Brian McEnaney was born Hartlepool in 1936. After completing his A-levels at night school he went on to the University of Hull for a first degree and Ph.D. in Chemistry.
Brian joined the University in September 1967, the year after it was granted its royal charter and was initially based at the Bristol College of Advanced Technology site. He brought new expertise to a group responsible for the successful course in Engineering Metallurgy, and contributed significantly to the growing reputation of the University. By 1970 the group had become the School of Materials Science and had re-located in the new buildings here the Claverton Down campus in Bath. The undergraduate course was being transformed into an honours degree in Materials Science, and Brian was playing an important part in the growing research activity.
Brian developed an international reputation for his wide-ranging work on carbon materials including nanotubes and foams. He was presented with the SGL Carbon Award of the American Carbon Society for his outstanding contributions, and held visiting appointments in the U.S.A. (Oak Ridge and the University of Kentucky). He was Associate Editor the journal Carbon, an editorial board member of Adsorption Science & Technology, consultant for British Energy Generation and Director of the Nuclear Energy Group at Bath.
Brian's teaching and research contributed considerably to the success of Materials Science at Bath over more than 30 years. Many postgraduate students have benefitted from his observations on the pitfalls of presenting a research paper and recommendations for impressing your supervisor. He was kind and considerate, and he inspired the development of the careers of undergraduates, postgraduates and academic colleagues alike.
In addition to this formal academic work, Brian made considerable contributions to the wellbeing and governance of the University, serving for periods as Chairman of the local branch of the Association of University Teachers (now U.C.U.), of Academic Assembly and as Head of Department. His subtle and sharp wit, never unkind, was much admired by colleagues and students alike. It is not generally known that at one time he used to edit the local equivalent of Private Eye.
Below are appreciations from current academic staff of the help they received from Brian early in their careers:
"Brian was my PhD and postdoc supervisor and was instrumental in my first appointment as a lecturer at Bath. He remained an inspiration and role model as a mentor and colleague. It is important to acknowledge that Brian was a true leader in his research field of carbon and adsorbent materials. He was also dedicated to teaching and was a strong Head of the former Department of Materials Science at the University. I will always be grateful to Brian’s seminal influence on my career, and I will miss him very much as a kind and generous friend." Tim Mays, Professor and Head of Department of Chemical Engineering.
"Brian was a joint supervisor for one of my early PhDs on carbon-carbon brake discs for aerospace applications. Using his industrial contacts, he helped me secure the necessary industrial support for the PhD. I was a newly appointed Lecturer at the time, and Brian was always available to provide invaluable advice and support with regard to PhD supervision. He was always calm, considerate, witty, and provided a wealth of technical experience in carbon-carbon composites. I am indebted to him." Chris Bowen, Professor of Materials
"When I joined the School of Materials Science in 1976 Brian McEnaney was well established as an inspirational lecturer and researcher. His extensive research publications are concerned with nuclear graphites, gas adsorption in porous activated carbon and corrosion of metal alloys and metal matrix composites. He worked closely with colleagues including Professor Vic Scott, Dr Tony Wickham, Professor Gareth Neighbour and many others. In addition, Brian was renowned for his very humorous after dinner speeches delivered at international conferences and at our own Materials Science dinners. Many postgraduate students have benefitted from his observations on the pitfalls of presenting a research paper and recommendations for impressing your supervisor. Brian was promoted to Professor on his return from a sabbatical in the US and his elevation was widely applauded by the academic community. Brian was an ambitious and successful member of the academic community at Bath. He was also kind and considerate and he inspired the development of the careers of undergraduates, postgraduates and academic colleagues alike." Dr Martin Ansell, Honorary Reader in Materials
Brian will be badly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife, Mary and family at this sad time.
His funeral will take place on Tuesday 4 September 2018 at Haycombe Cemetery, 209 Whiteway Road, Bath BA2 2RQ starting at 12.15pm. His wife and family are keen for former colleagues, students and friends to attend. They request "family flowers only". If people so wish they could, in lieu of flowers, make a donation to Parkinson’s UK charity.