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Obituary: Norman Brook

Dr Norman Brook, BSc (Eng), PhD, CEng, FIMEMME, MIMinE

Members will be very sorry to learn of the death of Dr Norman Brook on 29 January 2003.

Born in 1931, Dr Norman Brook attended Carlton High School for Boys in Bradford, where he was awarded the Samuel Fenton Stell Memorial Prize. He entered University College, Southampton in 1948 as a College Scholar, to read for a London External BSc (Engineering) degree. Having shared the John Eustice Prize for the best engineering student of the year in 1950, he graduated with First Class Honours in the following year. Following graduation, Dr Brook completed a two-year graduate apprenticeship with Mather and Platt in Manchester, before returning to Yorkshire in 1954 on his appointment as Scientific Officer with the Woollen Industries Research Association in Leeds. Prompted by his part-time teaching experience at Leeds Technical College during this period, he successfully applied for a Research Assistantship in the then Department of Mining in 1954. Appointed to a Lectureship in Colliery Engineering in 1956, Dr Brook was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1972.

Dr Norman Brook was a mainstay of all aspects of the Departments activities for forty years. He lectured on a wide range of topics, including mine transport, materials handling, rock physics and rock mechanics, petroleum engineering drilling and exploration drilling, and was highly regarded for his ability to expound complex material clearly and lucidly. His book Mechanics of bulk materials handling, published in 1971, rapidly established itself as a standard teaching text. Awarded in 1959, Dr Brooks PhD on Flow Measurement of solid-liquid mixtures in pipelines marked the start of a successful research career in the application of engineering methods to problems associated with mining. He contributed to fundamental advances in a number of areas, including fluid transport, drilling, tunnel support and the measurement and interpretation of rock properties. Dr Brooks work on the measurement of rock properties gained him an international reputation, the point-load test he devised being recognised by the International Society for Rock Mechanics. He was much in demand as a consultant in this area of his work. The author of a range of articles, Dr Brook was also a member of the Editorial Board of Mining Science and Technology.

Dr Norman Brook also contributed in a very substantial way to the efficient administration of the Department. He took charge for very many years of the examination arrangements in Mining and performed a similar function in regard to timetabling. In his later years, he was responsible for the overall administration of the schemes of study in Mining Engineering, overseeing the introduction of modular programmes and the reorganisation of degree schemes to accommodate the merger with the mining department at Newcastle. To all these tasks he brought patience, understanding and a meticulously organised approach.

Dr Brook retired from the University in 1994.

Dr Brooks funeral has taken place. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, a son, Allen, and a daughter, Wendy.

Published: 10 February 2003