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British Industrial History

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Patrick Linstead

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Sir (Reginald) Patrick Linstead (1902-1966)


1966 Obituary [1]

"Sir Patrick Linstead, CBE, FRS, Rector of the Imperial College of Science and Technology died suddenly on Thursday, 22nd September, at the age of 64.

Most of his working life was spent in the service of education and he will be remembered for his contribution to the improvement of teaching in technology and, particularly, for his guidance of Imperial College to its present pre-eminence in this field. This he did first as Dean of the Royal College of Science and then, on the death of Sir Roderic Hill in 1955, as Rector.

After a short period as a research chemist with the Anglo-Persian Oil Co., he joined Imperial College as a demonstrator in organic chemistry in 1929. He was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield for a short time and in 1939 he went to Harvard as Professor of Organic Chemistry. His war-work included the Deputy Directorship of Scientific Research at the Ministry of Supply and in 1945 he was appointed Director of the Chemical Research Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Created a Knight Bachelor in 1959, Sir Patrick served on the Council of the Royal Society and was a member of numerous bodies connected with the University of London. From 1961-63 he was a member of the Robbins Committee on Higher Education and his other activities included a Trusteeship of the National Gallery and membership of the British Council Executive Committee and of the BBC Science Consultative Group.

A great friend of the Institution, Sir Patrick was Guest of Honour at the Annual Dinner in 1960. His friendly advice will be sorely missed by all who knew him and benefited from his wisdom."


1966 Obituary[2]

"WE regret to record the death of Sir (Reginald) Patrick Linstead, C. B. E., F. R.S., Rector of the Imperial College of Science and Technology since 1955, who died suddenly on September 22 at the age of sixty-four.

Born on August 28, 1902, he was educated at the City of London School and the Imperial College, where he obtained a first class honours degree in chemistry in 1923. He remained at the College to become research assistant to Sir Jocelyn Thorpe, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1926. A short period as research chemist with the Anglo Persian Oil Co followed and in 1929 he returned to the Imperial College as demonstrator and later lecturer in organic chemistry. In 1938 he was appointed Firth Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, and the following year went to Harvard University as Professor of Organic Chemistry. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1940.

In 1942 Sir Patrick returned to England to become Deputy Director of Scientific Research at the Ministry of Supply. He was awarded the C.B.E. in 1946. At the end of the war he was appointed Director of the Chemical Research Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and in 1949 he returned to the Imperial College as Professor of Organic Chemistry and Director of the Organic Chemistry Laboratories. He was elected Dean of the Royal College of Science in 1953, and on the death of Sir Roderic Hill in 1955 accepted the rectorship of the College. He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1959.

Sir Patrick Linstead served on the Royal Society Council from 1949-51 and from 1959- 60; he was a vice-president from 1959- 65, and foreign secretary from 1960- 65. He was a member of the Senate of the University of London, the Court of Governors of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the Governing Body of the London Graduate School of Business Studies. He was a life fellow and a former vice-president of the Chemical Society, and a former vice-president of the Royal Institute of Chemistry. From 1961- 63 he was a member of the Robbins Committee on Higher Education. Among his many other committee activities he was a trustee of the National Gallery, and a member of the Science Museum Advisory Council, the British Council Executive Committee, the B.B.C. Science Consultative Group, and the Education Committee of the Goldsmiths' Company. He was an honorary member of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy."


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