, who died in January 2002, aged 82. He had read mathematics at Hertford, and returned to Oxford after war service in 1946. When that colourful character Brigadier Bomford retired, Robbins succeeded him as Reader in Surveying. His research interests were in geodesy, the science of defining the size and shape of the Earth, and hence the framework into which all larger-scale surveys can be fitted, and a very necessary basis for the satellite navigation systems which have evolved subsequently. He taught surveying in the Engineering Department for many years, both in lectures and on the practical courses in the Parks or on Cumnor Hill, which must be among the most frequently surveyed parts of the United Kingdom.

Sergio Giudici was an Australian Rhodes Scholar at Oriel from 1960 to 1963. He did a D.Phil in the Engineering Department under Dr Denis Campbell, on the stability of framed structures. He is remembered by at least one staff member of that time for a particularly lucid seminar he gave on his work. He died in April 2002 after a long career as a civil engineer with the Tasmanian hydro-electric authority. The following obituary was drawn to our attention by Philip Jenkinson (Keble 1965), and is reproduced with the permission of Hydro Tasmania.

The passing of Dr Sergio Giudici on Saturday 27 April 2002 has seen Hydro Tasmania lose a good friend and colleague. Dr. Giudici has left behind an enormous legacy - in engineering innovation and friendship.

Esteemed internationally for his engineering expertise, Dr. Giudici was responsible for the design of the spectacular Gordon Dam and was instrumental in developing the modern method for designing and constructing concrete-faced rock-fill dams now common in dam development world-wide.

Having emigrated from Italy in 1938, he was the first migrant to be chosen as a Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar. Dr. Giudici began his long and distinguished career with Hydro Tasmania in 1963 at the age of 25 as an engineer in the Dams Department after achieving his Doctorate from Oxford University for a thesis on the buckling strength of framed structures.

In 1977 he was promoted to head of the Structures Department where he directed and helped design the Pieman Road bridges, Murchison and Mackintosh Highway bridges and the Bastyan and Reece power stations.

In 1983 Dr. Giudici was appointed Chief Engineer Design Group One where he managed the hydraulic, geomechanical, mechanical and other technical work on the King and Anthony power schemes.

In 1988 he was appointed Manager of the Civil Investigation and Design Group, managing the specialist departments responsible for design, feasibility studies and maintenance of dams, tunnels, structures, gates, hydraulics, roads and future hydro-electric projects.

However, Dr. Giudici saw the work he did as the founding General Manager of the Consulting Division as his "crowning glory". In that role he was much sought after internationally for his expertise and also played a strong mentoring role for young professional engineers in Hydro Tasmania.

After nearly 37 years of service, Dr. Giudici retired from Hydro Tasmania in July 2000.

Our condolences go out to his wife Ros and their family for their very great loss. He will be sadly missed by his friends, colleagues and the engineering community.

Professor John R. Forrest, who came from Cambridge to be a research student in the 60s (D.Phil 1967), and also gave the Lubbock Lecture in 1997, was awarded the C.B.E. in the 2002 Birthday Honours for services to the radio and communication industry. He is currently a member of the Department's External Advisory Board.

Sir William Proby, who read Engineering and Economics at Lincoln 1968-71, has been appointed Chairman of the National Trust.

Peter Lammer, St. John's, who was a research student in the 80s, is a co-founder of the software company Sophos, which won the Company of the Year Award in the 2001 Real Business/CBI Growing Business Award competition.

Liz Moon, née Montague-Jones, St. Hugh's 1960-3, changed from Civil Engineering to Art at some point in her career, and was the Artist in Residence at St. Hugh's for Michaelmas Term 2002.

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