We regret to announce the death of retired Senior Lecturer Harry Reiter on 21 October 2021. He retired from the University of Bath in 2002 and was active in the field of surface engineering and materials science.
Harry was born in Vienna and arrived in England in January 1939 with the Kindertransport. He graduated from Battersea Polytechnic with a degree in metallurgy and joined the Stones Foundary business in 1955 and subsequently worked for the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association.
In 1960 he joined the metallurgy section staff of Bristol College of Advanced Technology, which in 1966 became what is now the University of Bath. Harry made vital contributions to the metallurgy section's progress into the highly successful Department of Materials Science at the University of Bath.
A university is more than an institution, it is a community, and Harry's part in its successful development was extensive. Within the Department he was deeply concerned for the broad welfare of his students and acted as Director of Studies. In the wider community his contributions on Senate as secretary for many years of the Senior Common Room and his chairing the student welfare group were vital in setting the tone of the young institution. Harry was also key to initiating a creche for the children of staff and students at the University.
Dr Martin Ansell stated: "It was on Harry's recommendation that in 1983 I was appointed senior resident tutor of Westwood Residences where I lived with my family for nine years. In the 1980s he was chair of the Westwood Nursery Committee and ensured the success and financial security of the nursery which thrives to this day. I undertook several consultancy jobs for South Western Industrial Research Limited (SWIRL) under Harry's leadership and he was instrumental in creating a valuable working interface between industry and the University. Harry was renowned for his affability and inimitable sense of humour".
Mr Nick Gathercole, who worked closely with Harry on industry facing work that stemmed from SWIRL said: “I first met Harry when I started as a Materials Science student at Bath in 1976. His lectures were classic, with his universal ‘graph for all occasions’, and the day he copied out Schrödinger’s wave equation on the board staying firmly imprinted my memory. His care and support for all students was a feature that I benefitted from both as an undergraduate and later, when I returned to Bath and started working for SWIRL. Harry always realised the importance and benefit to the University of building and maintaining ties with industry, in particular locally based SMEs.”
As a PhD student in the 1980s, and later a member of staff, Professor Tim Mays remembers Harry as a senior member of a supportive and energetic family of academics in the then School of Materials Science. Harry had extensive and very practical knowledge and understanding of the science of materials and many students and staff benefitted from that. His broad smile and keen sense of humour also made working on the School great fun. He will be sadly missed.
Professor Chris Bowen recalls Harry’s excellent and memorable lectures in ‘Production and Manufacturing Technology’ that involved a unique mix of the underlying science of materials processing combined with practical knowledge, know-how, and humour.
Professor Gerard Fernando (former PhD student of Harry and now Professor at the University of Birmingham) stated: “My PhD research project was supervised by Harry Reiter, Tom Adams and Bryan Harris; I think the three-way supervision was required to keep me under control! I have fond memories of Harry as he was very kind, generous with his time, a master diplomat and mentor to students. Harry had a unique skillset in resolving and solving problems experienced by the post-graduate and undergraduate communities. My wife and I wish to express our gratitude to Sheila and Harry for the kindness and generosity that they showed us when we got married some thirty five or so years ago. I will always remember Harry for his humour, kindness, generosity, and most of all, for being a brilliant PhD supervisor.“
Our condolences and deepest sympathies are with Harry’s family at this sad time. He was a beloved, supportive husband and best friend of Sheila, his wife of 64 years. A celebration of Harry’s life will be held at the South Oxfordshire Crematorium, Garford at 1pm on Thursday, 4 November 2021. Inquiries to Edward Carter (FD), Tel. 01235 770996.
Donations in Harry’s memory can be made to the Association of Jewish Refugees https://ajr.org.uk.
We know that Harry’s death will affect fellow colleagues and friends and a range of support is available for our staff and students:
- If you are a member of staff, you can find information on counselling support here.
- The Chaplaincy staff are happy to talk with anyone who has been affected, in total confidence. Please email email@example.com or Nigel Rawlinson.
- Cruse Bereavement Care also offers free confidential support by telephone, email or face-to-face.
- If you are a student, Wellbeing Support is available every day of the year, offering appointments by phone, online or in person. Help is also available from The SU’s Advice and Support Centre.