Professor J F (Jack) Richardson OBE FIChemE FREng, 1920 - 2011
Professor J F (Jack) Richardson who died on January 4 2011 aged 90 was a pioneer in the development of Chemical Engineering in Britain.
He led Chemical Engineering at Swansea University from 1960 to 1987 establishing a vibrant and internationally recognised Centre of Excellence that still benefits from his legacy today. Long after he retired he continued to inspire colleagues and students with his enthusiasm, not just for process engineering, but also for life.
Jack’s first connections with Swansea were in the Second World War when came down to Swansea from London to study fire and explosions of oil. After working at Imperial College, Jack came to Swansea University in 1957 to take up a Chair in Chemical Engineering. He was an excellent teacher, effortlessly able to explain the most difficult concepts to his audience. He could give a key note lecture at a conference and keep an audience of distinguished professors and industrialists mesmerised with his discussion, without the aid of notes, just his charismatic smile.
As well as an international reputation in chemical engineering research and in the chemical engineering profession, perhaps his most enduring achievement was being the co-author and editor of the comprehensive textbook “Chemical Engineering”. This standard textbook is used for teaching chemical engineers world-wide and for over 50 years has been translated into many languages and is still the most comprehensive work of its kind.
Many students and visiting academics would knock on his office door to meet Jack, the author of textbooks that had taught them the intricacies of chemical engineering.
After retirement, he was an active emeritus professor at Swansea University who was still involved in teaching and research into his eighties. Since his death, Engineering staff at Swansea have been contacted by numerous UK and international universities expressing their condolences and admiration for Jack.
Professor Javier Bonet, Head of College of Engineering, Swansea University
An obituary to Professor Richardson appeared in the Daily Telegraph