Obituaries: April 2014

4 April 2014
Peter Wherritt (left) and Ken Stephens (right)

Peter Wherritt (left) and Ken Stephens (right).

Member News highlights the careers and achievements of recently deceased IET members.

Professor Kenneth (Ken) Gilbert Stephens BSc PhD CEng FIEE CPhys FInstP

Ken Stephens joined the Department of Electrical and Control Engineering of Battersea College of Technology (CAT) as a Lecturer only months before it became Surrey University and the departments name became Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Ken spent the rest of his career at the University of Surrey becoming Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, a post that he held for 10 years before retiring in 1996. His leadership and vision established the Department as a major strength both within the University and nationally with major research strengths in ion implantation and satellite engineering.

Ken was a very sociable person who was well known for his election night parties. He felt that all staff were important and he was very keen for tutors to the undergraduate students to know their students well and supported staff student social events. Cricket was one of his passions. He was a keen cricket player and a member of the renowned MCC for more than 20 years, a keen and active member of Blackheath Cricket Club since 1970 and was Captain of the University Cricket Club in the 1970’s.

Ken was a very popular member of staff and somebody who would always see the best in people and be keen to support staff in the development of their research and their careers.

He is sorely missed by his family, friends in Guildford, the University of Surrey and the international Ion Implantation Community.

Obituary provided by Professor Bernard L Weiss Emeritus Professor of Electronics University of Sussex.


Peter Wherritt CEng FIET

Peter Wherritt died suddenly in early February at the age of 66. Still working as Director of R+D in a university spin-out company, he was also standing for Trustee of the IET.

The organisation did not get the opportunity to see Peter succeed in that role, as he surely would have. A strong supporter of IET values, Peter believed that the IET should do all it could to serve the needs and interests of all types of member from student to the retired.

With an extensive volunteering record, Peter served on Council, communicating the views of members via the Co-ordination Team. Between 2009-11, he was a Member of the Management Network Executive Team and a Professional Development Mentor. He was a long-standing member of the Oxford Network Committee.

Proud to be called an engineer, Peter had been a member of the IET since graduating in electronics in the late 1960s. He spent his working life in applied electronics in both small and large companies as well as some years as an independent consultant. In 2005, he won an IEE innovation award for a security application enabling portable fingerprint verification.

A huge guitar-fan, Peter carried fond memories of his favourite 60s bands, from the Moody Blues to The Beatles. Peter never let any challenge get him down. He enjoyed people challenges as much as any. Trying to make the best out of every situation, Peter worked hard to make sure that relationships worked and usually succeeded, with a smile.

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