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Obituary: Peter M Davey

We are very sorry to have to let colleagues know that Mr Peter Davey, former Chief Instructor in the Department of Mining and Mineral Engineering, died on 21 October 2008.

Peter Davey attended Worthing Boys High School between 1944 and 1949 before entering the Army Apprentices College in Harrogate, where he specialised in surveying and cartography. He went on to serve as a field surveyor with Royal Engineer Survey Units in Egypt, Cyprus, Malta, Iraq and Germany from 1952 to 1956, and then as a Map Officer, Northern Army Group. He was appointed Demonstrator/Draughtsman in the then Department of Mining in January 1959, being promoted to Laboratory Instructor in 1969 and to Chief Instructor in 1974.

Peter Daveys contributions to the teaching, research and administrative aspects of the Department were profound and sustained. He was the driving force in the transformation of the teaching of surveying in the Department, including the introduction of a major computing element. He established himself as the Departments indispensable computing expert, taking responsibility for the development and management of a major new system. He developed the application software, wrote the manuals and advised research students, undergraduates and other staff about the system. He was also responsible for successfully computerising the Departments financial processes.

Although competing demands on his time were to restrict his opportunities for direct involvement in research in later years, Peter Davey worked closely with Professor Peter Young at an earlier stage of his career to reintroduce research into vibrations caused by open-cast mining. This involved extensive trials of both field equipment and techniques in data capture and processing. He jointly authored a number of papers relating to the blast effects of this form of mining. Peters professional stock stood very high. His work was much respected by the Opencast Executive of the National Coal Board and his services as a consultant were often called on by companies both large and small for location and orientation surveys. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he served as the Chairman of the Leeds branch of the Society of Surveying Technicians, and as Yorkshire Regional Chairman and member of the Societys National Council.

Having completed virtually forty years service with the University, Peter Davey retired in September 1998.

The funeral service is being held at 12.00 noon today (29 October) in St Aidans Church, Roundhay Road. In Peters memory, the flag on the Parkinson Building is being flown at half-mast.

Published: 29 October 2008