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derek pearson

Derek Pearson, CEng MICE MCIHT MIAT

As many colleagues will be aware, Mr Derek Pearson, Visiting Lecturer in the Institute for Transport Studies, died on 5 July 2012.

A Chartered Engineer, Derek Pearson was an expert in the maintenance and management of highways, with over thirty-five years’ experience in this field. He held appointments with a number of large Local Authorities and County Councils, and served as Chief Civil Engineer for Sheffield City Council from 1986 to 1992. Later, he set up his own engineering consultancy specialising in pavement design and highway maintenance both in the UK and overseas.

Derek became a Visiting Lecturer in the University in 1995, initially in the School of Civil Engineering and latterly in the Institute for Transport Studies (where a number of his students continued to come from Civil Engineering). He drew on his extensive experience to teach and examine an MSc module on Deterioration and Maintenance of Pavements, and also supervised several dissertations each year.  A very enthusiastic and inspirational engineer, he had a strong desire to pass on his knowledge and experience.  This was the motivation for his lengthy relationship with the University, throughout which he was a popular and respected teacher, who took considerable pains to encourage and support his students. His wish to give something back to his profession was also reflected in the amount of time he devoted to reviewing and interviewing engineers seeking chartered status through the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation; Derek was a member of the CIHT’s Assessor Panel.

At the end of 2011, Derek published an extensive volume on pavement deterioration and maintenance, aimed at students, practising engineers, contractors and local authorities alike. Completion of the book owed much to the care and time invested by Derek in preparing, refining and revising the material for his lectures.  Written in his uniquely clear and easily comprehensible style, the book will stand as a fitting legacy of his life and career.  

Derek is survived by his wife, Anne, and sons, Mark and Adam.

The funeral took place on 19 July.