Emeritus Professor Tony Medland passed away last month at the age of 82. He moved to Bath from Brunel University in 1995, and was Head of the Design and Manufacturing Group for several years. He retired in 2007.
Two close colleagues share their recollections about Tony below.
Recollections from Glen Mullineux:
Information for before 1982 is based on my memory of what he told me, and after 1982 is based on my memory of working with him.
Tony Medland was born in July 1940 and started his career at Westlands (Yeovil) where he completed an apprenticeship. He went on to study for a degree at Brunel University before working as a consultant – particularly for Cambridge Consultants – where he travelled a lot overseas.
While living in Cambridge Tony worked on an MoD research project, at what was then Hatfield Poly, looking at FEA modelling of explosions – this led to his PhD.
Around 1978, he joined Brunel University where he and Ray Wild set up the Special Engineering Programme – this was one of the enhanced engineering courses set up in the UK as a result of the Finneston report – a four year thin sandwich course with all students sponsored by one of a number of collaborating companies.
At Brunel, he started research into design and use of CAD. I joined Brunel in 1982 and we worked together on a number of EPSRC projects (some funded by the Specially Promoted Programme in High Speed Machinery) and Teaching Company Schemes (e.g. with Metal Box (Alperton), Lucas (Gillingham)). He was promoted to Professor while at Brunel.
We moved together to Bath in January 1995.
Recollections from Steve Culley:
Tony Medland and Glen Mullineux were enticed to the University in 1995 as part of Cliff Burrows’ vision to create a world class Design and Manufacturing research team at Bath. This in fact was inspired and led to a long list of research grant activity through the EPSRC innovative manufacturing initiative and the setting up of the IdMRC.
Tony immediately picked up the ethos of the Bath design operation, established by Joe Black. His extensive industrial experience and contacts were key in this. He had worked for Cambridge Consultants in its early formative years on a wide range of creative and innovative projects. Cambridge Consultants was THE key company to work for, arguably equivalent, but pre-dating, the Silicon Valley innovators.
His two great passions technically were packaging and the linking of engineering design to the human form. This was driven by Tony and Glen’s world class research into constraint modelling. His great example was that, at some stage in his career, he had worked on the design of the mechanisms for the PG-Tips Pyramid Tea bag, still being drunk to this day.
He always pointed out vigorously how packaging stopped the waste of that precious commodity -food. This is still completely relevant with food waste at 30% in the UK and 40% in the USA (not all down to packaging). He would have loved the challenge of creating novel designs and systems based on an evolving range of non-polymer materials.
Tony had moved to Bradford on Avon, where he set about, with vigour, renovating a period house in the main street.
Coincidentally, it turned out to be next door to then then Deputy VC, George Lunt, there were no complaints as far as is known. Tony was very good company and a very valued member of the Engineering Design research community and will be missed.
Our condolences go out to his wife Beryl, who accompanied him on many research conference trips and to the rest of his family.