A Lab of Honour

Last Friday, my first day in post here at the University of Sussex, there was a small ceremony to mark the formal opening of a new undergraduate teaching laboratory. Appropriately, it was named after Professor Ken Smith who died last year. Professor Smith was an outstanding experimental physicist who joined the University of Sussex way back in 1960 before the campus had even been built. Over the next three decades, as well as developing a new research activity in which the Department is now world-leading, he made substantial contributions to laboratory teaching in particular. He also played his part in the administration of the Department, serving as the first Chairman of Physics, and then as Dean of the School of Mathematical and Physics Sciences (MAPS) and later as Laboratory Director. Prof. Smith retired in 1988, which was the year I finished my DPhil from the (then) School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences.


Anyway, it was a pleasant occasion at which Prof. Philip Harris (to the left of the picture), Head of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, spoke of Professor Ken Smith’s many achievements, Ken’s widow Verena unveiled the commemorative plaque, and we all gathered for tea and cakes in the foyer so as not to disturb further the students still hard at work at their experiments…


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