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Sir Aubrey Fiennes Trotman-Dickenson (1926 – 2016)

13 March 2017

Sir Aubrey Trotman-Dickenson
Portrait of Sir Aubrey Trotman-Dickenson by Allan Ramsay

Family, friends, former students and senior Cardiff University figures from past and present have gathered to celebrate the life of former Principal, Sir Aubrey Fiennes Trotman-Dickenson.

In a celebratory event held in the University’s Viriamu Jones Gallery today (Monday 13th March, 2017) the University’s current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan opened the proceedings followed by one of his predecessors, Sir Brian Smith.

Sir Aubrey’s contribution to Cardiff University’s fortunes in the late twentieth century was crucial.

He was the architect of the UWIST and University College Cardiff (UCC) merger which laid the foundations upon which Cardiff University has grown and prospered academically.

The event heard tributes to Sir Aubrey’s outstanding academic impact and career from Professor Graham Hutchings, Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, as well as Professor Roger Mansfield who worked so closely with him during the successful merger between UWIST and then University College Cardiff (UCC).

What life was like working closely with Sir Aubrey was outlined by the former Secretary of UWIST and Cardiff University, Miss Eirian Edwards, as well as a student perspective from former UWIST Students’ Union President, James Myatt.

Finally, family tributes were delivered by Casimir and Dominic Trotman-Dickinson.

Commitment, dedication and outstanding leadership

Cardiff University’s modern success deserves so much to the unwavering commitment, personal dedication and the outstanding leadership of Sir Aubrey Fiennes Trotman-Dickenson.

Sir Aubrey was one of the longest serving University heads in British university history serving for 25 years; as Principal of UWIST then as Principal of the merged institution that is now Cardiff University.

He also served three terms as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales.

As well as an outstanding university leader, Sir Aubrey was a celebrated academic in his own right.

A leading authority on Gas Phase Kinetics he published nearly 200 papers in a 20 year academic career plus two major books Gas Kinetics in 1955 and Free Radicals in 1959 as well as being Executive Editor of the 5,000 page Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry published in 1973.

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