Obituaries - O

Obituaries - O

John Stewart Orr

Stewart Orr, who died on 21st October 2001, was an active, energetic, and helpful physicist, distinguished for both pure and applied research and practice, who greatly assisted medical colleagues, and their patients, most of whom had cancer. He became Professor of Medical Physics in the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, and was soon known internationally for his accomplishments in cell and radiation biology, radiotherapy, imaging, and information technology. Learn more about John Stewart Orr

Karl Howard Overton

Karl Overton came to the UK from Austria in 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, as one of the 10,000 Jewish child refugees on the Kindertransports, thus avoiding almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis.  He lived a long and full life as a scientist, a classical musician and a lover of the arts, the natural world, good food, wine and conversation. He was born Karl Heinz Oberweger in Vienna, the younger child of Berta and Joseph Oberweger.  Ashkenazy Jews, the family lived on Flossgasse in the Jewish (second) district of Vienna.  He remembered the build-up to the Anschluss of Austria by Germany in 1938, the anti-Semitic bullying on the way home from school and his mother and sister being made to scrub the streets by the Nazis.  Fortunately his mother realised the approaching danger and applied for him, aged 13, to travel to England on one of the Kindertransports in January, 1939.  His mother and sister followed shortly afterwards and went into service.  His father stayed in Vienna, somehow avoiding deportation, and died there peacefully in 1942. Read more about Karl Overton.

Alan Ernest Owen

Alan Owen was born on 7 October 1928 in Hastings, Sussex. He was a student at Brighton College of Technology from 1949 to 1953. In 1953 he joined English Clays Research Laboratories at St Austell, Cornwall, to work on the physical chemistry of clays and mineral processing and then in 1955 moved to the Mullard Research Laboratories to research on photoconductors. In 1956 he joined the Department of Glass Technology in the University of Sheffield where he obtained a PhD studying the dielectric properties of glass. From 1959 to 1962 Alan worked at the Westinghouse Research Laboratories in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, researching on crystal growth, oxidation and diffusion in semiconductors. He returned in 1962 to the University of Sheffield as a Lecturer in the Department of Glass Technology and pursued research in electronic conduction in vitreous semiconductors with grants from the UK Research Council and the Ministry of Defence. In 1967 he joined the University of Edinburgh as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering; he became a Reader in 1969 and Professor of Physical Electronics in 1981. He was Head of Department from 1989 to 1994 having previously held the special position of Research Professor for three years. This post was funded by British Petroleum International Limited and involved close liaison with BP scientists and engineers on a broad range of company interests concerned with aspects of solid state electronics. Learn more about Alan Ernest Owen


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